Google has announced improvements to its Advanced Protection Program that will allow users of Apple’s native iOS Mail, Calendar, and Contacts to enrol in the program and and access Google’s services without having to resort to using Google’s own iOS apps. Google’s Advanced Protection Program is designed to provide a very high level of account security for users such as journalists, activists, executives, and politicians, who are likely to have a higher risk of targeted attacks against their accounts, although there are no restrictions on who can enrol in the program.
To protect users from accidentally sharing sensitive data with fraudulent apps or web services, Google’s Advanced Protection Program limits users to using only a very small list of specifically whitelisted apps to access Google’s services such as Gmail and Google Calendar. When Google originally rolled the service out last fall, iOS users choosing to opt for this higher level of security were basically limited to using only Google’s own first-party apps, however with this week’s update, users can now choose to allow Apple’s native iOS apps to access Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts data, and Google has also promised to continue to expand the list of trusted applications going forward. Users signing in using a native iOS app will be taken through a couple of extra steps if they have opted for Advanced Protection, but once configured, the apps should function as before, and users will still benefit from other Advanced Protection features, such as requiring a physical security key for web-based access and adding extra steps to the account recovery process to prevent social engineering attacks.