O WhatsApp for Android is releasing for all users a feature that promises more security and privacy: you can require that access to the application be unlocked with the fingerprint, protecting messages and conversations. This functionality came into beta in August, and has been available for iPhones since the beginning of the year.
To enable this, open WhatsApp on your Android device and do the following:
- tap to open the menu;
- follow the path Settings> Account> Privacy;
- scroll down the list and tap Fingerprint lock;
- activate the option Unlock with fingerprint;
- confirm your fingerprint.
You can choose whether WhatsApp will be blocked immediately, in 1 minute or in 30 minutes. By default, it does not require authentication to answer VoIP calls or to view and respond to messages in notifications.
If you want, you can disable the option “Show content in notifications”. In this way, Android alerts will not show the sender or the text of the messages: you will only see a warning like “x new messages”.
WhatsApp for Android has no code unlock
WhatsApp, like any other application on Android, cannot access your fingerprint data: the authentication process is done through APIs. That is, it asks the system if the fingerprint is valid, the system checks and responds “ Yes or no”.
But there is a problem with this implementation of WhatsApp: you are required to use fingerprint, and there is no alternative to unlock the application – through a code, for example.
That is, if your fingerprint reader stops working, WhatsApp cannot be unlocked. The app suggests that you turn off the sensor in Android settings: “if the fingerprint sensor is not working, disable it in your phone’s settings”. I did it on a Moto Z, but it didn’t work – the app kept asking for my fingerprint.
WhatsApp has Face ID or Touch ID lock on iPhone
On the iPhone, it is different: if there is a failure in the Touch ID or Face ID, WhatsApp offers the option “Enter code” to perform the unlock.
For enable this feature on the iPhone, do the following:
- within WhatsApp, follow the path Settings> Account> Privacy;
- at the end of the list, tap Screen lock;
- activate the Request the Touch ID / Face ID option.
WhatsApp for iOS may require biometrics immediately, after 1 minute, after 15 minutes, or after 1 hour.