One of the few non-Material Design apps from Google, Google Authenticator, has finally been updated to reflect a more modern design. The app has been bumped up to version 4.44 for those keeping score at home and also brings support for Android Wear so you can perform authentications for your 2-factor enabled accounts from your wrist and not just your phone or tablet.
For those who may not know what the app does, it provides you a six digit PIN for you to authenticate your identity on accounts such as Google, Evernote and Dropbox where you have enabled 2-factor authentication. 2-factor authentication is a more secure way of keeping your accounts secure by requiring not only a username or password but also this PIN to prove you are you. It is always a best security practice to enable 2-factor on your accounts to prevent hacking of your accounts.
Google Authenticator Now Supports Android Wear
While the move to Material Design is a nice-to-have (and it certainly looks better than the old dark black UI), the
bigger news in this update is support for Android Wear. Previously you had to have your Android phone or tablet where you have configured the app in hand to authenticate for websites or services where you have 2-factor enabled. Now you can simply open up the app on your smartwatch and you will see the PIN for authentication so you don’t have to pull your phone out of your pocket.
Google has also added a developer preview for the app where you can use NFC Security Key (FIDO Universal 2nd Factor protocol).
Configuring Google Authenticator for your accounts is started by setting up 2-factor authentication on your various accounts. On your Google account, you can go to Google Accounts and go to the security section to set it up.