Access keys for WhatsApp are already in development, the developer says, but the security feature will be available to Android users before iPhone owners.
However, once it reaches the iPhone, you can ditch your password or passcode and simply use Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate …
Passwords are gradually replacing passwords
Of course, we can already store passwords in our Keychain for logging into websites and apps using Face ID or Touch ID, but while the experience may look almost the same for users, what's happening under the hood is very different. .
When using access keys, there is no username and password. Instead, you have a public key and a private key, neither of which you need to know.
When you set up an access key, your public key is shared with the application or website. When you log in, the service will ask your device to verify your identity. Your iPhone, iPad or Mac then uses Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate you and then simply tells the service that it has verified your identity. The service trusts your device because it knows that authentication was done locally.
Besides the fact that users never have to remember a password, another big benefit is security. Hackers will never be able to get your login information in a security breach because the website or app doesn't know what your private key is. Phishing attempts will fail because your device will not prompt you to sign in until it has your public key from the correct service.
Passwords now receive a much higher status, as iOS 17 and macOS Sonoma automatically creates passkeys for your Apple ID, and just in the last few days, Google has begun actively inviting users to set up passkeys.
Passkeys for WhatsApp
We first noticed signs of impending support for WhatsApp passkeys back in the summer, and now the developer has officially confirmed that it's on the way.
Android users can easily and securely sign back in with passkeys 🔑 only your face, fingerprint or pin will unlock your WhatsApp account
While the tweet implies it's available today, The Verge reports that its rollout will be gradual over the “coming weeks and months.”
iOS support will likely arrive soon after
Although this is more common for developers to use the iOS approach to new features (and indeed new apps) first, WhatsApp is taking the opposite approach by launching on Android first.
Although iOS isn't mentioned, that's fine too, so we can expect that WhatsApp passkeys will appear on iPhone soon after Android.