It’s an extra step, but it’s one that significantly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone. A hacker would need access to both of these factors to gain access to your account.
That important security enhancement is garnering a lot of attention. What I find interesting is the point that only got a sentence’s mention.
You can also set up one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to your account from non-browser based applications that are designed to only ask for a password, and cannot prompt for the code.