Android users could soon fingerprint-lock their WhatsApp messages

In an age where almost everyone communicates via popular messaging app WhatsApp, it’s become more and more difficult to protect your privacy from unwanted eyes. Now, WhatsApp is testing out a new feature for Android Beta users that will require fingerprint authentication to open the app—even if the phone has already been unlocked.

The feature was earlier rolled out to iOS Beta users, and now reports indicate that users enrolled in Android Beta can now access the feature. However, if a message pops up in notifications, users can still read and reply to messages as well as WhatsApp calls. To avoid such situations, you can opt to turn off “Show content in notifications” under WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock.

Users will also be able to set a timer for the lock to engage—immediately, 1 minute, or 30 minutes—much like how general fingerprint locks work with smartphones. Once the app has been unlocked, you won’t need to use your fingerprint to unlock the app until the preset time has passed.

Do note that this feature is only available for Android Beta users, and not general users on the Android platform right now. However, it’s safe to assume that we should see the feature roll out to Android at some point in the future, so this is certainly good news for those that have been calling out for more security on their WhatsApp messages.

To enable the feature, users are advised to update their WhatsApp version to 2.19.221 Android Beta, with the update available to all Beta users who are on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and above. Once updated, you can enable the feature by heading to WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy: Fingerprint lock.

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