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WhatsApp Gets Face Recognition & Touch ID Support

WhatsApp is getting a great upgrade, specifically for iPhones. The messaging application now supports Apple's Face ID recognition technology and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner following its newest update.

Said update is currently available to all iOS users - as long as they have the 2.10.20 version - but, unfortunately, the app won't be allowing Android users the privilege just yet.

"You can now require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp," the What's New section in the App Store reads. "Tap "Settings" > "Account" > "Privacy" and enable Screen Lock."

via imore.com

To turn on the new feature, one simply has to follow the above instructions. And as soon as it's on, you'd need to use Touch ID or Face ID to unlock WhatsApp. However, you'd still be able to respond to messages and answer calls without actually opening the app. There's also the option of setting when you want the app to prompt for Touch or Face ID; it can be set to work immediately or after one minute, 15 minutes or an hour.

This is a really neat development for iPhone users. WhatsApp has been boasting end-to-end encryption for quite some time and this new feature adds to the app's security, although it should be noted that it's less secure than having a strong password to protect your phone.

The feature could come into play for Instagram pretty soon too, with Mashable's Ray Wong recently discovering that he could use use Face ID with his iOS Instagram application.

Instagram, like WhatsApp, is owned by Facebook and they have since confirmed to the aforementioned publication that they are testing Face ID.

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg plans to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram and has explained that it would be beneficial as all three apps will use end-to-end encryption.

Zuckerberg also revealed that there are still several things to consider and that plans to join the three apps are still in the early stages. We shouldn't expect any changes until next year.

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