WhatsApp announces passkeys for Android users; Know all about it
Taking steps towards a password-less future, WhatsApp has announced that it is rolling out Passkey support for Android users.
WhatsApp is the world's most popular instant messaging platform with 2 billion active users. Since its debut in November 2009, the platform has undergone a myriad of changes, bringing new features that have changed the messaging experience, ultimately replacing traditional SMS as the primary form of text messaging. Over the years, it has become kind of a one-stop-shop, offering text messaging, voice calling, video calling and even business and payment facilities. Since it has such a massive user base, protecting their data and privacy is crucial, for which there is end-to-end encryption on the platform. Now, it is rolling out another security feature that allows users to log in via passkeys.
Passkeys on WhatsApp
In an X post, the official account of WhatsApp announced that the platform is rolling out the ability to log in to the app via passkey instead of traditional 2-factor authentication. Their accounts can be accessed via face unlock, fingerprint authentication, or even PIN. This development comes just a week after Google encouraged its users to adopt passkeys, enabling password-less login.
For the unaware, Passkeys can be considered a replacement for passwords which allow users to sign into supported websites and apps through biometric authentication or facial recognition. These are FIDO credentials that are stored on the device itself and not any server, thus, potentially reducing the chances of it getting leaked online.
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This feature was first leaked by WABetaInfo in August in the Beta version of WhatsApp. A hidden passkey setup menu was discovered which stated, “You can now use your fingerprint, face, or screen lock to verify if it's you with a passkey.”
WhatsApp has announced that this feature is initially being rolled out to Android users in the coming weeks and months. “Android users can easily and securely log back in with passkeys only your face, fingerprint, or pin unlocks your WhatsApp account”, the post said.
Passkeys on iPhone
WhatsApp is not the only platform that is moving towards a password-less future. At its WWDC event in June last year, Apple also unveiled its Passkeys. Users can create passkeys for each website by using Face ID or Touch ID which will be securely synced across Apple devices, including Apple TV.