Turning down the in-app passcode feature in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides on iOS

In the past, we’ve heard feedback that customers want more security for the files on their iOS devices, which led us to enable an in-app passcode feature specifically for the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides iOS apps. Over time, however, we’ve come to learn that it’s not just the content within Google Drive that’s valuable to you. Your contacts, calendars, and emails—it’s important that all of this is secure as well.

As a result, we began putting particular emphasis on supporting mobile device management (MDM) on iOS. For example, recent launches give G Suite admins greater visibility and control over enterprise-deployed iOS devices. In fact, with MDM, admins can enforce a passcode on all iOS devices that access corporate data, and they can wipe account data on a device if it’s compromised.

Owing to this increased investment in security on iOS devices, we’re ending support for the in-app passcode feature in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides on iOS devices signed in with G Suite accounts. Support will end on December 4th, 2017, and we’ll remove the feature entirely no earlier than January 8th, 2018.

We highly recommend that administrators use MDM to deploy passcode requirements at the system level on all of their iOS devices by following these instructions. This will provide better security than the in-app passcode feature in two key ways:

  • These passcode policies protect all of the content on your managed devices, including photos, contacts, and other content besides Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides content.
  • These passcode policies give you more control over passcode type, strength, expiration, and failure cases. See this Help Center article for more details.

Beginning on December 4th, 2017, any user signed in with a G Suite account who has this feature will see a message asking them to either acknowledge and turn off the functionality, or to ignore the message temporarily. Beginning on January 8th, 2018, all new versions of the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides iOS apps will no longer contain in-app passcode functionality.

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