Late last month we mentioned that Microsoft had announced their plans to release their Microsoft Authenticator App for iOS and Android devices on 15 August 2016.
Although it was not quite the norm to announce a specific date for an apps release, Microsoft did hit that date as planned last week for the iOS and Android versions.
They followed those releases up a few days later with a minor update to the Windows mobile version of the app which included a name change and beta tag as they finalize the full update for Windows mobile as well.
The feature that I like seeing added to the Windows 10 mobile version of this app, which did exist in the iOS and Android version of the Microsoft Account app, is that you get a push notification on any Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) approval request. Just one tap will approve the request for your Microsoft Account 2FA however, this push notification feature only works with Microsoft accounts no matter which platform you are on..
When I spent six months using Android last year that was the one feature that stood out for me and was lacking on Windows mobile. It is good to see some feature parity with this compared to the apps on iOS and Android. I loved not having to copy or remember the string of digits to authenticate access. So much simpler to tap a button from a push notification.
This new Microsoft Authenticator app is also combining the ability to perform 2FA for both consumer Microsoft Accounts and Azure Active Directory user accounts. Now all of your 2FA is in one place without the need to have two separate apps on your devices. I have even used other services 2FA in this new app without any issue including Google, my Content Delivery network service and LastPass.
According to one of the engineers from the Authenticator apps team it will still be a few weeks before full parity is reached on each platform:
- Android: Shipped and fully converged
- iOS: Shipped, but still beta testing the MSA account push notifications (ETA – early Sept for this feature)
- WP: Shipped legacy app rename with bug fixes, and fully converged UAP upgrade remains in beta (ETA – Sept)
In the interim you can request access to the iOS and Windows mobile beta by contacting the Authenticator app team at [email protected] and letting then know which platform you would like to beta test.
Here are the links to the current releases for each platform:
- Microsoft Authenticator (Android)
- Microsoft Authenticator (iOS)
- Microsoft Authenticator Beta (Windows Mobile)
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