Fingerprint authentication will be required for users to open the app
The feature is current under development
It will protect the entire app and not specific conversations
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is reportedly working on a fingerprint authentication feature to protect its users’ chats from being seen by others. The authentication, once enabled, will be required for users to open the app.
According to WABetaInfo, a fan site that tests new WhatsApp features early, the feature is current under development, and disabled by default in the Android 2.19.3 beta version.
“After working to implement Face ID and Touch ID features 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 on Tuesday.
The fingerprint authentication feature will be available within the app under Settings > Account > Privacy.
Once you enable the fingerprint feature, WhatsApp will be completely protected from others to be seen. Of course, if your phone is already protected by an authentication method, it’s a little redundant.
“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,” the report added.
This feature would be available in future for any Android user (and later for iOS users too) having Android Marshmallow and newer operating systems and a fingerprint sensor, the report adds.