WhatsApp may be working on a new authentication feature. This feature will be used to protect the app against unauthorized access by locking it. According to a recent report, users will have now be able to lock the WhatsApp on their Android-powered smartphones behind a fingerprint authentication security wall. This comes months after initial reports surfaced stating that the developers are working on bringing Face ID and Touch ID to WhatsApp for iOS. It will take some time for the company to completely flesh out the feature, and ensure that it is stable before it can roll to all other WhatsApp users.

The development of this feature was initially spotted by WABetaInfo in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android with version 2.19.3. According to the report, the feature is not currently available, and developers are likely to roll out a number of updates. The report further noted that this feature will lock the entire app, and users can’t use the app to lock specific conversations with the help of an authentication feature.

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The authentication feature will work in the same way as many third-party app lock or privacy protection apps work. The difference though will be that users will no longer need a third-party app to add the added second layer of security to WhatsApp. The report also noted that users can use the existing credentials present on the device to lock the app if WhatsApp is not able to record the fingerprint.

This feature is currently in the Alpha stage of development, and is a long way from rolling out to beta users. The report also noted that the feature is likely to be only available for users with Android Marshmallow or later versions in a device that sports a fingerprint scanner.

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