WhatsApp tests facial unlock for Android devices

WhatsApp is beta testing more more ways to unlock the app, starting with facial recognition for Android devices. — AFP

WhatsApp is planning to give users more ways to unlock the app, including facial recognition for Android devices.

WABetaInfo reported that the current Fingerprint Lock feature would be upgraded to Biometric Lock.

Fingerprint Lock stops others from accessing a user’s WhatsApp chat messages, by requiring a user to verify their identity using the same fingerprint data used to unlock their smartphone.

It added that Biometric Lock would enable facial recognition and potentially other unique identifiers.

Though the screenshot of the new feature did not explain what other “unique identifiers” were, these could potentially include other existing smartphone unlocking features such as iris and voice recognition.

Like the current Fingerprint Lock feature, Biometric Lock would also allow users to choose when the app would be locked again – either immediately, after one minute or 30 minutes.

Users could also toggle whether they want incoming message previews to be readable when WhatsApp is locked.

WABetaInfo said the latest Beta version was also testing another feature: Join Missed Calls.

This feature would allow users to join a group call later, as long as the call was still ongoing.

Currently users need to pick up within a certain timeframe from when the first user initiates the call in order to participate in the group call.

WABetaInfo said these features were currently under development, although it did not specify when it would be made available for all users.

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