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Signal app new features: animated stickers, chat wallpapers, media auto-download and more

On: January 29, 2021

Signal, the privacy-focused chat messenger, recently shot to the top position in the Free Apps section on App Store and Play Store. This was soon after Facebook-owned WhatsApp updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. In the updated privacy policy, WhatsApp informed users that their data will be shared with its parent company, Facebook. Soon after, several users started migrating to apps like Telegram and Signal.

Also read: WhatsApp privacy policy update: this is the data shared with Facebook

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also endorsed Signal asking users to switch to the messaging app after WhatsApp’s new privacy policy update. Buoyed by the huge response and in an attempt to entice new users, Signal shared a glimpse of new features that are coming to the app in the coming days. Let’s take a look at all the new features we can expect from the messaging app.

Signal: new features

While Signal is a privacy-first messaging app preferred by many these days, the app is not as feature-rich as WhatsApp. However, Signal is about to change things and has announced a few new features which are present on WhatsApp as well. Let’s take a look.

“About” in Signal profile

WhatsApp offers users to share something about themselves through Status. Signal has now introduced an About section in the user profile, where they can share what’s new or something about themselves. The feature is available in the Signal 5.3 update, which is now rolling out.

Animated stickers

One of the best parts about WhatsApp is how interactive the app is. To be able to respond to a text message through emojis, stickers, gifs, and animated stickers is a huge plus. While Signal has emojis, it is now rolling out support for animated stickers as well with the first official animated Signal sticker called “Day by Day” by Miguel Ángel Camprubí.

Chat wallpapers

WhatsApp recently introduced customisable chat wallpapers, which lets users set desired wallpapers for individual chats and even dim them for good visibility. Now, Signal is also rolling out customisable wallpapers for each chat as well as the option to set default wallpaper.

Signal: upcoming features

Media auto-download

WhatsApp allows users to change whether or not they want the app to auto-download the shared media or not. Additionally, users can also choose not to save the media received on WhatsApp in their gallery. Signal already has media auto-download settings in its Android app and is now bringing the feature to iOS as well.

Full-screen profile photos

WhatsApp users can simply tap on the profile picture of their contacts to check the image in full-size. This was not possible on Signal so far. But the company has now announced that soon users will be able to check profile pictures of their contacts on Signal in full-screen.

Increased group call limit

In yet another Tweet, Signal has also announced that it has now increased the participants limit in group calls from five to eight. The tweet said, “We just raised the group call limit from 5 to 8, so now you can call it even.” This was a direct remark for WhatsApp users as the Facebook-owned messaging platform allows eight participants in group calls.

Signal FAQs

Is the Signal app really safe?

The Signal app uses an advanced end-to-end encryption protocol that provides privacy for every message every time.  This means that no one else apart from you and the recipients will have access to the Signal chats.

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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.