Earlier this year, Google’s 2FA authentication app received a big Android update that modernized its design. That dark theme, along with an account transfer feature, is now available in Google Authenticator for iOS.

The app provides 2-step verification codes when signing-in to sites. Compared to alternatives, it’s quite simple and lacks extra features. On iOS, Google Authenticator was last updated in 2018 with iPhone X support. 

Version 3.1 today starts by modernizing Authenticator’s look. Essentially, the entire app now features a stark white background with the blue top bar removed and various elements now centered. This single color allows for a dark theme to be easily implemented.

Like on Android, the key addition is the ability to “Transfer accounts.” The navigation drawer houses this new option to export or import 2FA codes via QR codes. It greatly simplifies the setup process when transferring devices, with users just needing to install Authenticator on the new phone and scanning a barcode. This feature would have been particularly convenient ahead of the iPhone 12 launch.

On the security front, this new capability is done device-to-device and “no data is sent to Google’s servers during the transfer.” Google makes the process explicit through various prompts, notifications, and verification steps.

Your 2SV secrets can’t be accessed without having physical access to your phone and the ability to unlock it.

Version 3.1 of Google Authenitcator for iOS is available now via the App Store:

  • Added the ability to transfer accounts to a different device, e.g. when switching phones
  • Refreshed the look and feel of the app
  • Dark Mode support

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com