Signal, the encrypted chat app endorsed by people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, introduced the video calling feature in early 2017. Now in August 2020, the company is bringing both voice and video calling support to the Signal desktop app.
It is currently in the beta testing phase and might soon be rolled out to everyone with a public update. The voice and video calls made through Signal Desktop will be end-to-end encrypted and free to use.
Signal Desktop now supports voice & video calling
As of now, there is no group calling support. The desktop app only supports one-to-one calling. It is compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux. If you are already using the production version of the Signal Desktop, it will be replaced by the beta version you installed on your computer.
However, there is no confirmation of whether the calls will be made between the Signal’s desktop and mobile apps. Compared to the beta testing phase, there will be improvements in call quality and performance by the time the feature goes public. Even, Telegram is also offering the video calling feature with the latest version 0.7 beta app on Android.
This new feature for desktop users is currently in beta
In May this year, Signal introduced PINs as a replacement to mobile numbers for identification. The PIN is a code that can help in recovering the profile, settings, and contacts when switching to a new device. However, it can’t be used for taking backup of messages.
The company recently introduced a data transfer tool that works between two iOS devices. The data will securely transfer from your existing device to a new device over a local connection. This process is end-to-end encrypted and takes very little time, even for high amounts of data.
With the new “Message Requests” option, Signal users can approve or block contacts. Users can no longer receive messages or calls from unwanted contacts. It will also stop blocked contacts from adding contact to group chats.
The app comes with several privacy-focused features and is available on all the major platforms. It’s a perfect alternative for those becoming more privacy-conscious. Still, the Signal user base is much lower than WhatsApp’s two billion users and Facebook Messenger’s 1.3 billion users.
WhatsApp has already allowed businesses to contact users through its app. In the near future, we might even see ads inside the Facebook-owned messaging app.