Whatsapp has rolled out a unique feature on their beta testing version. The latest update includes loads of new features and changelogs. Among them, the noticeable one is the fingerprint unlock feature.
It typically works like every other third-party security apps out there in play store. Normal Android users (people who didn’t sign up for beta testing) are expected to get this feature by end of this month.
We noticed that on almost every tech forum, people are concerned about this update for iOS devices. Some even think that this is exclusive for Android users. But the truth is Whatsapp rolled out this feature on the iOS way back in February this year.
It is a usual practice of the company to prioritize iOS when it comes to updating or introducing new features or it can be the inefficiency barrier as there are a vast number of models in the Android platform.
iPhone users have this feature for nearly half a year now. They can access the app through FaceID or TouchID whichever is compatible.
Let’s come back to Android. Whatsapp is testing this fingerprint unlock feature on its beta version 2.19.221. But some devices did not get the feature in this version but received it in the next update of version 2.19.222.
As of now, the beta program lobby is full, it means no new member can sign-up for this feature.
One of the other noticeable features on this update is an option which leaves the user to choose whether to “Show contents in notification” or “Hide messages in the notification preview”.
The fingerprint unlocks feature is disabled by default. You can enable it by going to WhatsApp Settings > Accounts > Privacy> Fingerprint Lock. This feature is only available to smartphones which run on Android M or later versions. After enabling, you can choose between ‘immediately’, ‘after 1 minute’ or ‘after 30 minutes of inactivity.
On iOS, there is only a 15 minutes time interval option, after which the app will ask for Touch ID authentication (or Face ID).
Q: Worried about your sharing your biometric data?
A: WABetaInfo (WhatsApp beta information) states that WhatsApp uses Android APIs, and the authentication process is managed by the Android system, so no worries.