Smartphones and computing devices have never been this important. An essential aspect of using these devices is to sign in to your apps and websites. Users’ sense of security on the Internet is based on passwords and their usage. However, this dependency on passwords also brings up the issue of user authentication.
User authentication is the process by which an application verifies users’ identity. This involves two steps wherein first, the authentication confirms if an account exists for the user, and secondly, if they have permission to access the application. Hence, user authentication plays a significant role in boosting the security of an application.
When you are using a new Android device, there are numerous apps that you have to sign in to use. In such cases, most users opt to manage their credentials. The combination of these two aspects can be a frustrating experience for users. This is because they have to remember different credentials for each app. This friction can result in numerous users not reengaging with specific apps on their new devices.
The answer to the challenges above is simple — Block Store. So, let’s take a look at what Block Store exactly is?
As mentioned, most users manage login credentials themselves when using a new Android device. Unfortunately, this process can be painstaking and often leads to a subpar user experience. Here is where Block Store enters the frame. It is a library supported by Google Play Services that aims to provide applications with a new method of saving user credentials without the security risk associated with saving user passwords.
Essentially, Block Store is an application programming interface (API) that allows applications to record and store user credentials. Block Store enables these applications to re-authenticate users seamlessly when they sign in through a new device.
Configure Your App
Note: For the latest Google Play Services dependencies, please check Google Play Services dependencies
When a user signs into your application, Block Store allows you to generate and save an authentication token for that user. This is done with the help of calling setBytes() using StoreBytesData.Builder.
This allows the application to store user credentials to the source device. Once the token is saved with Block Store, it can be encrypted and stored locally on the device. Users can also store this end-to-end encrypted token on Google Cloud.
The following code snippet shows how to save the authentication token:
Take a look at the following code snippet to understand how to save the authentication token:
When the user returns to your application on a new device, Google Play Services verifies the user and retrieves the Block Store data. No additional permission is required since the user has already agreed to restore app data as part of the restore flow.
The token retrieval from the Block Store can be requested through retrieveBytes(). After the token is retrieved, it can keep the user signed in on the new device. If no token exists for the application, it will return empty bytes in onSuccessListener(). In this case, the application can redirect the user for authentication flow and call setBytes() to save the token post authentication.
Take a look at the following code snippet to understand how to retrieve the authentication token:
If you have any questions about Block Store, you can take a look at this documentation. Hoping you have enough insights to get started.
It can be challenging to develop applications, especially with the added concern of app security, authentication, user experience, etc. Hence, it is an excellent idea to rope in experts to handle that aspect of your business.
Mutual Mobile has been in the development business for over 12 years and has launched over 700 projects. App development is one of our primary services, and our performance speaks for itself. So, reach out to us for app development, sit back, and allow us to chart a growth towards success.