Android has it, iOS needs it: Copy two-factor codes from text message

Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge:

If you use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts, you’re probably used to this process: type in your password, wait for a text messaged code to arrive, memorize the code, and then type it back into the login prompt. It’s a bit of a pain.

Absolutely. Happens a lot. And this describes the process pretty well. Android has a fix:

In the new update, Messages will detect if you’re receiving a two-factor authentication code. When it does, it’ll add an option to the notification to copy the code, saving a step.

This is a step in the right direction. When a two-factor text is received, a copy button appears at the same time. Tap it, then paste it into the prompt.

It’d be nice to see this in iOS. But even better, it’d be nice to avoid the codes in the first place. The purpose of the codes is to prove that you have access to a verifying device. The codes themselves exist purely to give you a way to “move” the verification from the second device back to the original.

But iOS already does such an excellent job communicating between devices. I can copy on my iPhone, paste on my Mac, for example. And if the code is coming in on the same device that made the request, well that’s even easier.

What I’m suggesting is that Apple/Google work to create a verification service that eliminates all the friction. If I request a code on my Mac, popup a verification text message on my iPhone and, worst case, just make me tap “Yep” on an alert to verify the code, or “Nope” to let them know I didn’t make the request.

No reason for me to copy/paste or type in a number. Tap “Yep” and I’m in. Let the verification handshake happen in the background. Any reason this can’t be done?