Part of life on the internet in 2020 is the use of OTPs, also known as one time passwords. The feature is a standard protocol for 2-factor authentications and is honestly my go-to method for double-securing my logins. In case you aren’t familiar, the process is pretty simple. On accounts you choose to lock down under a second level of authentication, the service sends a text message with a code (usually numeric) to the phone you registered as belonging to you after you’ve logged in with your main password. You get the text and enter the randomly-generated number that was sent to you and then you gain access to the account.
What’s the problem, then? Well, if you are anything like me, those OTP messages just keep adding up in your messages inbox. So many services use this authentication method these days that it is nothing for me to have a dozen random OTP messages in my Messages app at any given time. Eventually, once I’m sick of looking at it all, I’ll go through and clean those all out and get my inbox back to a normal level of sanity.
Google is on the job
In their excellent Messages app, Google is ready to roll out a feature that will help tame all those random OTP messages for you: no assistance needed. According to XDA, in a recent tear down of the latest Google Messages APK, there are a few strings that indicate an auto-cleanup service is on the way from Google.
<string name="otp_auto_deletion_promo_banner_body_text">Auto-delete OTPs after 24hrs</string> <string name="otp_auto_deletion_promo_banner_negative_button_text">No thanks</string> <string name="otp_auto_deletion_promo_banner_positive_button_text">Continues</string> <string name="otp_content_description">This message is categorized as a one-time password</string>
It is pretty clear from these strings that an upcoming update will give users a prompt asking them if they would like to opt in to auto-delete OTPs after 24 hours in their inbox. We’d assume that once a user opts into this service, Google Messages will automatically delete messages that are clearly just OTPs that can be discarded.
It is a simple upgrade, but a much-needed change that I’m very glad to see Google implement. After all, the progress of moving everyone over to RCS Chat via Google Messages is clearly taking far longer than Google intended and is going according to the timeline we all honestly expected. It will be a long time before most of us make a move to have Messages as our primary connection platform, but that doesn’t mean Google doesn’t need to keep making upgrades that make the experience better. Texting is a primary part of our collective communication, so seeing small updates that make life a bit simpler are always welcome in my book.