WhatsApp, the widely-used messaging platform, is stepping up its security measures. Soon, users will be given the option to safeguard their accounts with passkey support, a step ahead of the traditional password and two-factor authentication system.
- Passkey Defined: For those new to the term, passkey represents an industry-wide effort to offer a more secure authentication process. Instead of the conventional passwords, users will have the convenience to log in using facial recognition or biometrics, entirely eliminating the need to create or input a standard passcode. This innovative system has its roots in a partnership between the FIDO Alliance, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
- Apple’s Integration: Apple was one of the tech giants that acknowledged the benefits of passkey. The company announced that iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma users would be automatically assigned a passkey for Apple ID accounts. This provision facilitates users to authenticate themselves on Apple-associated platforms using their passkey as credentials.
- Broadening Horizons: This isn’t restricted to Apple. TikTok and the popular password manager, 1Password, have also embraced passkey support. As per WABetaInfo, the recent beta version of WhatsApp for Android has teased a hidden passkey setup menu, indicating an impending introduction for the messenger’s vast user base.
Multi-Account Feature in the Works
WhatsApp is addressing one of its long-standing user requests – the ability to handle multiple accounts. With its latest updates, WhatsApp is inching closer to launching a multi-account system.
- Business Beta Testing: Earlier in June, the beta version of WhatsApp Business showed indications of an account-switching feature. With the latest beta version 22.214.171.124 available on the Google Play Store, this feature is now under testing.
- How it Works: Users can verify their access to the account-switching feature by clicking the arrow displayed beside the QR code within WhatsApp’s settings. A card will subsequently appear, listing all active accounts and providing an option to integrate another account.
- Eligibility: Although the feature was glimpsed in the previous version (126.96.36.199), it predominantly emerges in the 188.8.131.52 version. As of now, only the beta testers of WhatsApp on Android can access this feature, with the Google Play Beta Program being inaccessible to newcomers.
- Additional Updates: WhatsApp’s recent beta versions have been bustling with new additions. From animated avatars to advanced safety warnings, the platform is continually evolving. Considering Meta’s acquisition of WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion back in 2014, it is commendable to observe the persistent investment in refining the app.
Account Switcher: A Close Look
The multi-account feature permits users to swiftly switch between their primary and other WhatsApp accounts. Prior to this, users relying on certain Android smartphones had to resort to installing a WhatsApp “clone” to access another account.
- Activation: Once active, WhatsApp will display a downward-facing arrow icon adjacent to the QR code in the settings. A card pops up, showcasing the primary account with an “Add account” button. By clicking this button, users can integrate an account registered on a different device, with the latest messages synchronizing instantly.
- User-Friendly Interface: A shared screenshot of this feature highlights its user-centric design. The account switcher card reveals the phone number linked to the WhatsApp account, facilitating easy identification. It also displays the associated profile photo and username.
- Past Endeavors: WhatsApp has made prior efforts in enhancing multi-device usage by launching a “companion mode”. This mode enabled users to set up smartphones as secondary devices. Although it allowed the same account to function on multiple gadgets, the usage was limited to a single account per device.
In conclusion, with the anticipated multi-account feature and passkey support, WhatsApp is setting higher benchmarks in user convenience and security. As these features undergo testing, users worldwide eagerly await their mainstream integration.