Thanks to the privacy drama surrounding WhatsApp and Facebook, Signal is enjoying a new swath of active users. The company has consistently reassured its customers that privacy is first and foremost their number one priority, which should make those coming from WhatsApp feel comfortable. And while Signal may have had a bumpy ride for all of its new users, it’s determined to become that app that users can use with gusto, and its latest update adds a ton of features that old WhatsApp users should do. feel more comfortable.
You can add different backgrounds for individual chats by clicking on the person’s name, or for all chats by going to Settings> Appearance> Chat wallpaper. You can choose from various solid and gradient colors and even select photos taken from your smartphone. You can now add custom “About Me” text to your profile by selecting an emoji and writing a short blurb that can also act as a status message. The application now receives animated stickers, with its first pack, “Day by Day”, now available. You can create your own stickers to share with friends using the desktop application. Low data mode for calls reduces the amount of data that calls consume, which can be ideal for those with limited data plans. You now have the ability to have up to eight people on a call, compared to the previous five. You can select your download preferences so that the application knows when to download media files automatically. You now have the ability to share a group invite link that allows others to join your group chat.
Many of these features are already available in many of the best messaging apps, so it’s good to see them implemented in Signal, given their recent surge in popularity. Features are being rolled out in Signal beta v5.3.1, which you can sign up for on the Play Store. And if you’re still on WhatsApp and considering switching to Signal, check out our practical guide on how to move your group chats from WhatsApp to Signal.