WhatsApp is introducing a new feature that makes logging in easier and safer. This feature lets you use the security features on your smartphone, like facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, to log in to your WhatsApp account. Instead of remembering a password, you can create a special passkey on your device to access your account securely.
This passkey feature was discovered in the WhatsApp beta for Android version 18.104.22.168. However, it’s not available to all beta users yet; only a limited number of them can try it out. Some users in the beta program couldn’t access this feature on their Android phones.
The passkey feature is designed to provide a simple and secure way to sign in to WhatsApp. It might also be used to log in to WhatsApp on other devices securely, using your main device for authentication.
Using passkeys for authentication isn’t new. Google already allows you to use fingerprint-based biometric authentication instead of passwords when logging in on a new device. These passkeys are stored safely on your device and used when you use biometric authentication.
According to the screenshot shared by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will save the passkey in your device’s password manager. For most users, this is the default password manager managed by Google, with autofill support. This feature is expected to come to iOS as well, where it will likely be stored in the iOS Keychain.
It’s still unclear whether WhatsApp will also support storing passkeys in third-party apps like Bitwarden, 1Password, or Dashlane. We’ll learn more about how this feature works as it becomes available to more beta users. Eventually, it will be rolled out to all smartphones in the stable version of WhatsApp.