One of our favorite authenticator apps just got a huge UI update

Summary

  • The new beta version of Authy’s Android app updates its design, allowing for a more intuitive user experience.
  • The updated list view finally shows all your secrets at once, but you’re now restricted to alphabetical sorting.
  • While Authy is convenient, it lacks the ability to export secrets and had a previous security breach, so users should exercise caution.


There are many two-factor authentication apps out there (2FA for short), but one of the best among them is Authy. The app is available on all major platforms, including desktops, and seamlessly syncs 2FA codes on its cloud to keep them safe even when you break or lose your phone. One downside of the app on Android is its outdated design that hasn’t been updated for years, but a new beta version is finally changing that.

There is nothing wrong with Authy’s Android app design per se, but it looks quite dated at this point with design elements mashed together from earlier Material Design guidelines and some even older elements in the grid-style layout. In contrast to many other 2FA apps, Authy’s list view also doesn’t let you see all your 2FA codes right at a glance — you have to tap specific entries to see them.

authy-default-new

With the redesign that’s currently available on the beta channel on the Play Store as version 24.14.4, this changes. The app loses its red top bar, making way for a fully gray design that more closely resembles the iOS app, but arguably surpasses it in key ways. For one, the new Android version lets you switch between list and grid view with two tabs at the top and makes adding new accounts more intuitive with a floating action button always available in the bottom right corner.

The new list view also finally shows you all of your accounts’ 2FA codes right in the list — you no longer have to tap to reveal the individual codes. This makes copying codes much faster and easier. For those who perceive this behavior as a security problem (with someone shoulder surfing potentially seeing a lot more 2FA codes than they otherwise would), the grid view is still a viable alternative that shows only one code at a time.

As noted by Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii on X (formerly Twitter), the new release has one key annoyance: services are solely sorted alphabetically, with no option to use a custom order anymore. We can only hope that Authy will add this option back in. If you rely on a custom order, definitely stick with the stable release for now.

While Authy is likely the simplest solution when you want a 2FA app that keeps your credentials backed up, there are some downsides. Unlike many other apps, it doesn’t support exporting your secrets, so if you ever want to switch to another 2FA service, be prepared for a lengthy process that involves going through the 2FA setup process again for all of your accounts.

For comparison: Authy’s current design

In August 2022, Authy’s parent company Twilio suffered a breach that also affected the 2FA app. The company’s security team found evidence that 93 highly-targeted users had their data stolen while the rest of the 75 million other users were spared. This is the disadvantage of a solution with central cloud storage. To prevent an attack like that, you can either use a local alternative or turn on an optional toggle in Authy’s devices settings that only lets you add a new handset when you approve it on an existing connected device. You can also turn off multi-device when you’re not adding a new device — existing devices will stay active then, but no new ones can be added.

The Authy beta is available on the Play Store. You can join it via the Play Store on your phone by scrolling down until you see beta testing options. You can alternatively download the Authy beta release from APK Mirror. Once the stable version surpasses the beta on the Play Store, you will be switched back to stable automatically if you go for this route.

Thanks: Samarth Verma


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