WhatsApp Beta for Android is now receiving a new update with version number- 2.19.3. The new update brings the much-awaited fingerprint lock feature to WhatsApp. For the unaware, Fingerprint Lock feature allows WhatsApp users to secure their app via the fingerprint sensor and this feature is pretty much similar to the authentication feature rolled out to iOS users a few months ago. In iOS, users will be able to secure their app through Touch ID or Face ID (on the latest iPhones), but in Android, it currently allows users to secure the app only via fingerprint scanner. Right now, the 2.19.3 beta update is rolling out in batches and it's yet to pop up on Google Play Store as well. The new update was first reported by WABetaInfo citing that every WhatsApp Beta user on Android will be able to use the authentication feature without any issues, subjected if their phone has a fingerprint scanner.
WhatsApp Rolls Out Fingerprint Lock Feature to its Android Beta Users
WhatsApp has rolled out a beta programme for Android users a couple of years ago. And the name itself suggests the Facebook-owned company pushes updates to the beta users first ahead of the stable users. So if you're a WhatsApp Beta user, you'll be able to enjoy the features much ahead of stable users, and for the most part, the beta version of WhatsApp is very stable. That being said, it does bring in some bugs, but most of them won't be noticed.
Coming to the new feature, WhatsApp Beta users with 2.19.3 update will be able to see a new option called 'Authentication' inside the Privacy section of the app. Tapping on Authentication will display a screen where users will have to produce their registered fingerprint on the phone to enable the security feature. After enabling the feature, every time the users opens WhatsApp, it will ask for authentication via the registered fingerprint to unlock the app.
There are several Android users who're relying on third-party apps or in-built app locker to secure WhatsApp, but once the Authentication feature rolls out to the public, they can make use of the in-built option itself.
WhatsApp Already Rolled Out Authentication Feature to iOS Users
Android Beta users are not the first ones to receive the Authentication feature as the company already rolled the feature to iOS users three months ago. Yes, you heard it right, it's been three months since WhatsApp pushed Touch ID/Face ID authentication feature to iOS users. Generally, almost all the new WhatsApp features reach Android Beta versions first, but that's not the case with Authentication feature as it was rolled out to iOS first, and now being added to Android Beta version 2.19.3.
Right now, Android Beta allows users to secure their WhatsApp app only via Fingerprint scanner and not through Face Unlock. Almost all the Android smartphones in the market right now feature a fingerprint scanner, but some popular entry-level phones like the Redmi 7A, Realme C2 and so on, ship with Face Unlock feature. It will be interesting to see if WhatsApp rolls out Face Unlock authentication feature as well.