Google two-step authentication on BlackBerry 10

OS 7 BlackBerry devices have a dedicated two-step authentication app built for Gmail, but there’s no such luck on BlackBerry 10. That doesn’t mean you can’t leverage the added security measures Google has to offer, though. Just as with many other apps on BB10, you can still get to what you need but it just takes a bit of added effort. Not to worry - we'll help you sort it out in no time at all.

First off, what is two-step authentication? This video sums it up, really.

Basically, this system enables apps to ask for a second password when available, and when it can’t, you can manually generate a revocable password for applications that use Google to sign in to them. Ultimately, this adds an added level of security to your Google account.


Google 2-step Authentication

Start the process of activating two-step authentication here. This will involve a few things, including sending a verification code via SMS to your BlackBerry, and generating new passwords for approved applications. This could be a tedious process for anyone who uses a lot of Google-connected apps regularly.


Google two-step authentication

Grab Gauth from BlackBerry World. From your 2-step authentication page, click on the set-up link for BlackBerry. This will provide a code which you enter into Gauth to finalize authentication. You’ll now be able to use Gauth to authorize new applications that make use of two-step authentication by using the one-time passcodes it generates. Verification codes can also be sent via SMS to secondary numbers, or printed on a hard copy in case you lose your BlackBerry. 


Google two-step authentication

Remember that part where we mentioned generating new passwords? At this point, you may have noticed that your BlackBerry has been nagging you for a new one for your Gmail account. Click on Manage Application-Specific Passwords from the 2-step authentication page, and scroll way down to the bottom. 

There’s a section here for generating passwords. First, type in the name to go with the password (in this case, something like “BlackBerry”). Then you’ll be served up a fresh password which you can now plunk into the BlackBerry prompt - don’t worry about including space. Also, you’ll only need to enter this password once, so don’t worry about trying to remember it.


While this method treats Gmail on BlackBerry as little more than another app with its own randomly-generated password, rather than leveraging the full two-step authentication method Gmail has to offer, it’s an added level of security that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. At the very least, you can use third-party BlackBerry 10 apps to enable access to new Google-authenticated services on the fly.