WhatsApp beta for Android provides fingerprint unlocking support. WhatsApp for iOS added a Screen Lock feature back in February, which, if enabled, would prompt you to authenticate using Touch ID whenever you wish to enter it. Now, many months later, the same thing finally happened to Android, though at the moment the feature is only part of the latest WhatsApp beta construction.
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For beta testers, WhatsApp 2.19.221 is accessible and if you have it, you can go to Settings> Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock to allow the new function. Use your fingerprint to authenticate each time you want to launch the app after you turn it on. If WhatsApp is locked, you can still answer calls. It is not entirely certain that you will see the new setting if you have this version, as it may also be connected to a server-side switch.
WhatsApp beta for Android provides fingerprint unlocking support
You can set the automatic lock timer – it can happen immediately after 1 minute or 30 minutes. So if you choose anything but “immediately,” you’ll get a certain amount of time from your last WhatsApp use during which the app stays ‘unlocked’ and won’t need a fingerprint again.
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Finally, you also get a toggle for displaying message contents and the sender in notifications in the same section of Settings. If you use the WhatsApp widget and enable Fingerprint Lock, the widget will not display anything because by default the content is hidden.
Since WhatsApp uses official Android biometric authentication APIs, you can be assured that your fingerprint data will not be sent to Facebook (its owner). Again, that’s pretty much to be expected, as data resides in a secure element on your handset alone, not even on Google.
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Where this will make it to the stable WhatsApp version is unclear, but hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later. Android device owners have been waiting enough to make the iOS jump for this feature.