Whatsapp is reportedly introducing a fingerprint authentication feature to its app as a part of the privacy update. Users can register their fingerprint in order to apply the biometrics privacy to the app. Once enabled, the authentication would require users to apply their fingers on the fingerprint scanner of the phone in order to open the app.
There are a few apps that already provide this type of privacy to mobile apps, but with Whatsapp’s own integrated fingerprint authentication, you won’t need a third party app to lock your Whatsapp chats.
The Facebook-owned chat messenger is reportedly bringing a similar feature to iPhones as well. Although in the case of iPhones, the feature will support two biometric authentications: Face ID and Touch ID. Android users, however, will only get fingerprint authentication because of many Android phones not supporting facial recognition.
WABetaInfo, a fan site that tests new Whatsapp features prior to their release, reported that this new feature is currently under development, and is disabled by default in the Android 2.19.3 beta version.
“After working to implement Touch ID and Face ID feature on iOS (that aren’t available yet for development reasons), WhatsApp has finally started to work on the Authentication feature on Android, using your Fingerprint!”, said the report.
The fingerprint authentication option will be available within the app under Settings>Account>Privacy.
Many users already have an app that they use to lock specific apps on their device. However, with the advent of touch authentication on Whatsapp, users will not have to depend on third-party apps for privacy.
“The user will need to authenticate his identity in order to open WhatsApp (from the app icon, from the notification or from external pickers). It will protect the entire app, so it’s not used to lock specific conversations,” added the report.
According to the report, this feature will come to Android first and later to iPhone. Android users need to have at least the Marshmallow version of Android and a fingerprint scanner on their phone.