Microsoft Authenticator app to drop Apple Watch support
Microsoft has announced that its two-step verification app “Microsoft Authenticator” will no longer work with the Apple Watch. As a result, Apple Watch users will no longer be able to access the service via their wearable device.
Microsoft will end Apple Watch support in its Authenticator app
On a support website, the company revealed an update coming to the Microsoft Authenticator iOS app in January 2023. This update will remove the companion app from watchOS.
Microsoft’s decision to discontinue the watchOS app is due to limitations in the wearable operating system. The software company says watchOS is “incompatible with Authenticator security features.”
Microsoft also recommends that users who still have Authenticator installed on their Apple Watch delete the app. It is expected to cease operation in January 2023.
It’s worth noting that this only affects the watchOS version of the app, so users will still be able to use Microsoft Authenticator on iPhone and iPad.
The history of the portable version of Microsoft’s 2FA tool
The WatchOS companion to the Microsoft Authenticator app was introduced in 2018. As with similar 2FA apps, users can easily sign into their Microsoft account or supported apps when two-step verification is enabled. The app also generates one-time codes so you don’t have to wait for texts or calls to access your accounts.
Apple Watch users who rely on Microsoft Authenticator for two-step verification will have to find an alternative solution in the coming months. This is another blow to the watchOS App Store, which has seen many important third-party apps leave the platform in recent years.
An app ecosystem struggling to survive
The WatchOS app ecosystem has struggled to keep up with the popularity of the iOS and Android app stores. Many developers have chosen not to support the platform. Its smaller user base and limitations in terms of what can be done on the device make it difficult to really impress consumers.
Despite this, Apple has continued to invest in the watchOS platform. When watchOS 7 was released, it brought new features like Family Setup. This allows a single iPhone to be paired with multiple Apple Watch devices. This way, parents could set up Apple Watch for their children, even if they didn’t have iPhones of their own.
With watchOS 9, Apple expanded its already useful sleep tracking feature. It also added medication reminders and logging. Whether these new features will be enough to attract developers back to the platform remains to be seen.