Signal App Getting Features That Mimic WhatsApp Experience

From chat wallpapers to support for eight people in group calls, Signal is becoming more like WhatsApp.

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Signal App Getting Features That Mimic WhatsApp Experience

Photo Credit: Reuters

Signal is bringing chat wallpapers similar to the ones available on WhatsApp

Highlights
  • Signal’s latest beta version brings chat wallpapers like on WhatsApp
  • The app is also testing an ‘About’ status option
  • Signal app recently added animated stickers

Signal appears to have started developing a range of new features that are already available on WhatsApp. The new changes have come into notice just days after the instant messaging app welcomed a rush of new users. Signal's rise in popularity has come in the wake of a privacy policy update by WhatsApp that has spiralled into a public outrage. One of the changes that Signal has in the works that mimics WhatsApp is chat wallpapers. Signal could also add an ‘About' option that looks similar to the one on WhatsApp.

As noticed by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, Signal 5.3.1 beta for Android carries the new chat wallpaper feature. It can be accessed by going to Settings > Appearance > Chat wallpaper. There are 21 pre-set wallpapers to choose from, though users can also add their own images as chat wallpapers on the app. An option to set a dark theme to dim the chat wallpaper is also available.

signal chat wallpapers screenshots image gadgets 360 Signal

Signal has added a Chat wallpaper option for beta testers that works similar to WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp has had chat wallpapers for quite some time now. It also added custom wallpapers for chats in December.

The latest Signal beta also carries the custom ‘About' option, which allows users to tell their contacts about their status. It is available in the Profile option in the settings menu on the Signal app. WhatsApp has a similar ‘About' option.

signal about status option image gadgets 360 Signal

Signal has brought an 'About' option that is just similar to WhatsApp's About status

 

Signal has also added support for animated stickers in the latest update, with a “Day by Day” as the first official animated sticker pack. The Signal desktop app also allows users to create new animated stickers and share them directly with their friends, as noted by WABetaInfo.

Animated stickers arrived on WhatsApp in July last year. It is also reportedly bringing the ability to import third-party animated stickers in the coming weeks.

Signal is also bringing a low-data mode for calls, which is already available on WhatsApp. The app is could also let users look at their chats on the iOS share sheet — something that WhatsApp brought last year for iPhone users.

Earlier this week, Signal brought the ability to let users choose when their media files should be automatically downloaded. The app also recently changed the limit on group calls from five participants to eight. Both these features are already present on WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned app increased group call limit to eight people in April.

Signal is also said to have implemented the option to let users create a shareable group invite link. This also works similar to how you can invite people to your groups on WhatsApp.


Does WhatsApp's new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Further reading: Signal, WhatsApp, instant messaging
Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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