Microsoft has seemingly released its brand new Microsoft Authenticator app for Windows 10 Mobile to a wider audience. While originally being available in closed beta, the Authenticator app is now available in select markets to those running the latest preview version of Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Edition.
Originally spotted by Windows Central, the new Authenticator app allows users to securely sign into their accounts with two-factor authentication. If you’ve ever used a banking app, or Blizzard’s Authenticator, you’re already familiar with how this works. Once you try to sign into an account, you’re asked to provide a security code, which in this case is provided by the Authenticator app.
Now this functionality in itself is by no means new. Microsoft already has Authenticator apps available on all major mobile platforms, but this new version comes with some extra bells and whistles. First off, the app brings a very useful feature, previously only available on Android: support for push notifications. With this addition, users no longer have to open the app to get the security code; instead all they need do is to tap on a push notification and voila they’re signed in. It’s a much quicker and convenient way to do this, and we’re glad Microsoft finally brought this feature to its own platform.
Secondly, this Windows 10 Mobile application also supports Windows Hello integration. This means that, once the app is actually complete and officially released, users will be able to securely sign into their accounts and their PCs with this app, using biometrics. For example, if your phone is paired over Bluetooth with your PC you may be able to use this app and your fingerprint to sign into your PC.
Another example, would be by using another device, like a wearable that’s connected with your phone. Microsoft recently demoed this scenario, bringing a novel but convenient way for users to keep their devices and accounts secure.
All in all, this is a great update for the Authenticator app, which was previously only a bare-bones implementation on Windows Phone. Though you should note that as things stand right now, the app is still very much in beta and there’s a good chance Microsoft never meant for it to be available to a wide audience. As such the app may soon be pulled or stop working.
If you do want to try it out, download the app from here. Note that you may need to change your phone’s region to France or Germany and then revert to your normal region. The Authenticator app should keep working after that.