The video calling feature of Signal Private Messenger is now rolling out to everyone, Open Whisper Systems announced earlier this week. The new functionality is being introduced as a client-side update, meaning you'll have to download the latest version of the Signal Private Messenger app from the Google Play Store in order to get access to it. Encrypted video calling arrived with a recent beta build of Signal Private Messenger that started rolling out in mid-February, and the fact that the feature is now enabled by default indicates that Open Whisper Sytems is satisfied with its stability and performance. Apart from video calls, the latest version of the popular instant messaging (IM) app also debuts some improvements to audio calls and ships with a number of performance optimizations and bug fixes, the developers revealed.
Signal Private Messenger features end-to-end encryption for video calls, meaning that even if your communications are intercepted, there's no realistic way anyone will be able to decrypt them, which is just how the app's voice calling and text messaging features already work. While the video calling functionality is enabled by default, users can still disable it by navigating to the app's Settings menu, just like beta testers were able to do since February. Open Whisper Systems also added a number of new functionalities to its app that beta testers recently requested. Among other things, users are now able to place peer-to-peer calls instead of going through the app's servers, which will reduce latency in many scenarios. Regardless, the feature is only available to users who initiate a call or answer a call from a contact they already know. This limitation was put into place to preserve one's privacy and not expose their approximate location and IP address to unknown parties. Peer-to-peer calls can even be completely avoided and developers also introduced an option to route all communications through Google's main domain and consequently stop governments from blocking the app.
You can download the latest version of Signal Private Messenger by following the Google Play Store link below. As expected, the app still works on devices running versions of the Android operating system that are as old as Gingerbread.