WhatsApp has probably become the go-to messenger app for many users. And since most of the conversations on the platform involve exchange of private information, perhaps one of the more desirable features, is to have a passcode or TouchID lock to prevent unauthorized access to it. This is quite easy to achieve on Android smartphones with the help of third party app lockers. But Apple’s walled ecosystem doesn’t make this possible on iPhones, unless of course, WhatsApp chooses to implement it.
There’s probably a good reason why WhatsApp hasn’t introduced the app lock feature yet. Not every smartphone has a built-in fingerprint sensor, and unlocking the app with a passcode every time you launch the app could be irritating and hence hamper the user experience. But the good news is, there are tweaked versions of WhatsApp available from third party developers, which provide such features.
Then again, such tweaked apps are not available on the App Store. So, in order to install them, you’d usually need to jailbreak your iOS device, which might not be a preferable option for all. Here, we’ll demonstrate how you can lock WhatsApp by installing a tweaked version of the app, without jailbreaking your iPhone.
Features of WhatsApp++
WhatsApp++ is a tweaked version of WhatsApp having a host of useful extra features, including passcode/TouchID app lock. Below is a list of additional features you get with WhatsApp++.
Selective Read Receipts: The “Disable Read Receipts” option on the official app lets you block message senders from seeing blue ticks even though you have read the message. However, you can’t do this on a per contact basis. WhatsApp++ lets you do so.
Disable Delivery Receipts: Others won’t get a double-tick when they send you a message even though the message gets delivered. But you’ll be able to see blue ticks from other recipients.
Custom Theme: Change the overall color of your WhatsApp.
Custom Text Color: Change text color in chat bubbles.
Send Unlimited Media: Send more than 10 media (Photos, videos, etc.) at once.
Share Music: WhatsApp++ lets you to share DRM-free Music from the iPhone Music app on WhatsApp.
Tap to record audio: Instead of holding the Record button to record audio, the app allows you to start and end recording at the tap of a button.
Passcode/TouchID: Lock your WhatsApp with both a passcode and TouchID. To set the passcode, launch WhatsApp++ on your iPhone and tap on the Settings tab >> WhatsApp+ Settings >> Set Passcode (under Security Settings).
Note: When WhatsApp++ is running in the background, you will receive chat notifications for incoming messages in WhatsApp++. Tapping on a notification will take you right into the chat without asking for a passcode, even if you have set one. Whether it’s a bug or a feature is not confirmed, but it enhances the chat experience by a small degree. However, if you don’t want anybody else to view your chats, all that you have to do is close the app by removing it from the App Switcher. In that case, you won’t receive any push notifications from the app, and you’ll need to provide the passcode when you launch it from the Home screen.
How to install WhatsApp++ on iPhone without jailbreak
If you can get the WhatsApp IPA file from any app repository on the Internet, you can install the app from the IPA using the Cydia Impactor tool. We already have a dedicated article on how you can install iOS apps from outside the App Store without jailbreaking the iOS device.
But if you use Cydia Impactor to sign the IPA file, the certificate will get expired within a short span of time, and you’d have to reinstall the app again in order to use it. On the other hand, if you already have an active Apple Developer subscription (which costs $99 per year), you may also sign the IPA with your own Apple ID, in which case the certificate will be valid for a longer period.
There are a few downsides of downloading an IPA from third party repositories too. It’s quite difficult to get an updated version of the app from other sources. And even if you do, the source might not be a reliable one. In order to ensure you get the latest version of the app, and that it’s malware free, a more recommended alternative would be to pay for a Build Store subscription (which costs $9.99/year per device).
Once your Build Store subscription is activated, you’ll be able to install many apps that are not available on the App Store, including WhatsApp++ and other tweaked apps, without jailbreaking your iPhone. Also, you don’t need an Apple Developer account to use Build Store.
Note: Usually, Build Store will not allow you to keep both WhatsApp and WhatsApp++ simultaneously on the same device. But if you want to install WhatsApp++ without removing the original WhatsApp application, you can follow the steps mentioned in this article to achieve the same.
The following steps will guide you to install WhatsApp++ on iPhone:
- Uninstall the official version of WhatsApp, if you already have it installed.
- Sign up for a new BuildStore account and register your iOS device.
- On your registered iOS device, open Safari and navigate to the WhatsApp++ app page.
- Tap on the INSTALL button. Build Store will validate your account and a RUN button will appear.
- Tap on the RUN button and then select Install when prompted.
WhatsApp++ will now be installed on your iPhone.
Is WhatsApp++ safe to install?
It depends on where you downloaded WhatsApp++ from. If you have downloaded the IPA from a certain app repository, it may or may not contain malware, but you can’t be sure if the repository is not maintained by a verification system. Alternatively, if you have installed it from Build Store, it is safe to use.
Build Store’s content policy states that any application available on their third party app store “MUST NOT harm the device or device owner”. According to Build Store, the apps available on Build Store are reviewed internally for malicious code and stability. We have spoken to a company representative on the matter, and this is what he had to say: “We guarantee that using the apps from the BuildStore is safe for the gadget and users’ private data.”
However, Build Store does not claim any responsibility for any action (for example, disabling of accounts) taken against the user by original app developers, for using the tweaked apps. But then again, it is unlikely that WhatsApp will ban your account for using an unofficial client.
Let us know about your opinion on WhatsApp++ in the comments below.