PixelBook’s power button now works as a two-factor authentication key


I may be in the minority when it comes to my fond feelings for Google’s Pixelbook, but I really like the Chrome OS-powered laptop — and now, it looks like a new feature is headed to the device.

Two-factor authentication is becoming increasingly popular, whether the security comes in the form of a U2F USB key or a one-time use code setup through an app like Google’s Authenticator. As first reported by 9to5Google, it looks like it’s now possible to use the Pixelbook’s power button to mimic a USB key’s two-factor authentication functionality. The feature was first discussed in a Medium post by Lukas Karlsson.

This means users now have the option to turn the PixelBook’s power button into a two-factor authentication key (U2F) if they’re willing to take a few extra steps and set up Chrome OS’ Developer Channel.

First, download the latest version of Google Chrome and opt into Chrome OS’ Developer Channel — which is a somewhat complicated process outlined here by 9to5Google. Nextenter u2f_flags g2f into a Chrome shell by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T simultaneously. After that step has been completed the U2F feature is now enabled.

9to5Google says that this feature should in theory work with other Chromebooks as well as the Pixelbook, but in the publication’s tests that doesn’t seem to be the case.

It’s likely that at some point in the future the Pixelbook’s two-factor authentifaction feature will get a more wide release.

Source: 9to5Google, Medium (Lukas Karlsson) Via: Android Central