Bitwarden is coming to Apple Watch to provide an easy way to access TOTP codes

Dec 21, 2022

Bitwarden has announced that it is bringing its app to the Apple Watch, the beta program is now open for testers. The catch is that TOTP support in the app is only available for Premium users.

Bitwarden is coming to Apple Watch
Bitwarden on Apple Watch enters beta

Bitwarden for Apple Watch is not a full-fledged password manager like the iOS version, it will only display time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) that are used for 2-factor authentication. According to a support page on the company's website, users will need to have the beta version of the Bitwarden app on their iPhone. This will automatically install the companion app on the Apple Watch, but you can manually install it too.

Open the Bitwarden app on your iPhone, and navigate to the Settings > Account section. You should see an option that says "Connect Apple Watch", tap on it to enable it. This will allow the mobile app to sync the data with the app on your watch.

Depending on your device's security, you may need to enter your PIN to access the app on the Apple Watch, after which you can select the account that you need the TOTP for from the vault. You can use the search box to find an item quickly, and tap on it. The watch will display the corresponding TOTP code along with a timer, which you can then use in order to proceed with the 2-step verification on the website that you wanted to log on. Essentially, it is another way to use the Bitwarden Authenticator.

Note: If you don't have a secure passcode enabled for your watch, it will be in its unlocked state. This means, anyone could use it to access your TOTP codes. Users are also advised to enable wrist detection on the watch, so it locks itself when you remove it.

While it is not as convenient as tapping the approve button on the Microsoft Authentication, I think Bitwarden's app on the Apple Watch can still be useful when you don't want to take your phone from the desk. It doesn't really cut out the other steps, does it? You will still need to unlock the device, open the app, search for the account, and then view the code.

Bitwarden app for Apple Watch TOTP codes

Users who are interested in testing Bitwarden on their Apple Watch, can sign up for the app's Testflight program. You can find more information about it at the Bitwarden community forums, there are limited seats available. There is a feedback thread where people can reporting bugs that they encounter, share your experience with other users, and to learn about further developments related to the app.

A Bitwarden employee responded positively when users asked whether the app would be available for other smartwatches. The company is exploring its options to bring the password manager to other platforms, including Google's Wear OS.

Interestingly, the news about Bitwarden for Apple Watch comes just a week after Microsoft confirmed that it is discontinuing its Authenticator for watchOS. That's a nice way to get more users on board, I suppose.

Bitwarden is coming to Apple Watch, beta program is now open for testers
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Bitwarden is coming to Apple Watch, beta program is now open for testers
Bitwarden password manager is coming to the Apple Watch. The company has announced a beta program to test the app's TOTP capabilities.
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