There is much rejoicing about the iPhone based authentication recently released, and why not? Its a free version of the keychain. I said previously:
This little app has the potential to help every one of the millions of Blizzard clients, and if done well will help change our expectation of online services.
But they’ve got it 90% right. I tested the sign-up process and have found two things that I don’t like.
1) You have to change the login on your wow account to the email address of your battle-net account. This is darn stupid.
So the user goes from a login which is totally unassociated from anything, which is highly secure as it would be very hard to guess; to an email address. Email addresses are so very easy to grab.
Even worse if you stay “highly paranoid” then you create a new battle-net account to do this, but then you’re creating yet another email account. BattleNet needs to add a account handle pronto, so we can login using that.
2) Its a one or other thing. God damn it, I wanted both. Both gives redundency, adds protection and easy of use. Having to pick either is only thinking about the short term “ohh, wow look” factor, not how good this could be in the future.
Now these are not show stoppers, so this is real nitpicking. But hey, I’m a cake and eat it too kind of guy.
So now we have a choice. You can use one or the other, never both. And to move from one to the other requires the one you currently have. So this is in no way a back-up auth system for when either your iPhone battery dies, or your wife takes the car keys.
To Blizzard’s credit I said it would cost money to download from iTunes, and its free. That is a huge positive.