Signal adding new features to make it more chat friendly

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While the WhatsApp exodus continues, those leaving the messaging service have turned to either Telegram or Signal as an alternative. In order to make itself a bit more chat friendly, Signal is introducing some new features in an update for iOS and and Android, listed as 5.3.1 and 5.3.7 respectively.

In our experience, while both Telegram and Signal are both good WhatsApp alternatives, the former is a bit more feature rich and the latter is better from a security perspective. Signal also got the co-sign from one Tesla CEO Elon Musk, if that still counts for anything these days, but who’s going to argue with the richest person in the world (at the time of writing).

Hopefully then, the addition of chat wallpapers, an about section for profiles and animated stickers will mean users will be more willing to use Signal outside of the business or workplace environment. These new features are not entirely new either, with users in India receiving earlier access to it this month.

If Musk is not enough of a recommendation, The Verge points out that the European Commission instructed its staff to switch to Signal in February of last year to handle all official communications, with its encrypted video calls being one of the security features that one the organisation over.

Whether the addition of new chat friendly features this week means Signal will be less stringent on the security side of things, remains to be seen. Either way, as long as it is not making data sharing with third parties mandatory, it should not have the same problem on its hands that WhatsApp is currently wrestling with.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.