WhatsApp has been working, for some time, to bring a host of new features on the app for both iOS and Android smartphone users.
After the recently reported development on the to-be-launched FaceID and TouchID (that aren’t available yet) feature for iOS users. WhatsApp has finally started to work on the Authentication feature on Android.
The Facebook-owned instant messaging service is reportedly working on a fingerprint authentication feature to protect its Android users’ chats from being seen by others.
According to WABetaInfo, a fan site that tests new WhatsApp features early, the feature is currently under development and disabled by default in the Android 2.19.3 beta version.
The alleged screenshots posted on the WABetaInfo website show that the rumoured fingerprint authentication feature will be available within the app under Settings > Account > Privacy.
Once you enable the fingerprint feature, WhatsApp will be completely sealed off from prying eyes. However, if your phone is already protected by an authentication method, this feature may not excite you.
“The user will need to authenticate his/her 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 says.
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 on their phones.
Gadgets Africa POV
It does sound like the process is getting more ‘convenient’ but what it also means is that WhatsApp will be picking up your biometric information. It will also be very interesting to see the competition third-party locking apps will face once the feature is officially rolled out.