The current implementation of SMS authentication with apps is definitely imperfect. When an app needs to verify your phone number, it’s basically stuck with one of two options: asking you to manually check your SMS messages to find a code it sent, or asking for total access to your SMS messages to find it itself. This new API will essentially allow access in between those two ends of the spectrum — letting the app find the code without getting access to everything.
This new little API should make things better for everyone. Apps will have an easy option for finding those codes, and users won’t have to grant apps — especially those that they may only want to use once or twice — access to see their entire SMS inbox. And as a bonus, the new API will make it so that you — the end user — won’t have these SMS verification codes cluttering up your inbox.
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