WhatsApp Passkey Support for iOS Spotted in Development, to Work on Phones Running iOS 17

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WhatsApp is working on adding support for passkeys to iOS, according to a feature tracker. The popular messaging service owned by Meta is bringing support for passkeys — a passwordless authentication technology that allows you to log in with your biometrics — to WhatsApp for iOS. The passkeys feature was previously added to WhatsApp for Android, but it looks like the feature will soon be available on WhatsApp for iOS. Users who are running on the latest version of iOS should be able to access the feature with a future update.

Feature tracker WABetaInfo spotted a new passkey-related menu in the latest version of WhatsApp beta for iOS 2.24.2.73, which suggests that the support for the feature will come to iOS soon. The Android version of the app already allows users to set up a passkey that can be used to quickly log back into their account on the same device.

whatsapp passkey ios wabetainfo inline whatsapp

WhatsApp’s passkey menu on iOS is currently inaccessible
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

 

A passkey is a hardware-backed authentication mechanism designed by the FIDO Alliance along with major firms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft that uses cryptography on a user’s device for passwordless sign-ins that are authenticated with Touch ID or Face ID, while cutting the risks of phishing attacks. On Android, WhatsApp passkeys are stored securely in Google’s password manager — it is expected to use Apple’s Keychain system on iOS.

While the latest version of WhatsApp beta for iOS includes code for the new passkey menu, you can’t actually create one as the functionality hasn’t been enabled. WhatsApp will first roll out the feature to users on the beta testing channel (via TestFlight) before it brings passkey support to all users on the stable version of the app.

However, not all iOS users will have access to passkeys. While passkeys are supported on Android phones running Android 9 or newer, only iPhone models that are running on iOS 17 will support third party access to passkeys. This means that if you have an iPhone XR or newer that is updated to iOS 17, you will be able to use passkeys in the future to log back into your WhatsApp account with Face ID or Touch ID.


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