At work we have to use Google Authenticator for certain services. Sometimes it’s really annoying to have to have to use an iPhone app. But these days we have Apple Silicon, so fixed!
Well, not quite. Unfortunately, Google Authenticator seems to be one of these pesky apps that blocks downloads on a Mac. So is there an alternative app that I could run on my Mac to do what Google Authenticator achieves to satisfy our borderline paranoid IT security folks?
Authy. Or any of a dozen other TOTP code generators. They are all implementing the IETF standard for TOTP codes (RFC 6238), and most of them shouldn’t have any problem running if you install them on a Mac.
But doing this may run afoul of your IT department. They may explicitly want you to take out your phone in order to generate the code, because authentication will require the person logging in to have physical possession of your phone and its login credentials (making it a true second factor, not just a second password).
Nah, it’s bogus. I have to use it on my phone to connect my phone to certain services. There’s no second possession involved there. If they tolerate me using it that way on my phone, I’ll use it the same way on my Mac. And if Google doesn’t want to play ball I’ll gladly take somebody else’s app.
I wonder what the simplest and most bare-bones app is to do this. I came across Authenticator on the MAS which is simple and free (and works), but I wonder if there’s even simpler apps where I just get the code displayed behind a menu bar widget. I’m really looking to make this monkey business as transparent as absolutely possible.
The OTP Auth app I mentioned in that thread (which is the one that I use) has a native Mac app. It’s not free, though. Authy is also available as a native Mac app, which o believe is not a catalyst clone of the iPad app.
Step Two is very minimalist and nice. Free too. It would be nice if there were a way to relegate it to the menu bar. Authenticator has that, but it’s broken in another way. It launches a dock icon whenever you click on the menu bar item with no option to turn that off (like eg. Maestral).