The new feature comes with the latest Android beta version 2.19.221, and is disabled by default.
As mentioned, the fingerprint lock option is enabled in the Android beta version 2.19.221 - currently the latest version. It is disabled by default, and users will have to enable it by going to WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Fingerprint lock.
If you have already updated to the latest version, and don't see the feature, try backing up chat history and reinstalling the same WhatsApp version. Notably, the feature requires the phone to be running Android Marshmallow or higher, and feature a fingerprint scanner.
When enabled, users will need to use fingerprint authentication to unlock WhatsApp and gain access.
There's a 15 minute option on the iOS app, but that hasn't trickled down to the Android version, and hopefully the company will introduce it when the feature is rolled out in the stable version.
In Android, there is a new option called Show content in notifications, so users can decide if they want to show or hide message and sender preview when the Fingerprint lock is enabled.
If you do not enable this option, users can still reply to messages from notifications and answer WhatsApp calls, because the authentication is only set to when you want to open WhatsApp.
WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo says that when you enable the Fingerprint Lock feature, the widget content is hidden by default.
WABetaInfo says, “I can say that it's safe for your privacy to enable the Fingerprint lock feature because WhatsApp, as any other app, cannot access to your fingerprint data: the authentication process is managed by the Android system: WhatsApp uses official Android APIs, so no information is sent to WhatsApp/Facebook Server.”
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