Facebook-owned WhatsApp Messenger has reportedly submitted the beta version of its next update that supports an in-app browser. The feature, however, is still under development and has been disabled by default.
WhatsApp version 2.19.74 was spotted to feature an in-app browser every time a user tried to open a link on the messenger, WABetainfo reported on Friday.
“If you choose to use the in-app browser when it will be available in future, you should not worry because WhatsApp or Facebook would not be able to access your search history because the feature uses an Android Application Programming Interface (API), so everything is managed by the system,” the report said.
The feature is also being developed to detect unsafe pages using the “Safe Browsing” feature that was added to Android 8.1 last year. WhatsApp will inform the user when it detects a page infected with malicious content.
“In the current stage of development, WhatsApp doesn’t allow to natively make screenshots or video captures while using the in-app browser: reasons are unknown and we don’t know if this will change before the release of the feature,” the report noted.
The feature is not available as of now and requires Android 4.1 or higher to function.
“WhatsApp is intentioned to enable this feature for everyone, but this is great news that confirms their interest for the Android platform,” the report added. The beta version is available for user-testing through the Google Play Beta Programme.
WhatsApp is rapidly adding features in order to give users an all-in-one experience and to resist users from migrating to another messenger app. Recently, it was reported that WhatsApp was blocking users who were using an unofficial messenger app. WhatsApp put out a detailed FAQ on its website, where it has mentioned steps for users to migrate from unofficial like GB WhatsApp and WhatsApp Plus to the official Android app so they can have their accounts restored.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. To protect the privacy and security of their account, we strongly recommend users only download WhatsApp from official app stores or from our website. We are continuing to step up our enforcement against imposter WhatsApp services to help curb abuse and keep WhatsApp users safe,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement, as reported by The Indian Express.