Your Google Authenticator one-time codes are no longer trapped if you lose the device that stores them. An update to Authenticator for Android and iOS now stores code backups in your Google account. You won’t have to reauthorize all your linked apps (or scan a QR code) just because you got a new phone.
Once you have the latest version of the app, just follow the prompts to sign in to Google and enable sync. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure your Google account is secure to prevent intruders from misusing the Authenticator.
Google is still pushing for passwordless logins to use technology like access keys. However, it also recognizes that people still rely on one-time codes. The Authenticator update promises to reduce some of the headache of using those codes until you’re ready to move to another system. This could also encourage the use of two-factor authentication if you were previously afraid of what would happen if your phone was lost or stolen.
This is not a new concept. Apps like Microsoft Authenticator also have cloud backups. However, it is no secret that the Google tool is popular. Cloud syncing should make a tangible difference, especially when many apps can use Authenticator as an alternative to the conventional password.