Chrome App for Android Now Acts as 2-Step Verification

Google is expanding its security capabilities by allowing the Chrome app on Android to function as a 2-Step Verification (2SV) method when someone signs into a new device.

After trying to sign in on a new device, users will receive a prompt on their phone asking them if they are trying to sign in. The Google Prompt message opens a full-screen page asking, “Are you trying to sign in?” with “Yes” and “No, it’s not me” options at the bottom of the display.

Then a subsequent message appears that reads, “Someone is trying to sign in to your account from a nearby device.” Users will have to confirm on their phone that this is indeed them signing into another device. Finally, a “Connecting to your device” message appears with a rotating animation akin to usual phone security measures.

The new feature utilizes caBLE (cloud-enabled Bluetooth Low Energy) for its security checks. Bluetooth Low Energy refers to a device using Bluetooth technology on a low-frequency band to communicate with other devices. The tech is notable for its short connection times, but high data rates. This communication is enabled via the Google Cloud.

The new 2SV requires users to sign in to the same account and have Chrome Sync enabled. Google provides a series of instructions on how to activate Chrome Sync on its website.

Currently, this new verification feature is only available on Chrome 93 Beta for Android and Chrome 92 on Macs. It is not widely available for all users yet.

This is the latest in Google’s increasing adoption of 2-factor verification methods. Previously, the company rolled out USB-C Titan Security Keys for physical security, and implemented a similar technology in earlier devices.

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