Two-factor authentication has become an important part of digital life, even if it can be a bit annoying for consumers to deal with. Authenticator apps help make completing the two-factor authentication process slightly quicker and easier, but most of the time, they feel like a necessary evil type of situation. Microsoft’s Authenticator app has been a popular choice for many services, websites, and applications as a way to facilitate one-time codes for individuals to authenticate logins. However, news has come out that Microsoft is removing Authenticator support for the Apple Watch, which came as a surprise to some. Find out more about the issue below.
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What Is Microsoft Authenticator?
Everyone has a Microsoft account, seeing as the company has so many digital services and products. One Microsoft account can help you log in to and use multiple features, such as Outlook, Windows PCs, and more. The Microsoft Authenticator app helps you add a layer of security to your Microsoft account as you enable two-factor authentication. Enabling this means that anyone trying to access your account will also have to have access to your Authenticator app, which would mean that the intruder would need your smartphone, too.
Having an authenticator app like Microsoft Authenticator is highly recommended. We all know what it feels like to receive an email telling us that someone’s trying to log into our accounts. If they were successful, we might not even know that they breached an account. Having two-factor authentication means that you can feel safe knowing that you have complete control over your account’s security.
Why Is Microsoft Removing Authenticator Support From Apple Watch?
According to some sources, the reason why Microsoft is removing Authenticator support from Apple Watch is actually because of Apple. Reportedly, Apple will no longer support certain features that contribute to Microsoft Authenticator’s efficacy and security. Some speculate that this change is due to Microsoft enforcing Number Matching for its authenticator app and that the Apple Watch can’t comply. Microsoft released an official statement about the matter on a support page:
In the upcoming Authenticator release in January 2023 for iOS, there will be no companion app for watchOS due to it being incompatible with Authenticator security features. This means you won’t be able to install or use Authenticator on Apple Watch.
We therefore recommend that you delete Authenticator from your Apple Watch. This change only impacts Apple Watch, so you will still be able to use Authenticator on your other devices.
What Does That Mean For Consumers?
The obvious result of this new change is that Apple Watch users won’t be able to access Microsoft Authenticator anymore. If you used the app for security purposes, you can begin to delete the authenticator and perhaps seek alternatives. We would suggest that you install and use Microsoft Authenticator on your iOS device instead of your Apple Watch if you desperately need its services.
There are a few alternatives you can look into for the Apple Watch if you still want an authenticator on your smartwatch and don’t necessarily need Microsoft’s one. For example, Apple has a built-in authenticator tool that you can set up and access in Settings > Passwords. You can also use a different app called Authy, which is a reputable and trustworthy authenticator app. This transition might be a pain for those who regularly use Microsoft Authenticator, but using the iOS app instead shouldn’t create that many disruptions. Once you transfer your main method of verification to your iOS device, you should be good to go.