Garmin Connect app for Android and SMS authentication

A recent update to the Garmin Connect app for Android resets user information on your smartphone and adds SMS authentication. After the app update, launching the Garmin Connect app requires users to log in using their Garmin account and go through a now-familiar SMS authentication process.

Unfortunately, the developers haven't quite perfected the 2-factor authentication process for the app. You are prompted to provide a mobile number after you input your username and password for the Garmin service. However, once the SMS from Garmin is received and you dutifully check the SMS, the app logs you out and you have to sign in again, which means you go through the same mobile number authentication screen in a loop.

When you switch to a different app, say the Messages app for Android to take note of Garmin's SMS, the Garmin Connect app automatically logs you out your already inputted username and password. The developers probably did this to add an unnecessary layer of security to the service, but it's not intuitive and inconvenient particularly since even paging through apps logs you off and you have to sign in again until you successfully input the SMS authentication code.

The SMS message language for the authentication code is customized based on the network provider of the mobile number you input.

For users to get around this obvious flaw, sign in with your username and password on the Garmin Connect app. Input your mobile number to receive the SMS. Check the SMS and copy the authentication code (or write it down). Log in once again to the Garmin Connect service using the app, and then input the authentication code from the SMS. As long as the authentication code hasn't expired, you should be good to go.


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