“WhatsApp fingerprint lock feature is disabled by default, so users will have to manually enable it in Settings”
WhatsApp beta for Android has received a new update with version number v2.19.221 that finally brings the much-awaited fingerprint lock feature, according to noted tracker WABetaInfo. It took nearly eight months for the feature to roll out in beta after being spotted. Notably, WhatsApp for iOS beta received the function more than three months ago. It is disabled by default, which means WhatsApp users will have to enable it in Settings, and it adds an extra layer of security for chats. Since the feature is on beta already, we can expect it to hit the public version soon enough.
The functionality also offers a new ‘show content in notifications’ option allowing users to decide if they want to hide or show messages preview when the fingerprint lock is enabled. The feature can be accessed from WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock. If you’re already running the latest beta and still don’t see the feature, it is advised you uninstall and install the app again. The function is supported on Android phones running Android 6.0 marshmallow and above and have a fingerprint sensor.
The feature also offers three ‘automatically lock’ options – immediately, after 1 minute, and after 30 minutes. Users would need to authenticate with their fingerprint to unlock WhatsApp and gain access to chats every time they close and open the app if they chose ‘immediately’ option. WhatsApp for iOS’s 15-minute duration option hasn’t made its way to Android. Enabling ‘Show content in notifications’ will let users reply to messages from notifications and take calls. WABetaInfo says that when the fingerprint lock feature is enabled, the widget content is hidden by default. Since the feature already made its way to beta, the stable build should be rolling out in the next few weeks.