Microsoft Authenticator seems to be pivoting from a login tool to a general account security app. Version 5.9.0 for iOS adds an interesting feature that will alert users of suspicion sign-ins and ‘other activity'.
It's unclear what comes under the umbrella of other activity, but we expect notifications such as password and security question changes. The move makes a lot of sense, providing users with avenues other than their possibly compromised email and ensuring they see it as quickly as possible.
Microsoft says it's “part of our effort to provide the best protection for your account and keep you updated,” and it should be a great help in that regard. However, it's not currently clear if users can disable the notifications, which could be annoying if you log in from different locations often.
A Newfound Focus
Whatever your thoughts, this update does signal a renewed focus. For close to a year, Microsoft has been updating the app often, but simply citing, “We're always working on new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements.”
Essentially, there were no major features for some time, but that seems to have changed in the past few months. In April, Microsoft finally added a backup and recovery feature, making it much easier to switch devices.
With two new features in three months, the team is doing what it can to correct its poor rating on the app store. With hope, we'll see more features like this that promote a secure environment.