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