Google Authenticator is an app that many recommend as a one-stop-shop to protect your online accounts with a second factor of authentication, or 2FA. It generates a unique, time-based code that you use alongside your password to get into online services, but one drawback of the service is that it's always been tied to the phone that you're using. That's set to change, though, as finally, years after the app was first introduced, you'll be able to synchronize your Google Authenticator codes to your Google account.
This new feature, announced today, has been long sought after by Authenticator users, with many opting to use other services like Twilio's Authy in order to make multifactor authentication a little bit more convenient. If you frequently switch between devices or have ever lost or broken a phone, you'll know how big of a deal this is. Additionally, it will make it easier for users to ensure that their accounts are secure, as they will no longer need to rely on the app being installed on a specific device to access their 2FA codes.
Of course, this does mean that an attacker who gets access to your Google account may have an easier time gaining access to your other online services, but that's the price you pay to protect yourself from potentially losing access to your accounts in general. It just means that you'll need to better protect your Google account to ensure that those services can't be accessed, but it's a net gain for security as users may be more likely to want to use Google Authenticator in the future.
Overall, the addition of syncing support to Google Authenticator is a much-needed improvement that will make the app much more user-friendly and convenient. With this new feature, Google has taken a big step towards making 2FA more accessible and secure for everyone. You can download Google Authenticator from the Google Play Store below.