iPad users can now sign into their Google accounts using an Android smartphone for second-factor authentication.
It’s a development building on Google’s FIDO2 certification for Android 7+, which enabled any devices running on the mobile operating system to act as FIDO2 security keys back in April. This meant that signing into Google on a laptop could be facilitated with a simple tap on an Android smartphone, instead of password entry; but given Apple’s closed-off approach to its own device and software ecosystem, this kind of functionality wasn’t available on iOS devices.
Now, however, users can perform the same kind of 2FA sign-in when using iPads or other iOS devices. It is a little more complicated than the process for non-iOS devices, as it requires a Bluetooth connection between the devices being used, and it operates through the Google Smart Lock app, rather than having the authentication request sent from the Chrome browser. But in the end, it means that someone signing into Gmail on an iPad, for example, can tap their paired Android smartphone to gain entry.
This obviously isn’t going to impact a great many users, since a lot of iPad users will probably have iPhones anyway. But it’s another indication of Google’s commitment to more secure, post-password authentication mechanisms, and of the growing influence of the FIDO Alliance’s authentication standards.