Google Authenticator, an app that generates two-factor authentication codes for services that offer the additional security layer, is coming under fire from users who claim that the latest update for the iOS version wipes all existing accounts when installed.
Update: Google tells us it is working on an update to fix the problem, see the bottom of this post for full details.
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A post on Hacker News warns users not to upgrade to the latest version of the app, which landed today and includes support for retina displays and the iPhone 5.
In effect, the update disconnects all services that users have connected to the app — which could include GitHub (which launched two-factor security today), Twilio, Evernote and others — which must be resynced all over again.
That’s a painful process to undertake just for the sake of an update, and it has left many users angry because they were not warned of the problem before updating. An increasing number are taking to Twitter to voice their frustration with the situation:
Damn it! The google #authenticator update wiped all of my codes. Any ideas out there?
— Alexrrr (@Alexrrr) September 4, 2013
Finally get a Google authenticator update for iOS… updating deleted all my accounts. Marvellous!
— Jake Stubbs (@JakeStubbz) September 4, 2013
Warning! The iOS @google Authenticator 2.0.0 update removes all existing tokens on installation. Really inconvenient!
— Alec Edworthy (@alecedworthy) September 4, 2013
Oh crap. Just updated my Google Authenticator app and now it’s empty??
— Falchion (@Falchion) September 4, 2013
We reached out to Google for further information, although we presume that there’s nothing the company can do for those who updated their version of the app already and are forced to start over again.
Our advice: hold off on updating the app, unless you want to purge your accounts and start from scratch.
Update: A Google rep tells TNW that the company is working on an update that preserves the apps tokens and will prevent data losses. We will see what it can do to help those already affected.
We’re aware of this issue and are working to release an updated version as soon as possible.
Update 2: The app has been pulled from the App Store, a new version is coming soon.
Headline image via Thinkstock
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