Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched ‘mAadhaar’ for Android users. UIDAI has termed this app as the ‘official’ mobile app where users can carry a digital copy of their Aadhaar cards on their smartphone devices. This means that the users will no longer need to carry physical copies of their Aadhar cards with them all the time.
The app is already available on Google Play Store for Android users to install and try out. UIDAI has not launched the iOS version at the time of writing but we can expect it to launch shortly. The app comes with a number of features as outlined in the app description. First and foremost, the app allows users with an interface where users can download their Aadhaar profiles on their smartphones.
— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) July 18, 2017
The app also comes with ‘Biometric locking’ and ‘Biometric unlocking’ options so that users can secure their biometric data by locking or unlocking it. The unlock functionality is temporary and you will need to disable the locking system to ensure that the biometric data is not locked if you lose access to your smartphone. mAadhaar uses TOTP or Time-based One-Time-Password which can be used in place of the SMS-based OTP for Aadhaar-based authentication. Users can also update their Aadhar profile and confirm that the updates they requested have been done in the database.
UIDAI has also made it easier for users to share their eKYC data and the QR code of their Aadhaar card using the ‘mAadhaar’ app. One thing to note here is that the users need to have a registered mobile number to use the app and the ones without a registered mobile number will need to go to the nearest ‘Mobile Update End Point’ or ‘Enrolment Centre’ to get their mobile number updated with their Aadhaar number. During the app registration, the app will ask you to create an app login password and this password is required while taking any action inside the app.
The app will authenticate your Aadhaar number using the SMS-based One-Time-Password. The interesting thing about this authentication process is that it does not let you enter the OTP manually and you will need to have the SIM of the registered mobile number in your mobile at the time of registration. You can't use the mAadhaar app on any other smartphone that does not have the SIM of the registered mobile number. The app will detect the OTP automatically and will insert it in the field inside the app so that you can use the 'Verify' button on the bottom to complete the authentication.
We tried to install the mAadhaar app and authenticate Aadhaaar number on a second smartphone at the time of writing but it seems that the servers are hammered. The app was unable to verify the OTP and kept showing 'Unable to get response. Please try after sometime'. Last but not the least, the app will not run on your Android device if you have rooted your device. The app exits as soon as it detects that the smartphone has been rooted stating 'security purpose'.