WhatsApp update finally makes Android version as secure as iOS

Latest feature for popular mobile version of app makes it harder for people to peak at your private messages

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 01 November 2019 17:30

WhatsApp users on both Android and iOS devices will now be able to secure their private conversations and group chats with biometric security following the latest update to the popular messaging app.

The long-awaited fingerprint lock feature was previously only available for iOS users running WhatsApp on iPhones or iPads.

Once enabled, it requires the account owner to provide their fingerprint when they open the app on their phone.

"Earlier this year, we rolled out Touch ID and Face ID for iPhone to provide an extra layer of security for WhatsApp users," WhatsApp said in a blog post announcing the latest Android feature.

"Today we’re introducing similar authentication, allowing you to unlock the app with your fingerprint, on supported Android phones."

To enable it, Android users can tap on the Settings icon in the app and then select 'Account'. Under the 'Privacy' section, they will find an option to turn on 'Unlock with fingerprint'.

WhatsApp has provided various options for how the feature can be used, including requesting the biometric data after a set time period, or requiring the fingerprint every time the app is opened.

There is still no support for using facial recognition to secure the app, despite iOS users able to select FaceID authentication.

The latest update comes just a few days after WhatsApp fixed a feature on the iOS version of the app that prevented users from properly muting conversations.

The latest release notes for Version 2.19.110 stated: "Muted chats will no longer display notification badges on the app icon when you receive new messages."

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