It means users will be able to avoid unlocking their phone, providing fingerprint authentication, or entering a pin. The functionality is available on all Microsoft accounts and Azure AD, but support for other services may come soon.
The feature was previously available in beta at v6.0 for Testflight users, but this marks its general release. With it, comes a bump to version 6.1, though Microsoft has not revealed what has been adjusted. According to Microsoft, the app came about via customer request:
“We heard our customers loud and clear—they want support for the Microsoft Authenticator app on Apple Watch,” said Alex Simons, director of program management, Microsoft identity division. “So, that's why I'm thrilled to announce we are starting to roll out…the Microsoft Authenticator companion app for Apple Watch.”
Android Support Incoming?
Traditionally, Microsoft has provided more features to Android users due to its open nature. Its Your Phone app is one example, as is Microsoft Launcher. As a result, it's interesting to see Apple watches get the feature before Android ones.
However, when you look at the statistics, it makes sense. The Apple Watch consistently makes over half of all smartwatch sales and has shipped 8 million a year. Comparatively, Android watches are in a bit of slump, with everyone waiting for Snapdragon's Wear 3100 chipset.
The previous chipset, Wear 2100, is now two-years-old, and not on par with iOS. With its new release, Snapdragon is promising up to two days of battery life. It's likely Microsoft would wait for a new batch of watches until it works on a release.
Either way, you can grab the latest version of the iOS app below to start the setup process:
[appbox appstore 983156458?mt=8]