WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that would give users more control over sensitive conversations. The Meta-owned instant messaging app could soon allow users to lock specific chats using their fingerprint or passcode. The lock functionality would make it easier for users to ensure privacy. Currently, the entire app can be locked on the smartphone using face ID, fingerprint, or a passcode. The new feature has been spotted in WhatsApp for Android beta v22.214.171.124, which is available via the Google Play Beta programme. However, it is not yet available to testers.
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, the instant messaging platform is developing a new feature that will allow users to lock individual chats using their fingerprint or passcode. WhatsApp is said to be rolling out the feature via the Google Play Beta Programme, with v126.96.36.199 beta for Android. It is not visible to beta testers yet.
Once released, this feature will let users lock and hide their private chats from others. Instead of locking the entire app, users can lock specific chats to keep sensitive conversations safe from prying eyes. Also, media files such as photos and videos sent in a locked chat won’t be saved in the device gallery automatically. The report includes a screenshot showing the new privacy setting feature.
In the screenshots, the locked chats are shown in a separate section, similar to Archives. Once a chat is locked, it can only be accessed using the user’s fingerprint or passcode. In case someone tries to open these locked chats on WhatsApp and fails the authentication, then they will be reportedly prompted to clear the chat to open it.
WhatsApp is said to be working on this functionality and it is likely to be available in a future update. It may also get updated before the final release.
Recently, WhatsApp was found working on a text editing feature for select beta testers along with the Android 188.8.131.52 update. It will help users to edit images, videos, and GIFs by using new tools and fonts offered with the new feature. It is also looking to release a dedicated Audio Chat feature.