Smart Card Utility FAQ

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Here are some commonly asked questions about Smart Card Utility.

Does Smart Card Utility work with O365?

Yes! Teams may require some special configuration, but you can authenticate to all the O365 apps.

When I switch between the Smart Card Utility App and another app, the Bluetooth reader turns off. Why is that?

Only one app can use the reader at a time. After connecting to the Bluetooth reader in the Smart Card Utility app, the app will completely disconnect from reader when exiting the app. This causes the reader to turn off. Simply tap the button on the bottom of the reader to turn it back on. Once Safari connects to the reader via our extension, it will remain connected until the reader turns off.

Why does the Bluetooth Reader turn off sometimes?

In order to conserve battery, the Bluetooth reader will turn off when not connected for more than 3 minutes. In this happens, simply tap the button on the bottom to turn on the reader. Then refresh the webpage and authentication will proceed.

There is also a setting in Smart Card Utility to turn off this behavior. More information can be found here.

Why can I only use Smart Card Utility Reader with Safari? Why can’t I use another browser?

Smart Card Utility Utility uses an extension to iOS that makes the certificates on your smart card available to all apps to do an authentication. However, only Safari currently enables this feature. We have escalated the issue with the folks that develop Chrome for iOS and hope they will support it in the future.

I get an SSL error when trying to authenticate to a website. How do I fix this?

See Smart Card Utility: Troubleshooting Website Issues for more information.

I cannot access Microsoft Teams. How do I get it to work?

Some organizations only allow access to the web version of teams and iOS tries to redirect to the app. To resolve this, see the Accessing Microsoft Teams on iPhone and iPad With Smart Card Utility for DoD Customers article for how to access Teams.

How long does the battery last with the Bluetooth reader?

The battery lasts for about 15 days with normal usage. It takes about an hour to charge up to full capacity.

Can I use the USB-C, Lightning, or Bluetooth reader with my Mac or PC?

Yes! Lightning Reader utilizes the Micro-USB port on the side of the reader when connecting to your Mac or PC. You will need to use the Micro-USB or USB-C connector on the Bluetooth reader to connect to your Mac or PC. If you have a USB-C port on your computer, you may need a USB-C to USB-A adapter (not provided) to connect to the computer.

Does the Smart Card Utility App work with other readers?

Smart Card Utility App enables smart card authentication only on supported readers from Twocanoes Software. If you have an iPhone and iOS 16, the app may be able to read the certificates and allow you to verify and change your PIN.

What do the lights on the bottom of the Bluetooth reader indicate?

The green indicator light (second from the left) indicates power, while the blue light (third from the left) indicates Bluetooth connection. When the blue light is flashing, the reader is searching for a Bluetooth connection. When the green indicator light is flashing, the contents of the inserted smart card are being accessed. See the Bluetooth Reader Light Indicators for more information.

Is there a full user guide?

See the Smart Card Utility for iOS & iPadOS User Guide.

Can I use the Twocanoes Smart Card Readers on Android?

We do not currently support Android, but we are investigating support.

Are there any differences between what I can access with the different readers?

Citrix workspaces are only accessible using Twocanoes’ USB-C or Lightning readers. For more information, please see Using Smart Card Authentication with Citrix Workspace on iPhone and iPad.

Does the reader work with Citrix?

Twocanoes’s USB-C or Lightning readers can be used to access Citrix workspaces. For more information, please see Using Smart Card Authentication with Citrix Workspace on iPhone and iPad.

Can I use the Smart Card Utility to for S/MIME encrypted email?

If email is accessed via a web interface, there is no support for S/MIME or encrypted emails. We are investigating possible solutions.

Can I use the Smart Card Utility to sign PDFs?

We do not currently support signing PDFs, but were are working with other PDF app vendors to support our readers. Stay tuned.

How do I get support? I want to talk to someone!

We want to talk to you and make sure you have the best experience with the app. Please send an email to You can also schedule a meeting.

The reader is prompting me to select a certificate often. How do I prevent this?

It is recommended to only insert a single certificate so Safari will only have a single choice and won’t prompt to select a certificate. Go into Smart Card Utility and remove all configurations, then select Reader Certificates and only insert slot 9a (PIV authentication)

Do I need to install the DoD certificate profile every time I insert a certificate?

The DoD certificate profile only needs to be updated on January 1st of each year.

If I insert my CAC certificates with Smart Card Utility into iOS, do I still need to have my card with me to authenticate?

Yes. The CAC is what actually does the authentication, not the certificate. The certificate helps to identify who is authenticating, but the actual authentication is performed by the CAC. A private key on the CAC is used to authenticate and cannot be copied from the card. For more information please see the Article on this topic.