The YubiKey NEO now works with applicable iOS apps, thanks to Yubico’s new SDK.
The YubiKey is finally coming to the iPhone.
On Tuesday, Yubico began offering a software development kit that can integrate its popular USB security keys with iOS apps. The SDK will specifically let app developers build support for the YubiKey NEO product, which is designed to work for mobile devices.
That’s good news for iPhone owners looking to add extra protection to their online accounts. Yubico’s security keys have long worked on PC and Mac via a USB port, but on mobile, they’ve only worked for Android until now.
The delay was due to Apple’s reluctance to add support for Near Field Communication (NFC). Android smartphones and Yubico adopted it early on as a way to wirelessly send one-time passcodes from the security key to the handset. However, Apple only added NFC support to its mobile operating system last year with iOS 11 and to iPhones with iPhone 7.
As a result, Yubico’s SDK will let developers rapidly integrate the YubiKey NEO to iOS apps on iPhone 7 devices and higher.
Password manager LastPass is the first iOS app to include support for the YubiKey NEO. Registering a new key with the app appears to be easy; simply place the key on your iPhone and the LastPass app will detect it.
The YubiKey NEO costs $50, making it a bit pricey. Users looking for free alternatives to better account security should consider activating two-factor authentication, which is usually found in the settings page of many online services. The added protection will require anyone trying to log in to provide a password and secondary login approval, like a special code sent to your mobile phone.