If you’re practicing good account security, you may have your phone number attached to various accounts as part of two-factor authentication. Google Messages is rolling out a new feature to autofill any one-time security codes that your apps may need.
As two-factor authentication (2FA) and one-time passwords (OTP) have become more prevalent, Google has sought to make them easier to implement. Android app developers have the option to send and automatically collect the code via text message, but not all apps have picked up this ability. Google Messages has also long been working to make 2FA easier, such as by recognizing an OTP and allowing you to copy it with one tap from the message notification.
For a few months now, Google Play Services’ settings page has included a section for “Verification code autofill” with a toggle that hasn’t done much of anything. The folks at Android Police have shown that apps can now pull 2FA codes from the Google Messages app, thanks to Android’s built-in autofill, according to a pair of tipsters.
In the shared screenshots, we can see the T-Mobile and Amazon apps both being able to pull the requested OTP from Google Messages with a handy “Autofill code from Messages” option.
For now, there doesn’t seem to be a consistent way to enable the code autofill feature, as many others with the same versions of Play Services and Google Messages (20.04.12 and 5.5.096, respectively) don’t have the new autofill available. It’s possible that Google is slowly rolling it out to more people, in which case we should see many more devices over the next few weeks.
Keep in mind, though, that SMS-based 2FA may not be as secure as it once was. So while things like Messages’ new code autofill offer a great deal of convenience, consider using a more secure method for important accounts.
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