Facebook-owned mobile chat app WhatsApp will soon add fingerprint and face authentication, according to beta releases of the company’s iOS and Android apps.
Originally spotted by WABetaInfo – a site dedicated to exploring forthcoming WhatsApp features – recent developmental updates to both the Android and iOS versions of WhatsApp have included a dedicated authentication section, featuring the option to toggle biometric security on or off.
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Enabling this, in theory, will prompt your device to ask for face or fingerprint authorisation each and every time you open WhatsApp, be it from the app icon itself, or from a notification.
Touch ID and Face ID support (based on your iOS device of choice) was first spotted back in late October 2018, while version 2.19.3 of the Android Beta, which WABetaInfo combed over this month, sported similar functionality, designed to work on devices running Android Marshmallow or newer.
The site notes that despite being part of a beta release, the authentication feature, in particular, is still in early alpha and isn’t readily available to test right now.
However, based on the release structure it looks as though Android users are more likely to get access to this feature ahead of iOS users when the update does eventually see a commercial release (even though there’s no clear time frame on when this might be).
Despite lacking certain features found on notable rival messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp currently stands as the most popular offering globally, with some 1.5 billion monthly active users (according to the most recent report compiled by Statista).
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The addition of biometric security may be just the start, with the potential for p2p payments and more thanks to the enhanced security that fingerprint or face authorisation would bring.
What do you think? Is biometric security a WhatsApp feature you can’t wait to use? Let us know on social via @TrustedReviews.