The latest update (version 2.19.20) on WhatsApp for iPhone brings the anticipated biometric authentication which allows users to lock the WhatsApp on their iPhone devices by using the native Face ID or Touch ID. This new feature has been in anticipation since October last year. The feature essentially applies biometric authentication to open WhatsApp and does not add the additional security to your individual WhatsApp conversations. WhatsApp for Android is also in the rumours to bring a similar form of authentication layer in the coming future.
With the latest WhatsApp update, you can lock the WhatsApp app with Face ID or Touch ID by going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock. Once you moved to the Screen Lock screen, the app shows the available authentication method – either Face ID or Touch ID – that you can enable to lock your WhatsApp. You can also choose whether you want the biometric authentication requirement immediately or after an interval of a minute, 15 minutes, or an hour.
WhatsApp still allows users to reply to messages from notifications and answer calls, without requiring biometric authentication. Also, once unlocked after successfully detecting the correct biometrics – either through Face ID or Touch ID feature – the instant messaging app opens access to all your messages. This means the latest development doesn’t lock your WhatsApp chats on an individual basis.
To experience the new change, you need to download the latest WhatsApp version from the App Store. The app is 137.7MB in size and is compatible with iPhone models running iOS 8.0 and above.