WhatsApp is working to add fingerprint authentication to its Android client, as discovered in recent preview versions of the application.
WABetaInfo writes that while the Authentication feature is not available in beta build 2.19.3, it is something that the WhatsApp development team is working on, with the goal of making it available for users at some point in the near future.
Basically, this feature would allow Android users to lock access to WhatsApp using the fingerprint sensor on their device, provided there is one. As a result, WhatsApp would require authentication every time when launching.
If the fingerprint can’t be used for unlocking WhatsApp, users can turn to alternative authentication methods, like entering the backup PIN configured when setting up fingerprint scanning on their devices.
Feature also being tested on iOS
The lock will protect the application entirely and cannot be configured for specific configurations within the app.
A similar option has already been spotted in the iOS beta build of WhatsApp in late 2018, and it is also expected to debut in a future update of the application.
The feature requires Android Marshmallow and newer, according to the cited source.
WhatsApp adding authentication on both Android and iOS is certainly good news, but on the other hand, this is a feature that has been around for a long time on rival app Telegram.
Additionally, WhatsApp is also working on updating the audio picker. Beta build 2.19.1 introduced a new design that allows users to choose sound files to share with contacts more efficiently, as they are provided with both an audio preview and an image preview, if available.
For the time being, these are all features that WhatsApp is working on as part of beta builds, so an ETA as to when they will land for all users isn’t yet available.