Manage your 2-step authenticator codes with Authomator and its active frame

By Richard Devine on 1 Mar 2013 02:44 pm EST

If you're using a service that allows 2-step authentication -- GMail and Dropbox are a couple of high-profile names -- you really ought to be using it. There's a lot to be said for the extra layer of security it provides. This isn't a post on how to activate 2-step authentication. This is all about Authomator, probably the best way to manage your 2-step authentication codes on BlackBerry 10. 

There isn't a lot to the app itself, there doesn't need to be. But it's really nicely designed, and just proves that utility apps can look great too. The main screen of the app lists all your accounts and the currently active codes for each one. Each account allows you to add a custom title for it too over and above just the registered email address. 

Adding accounts can be done manually by adding the necessary keys, or if your service provider allows the use of a QR code, Authomator will scan that instead. One point worth noting, when setting this up in GMail hit 'Android' as the mobile app selection. This brings up the QR code, hitting BlackBerry still refers to BBOS devices. QR scanning is lightning quick, and in a matter of just a second or so you have the first codes up in front of you. Better still, if you're using an app on your phone that requires the entry of a code, just copy it to the clipboard and paste it in. As the codes are time based, as their time begins to run out, a nice little indicator starts to change colour and warn you of this.  

And then we get to the best part. Because this is a properly designed, native BlackBerry 10 application, it has an active frame. While the app is free to download, an in-app purchase is required to upgrade to get the active frame along with removing the advertising. It's worth it, really it is. If you rely on these codes heavily, the convenience of being able to display them on your home screen in this way is brilliant. Now, if only we could pin active frames…

Authomator is a great example of an app that would have been so easy to implement function without thinking about design. The developers have scored on both fronts, and made a great looking 2-step authentication utility. And the final word, take a look below at Authomator sat side by side with Google's Authenticator app on Android. I know which one I'll be using from now on.

More information/download Authomator for BlackBerry 10

Reader comments

Manage your 2-step authenticator codes with Authomator and its active frame


Developer here: Verisign Identity Protection uses the same time-based one-time (TOTP) tokens based on RFC 6238. So at its heart, Authomator should support this. However, I haven't been able to test this. If you can e-mail me at support [a@t] pulsecode [d.o.t] ca, I'd be happy to help you out and see if we can get this going.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab

Authomator for BlackBerry 10 -

Developer here: I can assure you that Authomator is very safe! Everything is stored on your device, secured away from prying eyes. None of your personal information is shared with others via Authomator.

You will need to activate two-factor authentication (2FA) on your favourite sites like Gmail and Dropbox. We're working on a few blog posts to help walk people through that process.

If you have any other concerns, don't hesitate to tweet us @Authomator, or e-mailing us.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab

Authomator for BlackBerry 10 -

I was waiting on this app since it was mentioned in the previous post about 2-factor authentication. The wait was worth it! It's a simple app, has a utility, and looks good too! The extra fee was $3 I think, I happily paid it since I don't mind paying for useful apps to support the developer's efforts. It's nice to able to copy and paste the generated code.

As a note, I was able to change my Google account over from my existing BlackBerry setup to the new one with minimal fuss, just had to go through the process. Apparently it invalidates current 2-factor codes from the previous app, but leaves alone the app-specific and one-time codes. Dropbox integration supports the QR code scan, just snap and done! LastPass required the manual process, the app wouldn't recognize the LastPass QR code.

Thanks for your support! Truly grateful for users like yourself, and I'm glad you're finding Authomator useful.

I will investigate why the LastPass QR code didn't work for you. Once I have a solution, I'll let you know.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab

Authomator for BlackBerry 10 -

HorizonXP: First of all: Thanx! for making this! My $3 is on its way to you...

What about backup/restore? I expect that we will have to do quite a few full erases and updates of BB10 over the next year... Will we have to re-enter all the codes every time - as we had to do with the old Authenticator from Google - or will the data be part of BB Link backup?

Last restore I did - BB Link managed to put back all my apps and settings, Except from passwords used in any app...

If this is not possible today - please consider this as a humble feature request :-)

I definitely had already thought about this! I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this while maintaining security. I have a few ideas in mind, so it's definitely on my list!

I have Gmail 2-step verification setup already, but no idea how to setup Authomator to work.

It asks me for 3 things:

Service Name: I put "Gmail", but don't think it matters what you put here
Account details: I put my Google user name
Secret Key: No idea what is required here, but I try to generate an application specific key from Google and use that here, but that doesn't seem to work.

Would be good if Authomator guys provided some step-by-step instructions, at least for some of the most popular services, like Gmail.

Go into your Gmail settings for 2-step and tell it you want to set up an Android mobile app. You're given a QR code to scan, et voila :-) 

Way ahead of you! We're working on a couple of blog posts to do just that, and our goal is to include the tutorials directly in the app in future versions. We'll tweet out a link later today when those posts are live.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab

Authomator for BlackBerry 10 -

I'm not getting this to work at all. First the camera will not recongize the code so i have to type in the 2 step verification code and still i receive no emails. My gmail account keeps on popping up asking for a password. I place in the code but it still does not work. I think you will have to go in more details on your site on how to step this thing up. Do i have to place a code in every time I access the account or is this done automatically from the app. How long does his code last. Do i have to use a new code every time i open my gmail etc etc