Popular messaging service WhatsApp is supposedly testing a fingerprint lock feature on the Android version of the app for added security.
According to WABetaInfo, the feature was spotted in alpha mode for WhatsApp for Android (version 2.19.3). The article also states that the feature will be available first for devices running on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) or later, before it’s rolled out to the iOS platform.
However it could possibly take months before the feature is officially launched for all Android users, WABetaInfo says. The website adds that the fingerprint lock is a blanket lock on the entire WhatsApp app, and not for specific chats or contacts within the app.
Users will need to register their fingerprint on their device to use the feature, or if their fingerprint scanner is broken, they could use other device credentials – such as a PIN code – to lock the app, the article adds.
Users will need to authenticate their identity to open WhatsApp from the app icon or even from the notification bar.
WABetaInfo also claims that the Facebook-owned WhatsApp is reportedly planning to integrate Face ID as well as Touch ID to its iOS version, since the newest iPhone models (from iPhone X and later) don’t support fingerprint authentication.
However, the article adds that this feature is still in development and will not be available to iOS users anytime soon.
The chat app already uses end-to-end encryption for protection, and this would act as an additional layer of security.