Signal is one of the best encrypted messaging apps for Android, if not the very best in the business. Its extensive privacy features make it the preferred messaging platform for millions of people around the world. The developers behind the app are now giving you all one more reason to keep loving it. The latest version of the app lets you pick a custom icon and name for it, camouflaging its existence on your phone.
If you have installed version 6.21.3 of the Signal app for Android (link below), navigating to Settings (under your profile avatar in the top left corner of the screen) > Appearance > App Icon presents you with 12 icons for the app. One of them is the original Signal logo, while there are seven more named Signal. Those are essentially tweaked versions of the original icon, with different color combinations and minor redesigns. But the other four options are where the real fun lies.
Those icons are named News, Notes, Weather, and Waves and come with corresponding icons. If you pick any of these, the Signal app will no longer look like the Signal app on your phone’s homescreen and app drawer (via). The app will disguise itself in your selected name and avatar. Only you will know it’s your messaging service and not an app to read/watch the news, take notes, or check the weather. That’s an additional layer of privacy even before you open the app.
Notifications will still show the default Signal app icon and name
Signal notes that notifications from the app will always show the default icon and name. So you cannot completely hide the existence of the app on your phone. But this feature does give you more privacy. It’d be even better if it adds more such alternate icons and names. We hope it does, so users can regularly switch between them without frequent repetition. Of course, you can already customize app icons with custom ROMs and launchers on Android, but that’s a completely different story.
In the case of Signal, you’re getting 12 custom icons to choose from without putting much effort or paying a penny. Most other platforms charge money for that, including Signal’s rival Telegram. Even then, you don’t get a custom name or a completely unrelated icon for the app. Kudos to Signal for its efforts while still being supported by donations with no ads or investors. Click the button below to download the latest version (v6.21.3) of the app from the Google Play Store.