WhatsApp is working on a new feature that would let users lock individual chats using fingerprint or passcodes.
For now users can lock the app itself using a passcode, fingerprint, or Face ID, but not individual chats. This is about to change.
How it works
The new feature aka “Chat lock” will help keep personal chats “locked and hidden” from unauthorized people.
The feature description says that you will be able to use your fingerprint or a passcode to open locked chats and read notifications.
On top of that, just like archived chats in WhatsApp, these locked chats will be moved to a separate section and accessible via the same.
This is handy in a scenario when someone tries to access your phone and fails the authentication process multiple times.
Keeps media private
This feature will be available for both personal and group chats.
It will hide not only messages but will also keep media files private.
Photos, videos, or audio you send in locked chats won’t be saved in the device gallery automatically, further strengthening security.
Could potentially lose chat history
One peculiar thing was noted by WABetaInfo, a reliable tipster which broke the news about this particular feature.
They state, “If someone tries to access your phone and fails to provide the necessary authentication, they will be prompted to clear the chat to open it.”
The implication is that you might lose your chat history if someone forcefully tries to bypass your locked chat.
The handy tool was spotted on the latest version of WhatsApp Beta for Android (v220.127.116.11).
This feature is still under development and is not live yet; not even on the beta builds.
It should be available to test on WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS soon.
WhatsApp has been quite productive of late, rolling out a host of new features like call link for the Windows version of the app, a split view interface for Android tablets, the ability to approve new group participants, post voice notes as status updates and more.