Signal Private Messenger is one of the most popular alternatives to the messaging apps built into your phone or that you can download from the app store.
Signal is currently available on Android phones and tablets and all iPhones and iPads. There is not presently a web version of the app.
Signal is operated under a 501c3 nonprofit called the Signal Foundation, which works to ensure a free, private, and open-source social media landscape. Former WhatsApp co-creator Brian Acton created Signal and foundation after having issues with WhatsApp’s direction due to its new owner, Facebook. Acton cited issues with data protection and targeted advertising as the main reasons for creating the app.
Unlike other messaging and social media applications, Signal prioritizes data protection and encryption. This ensures that your information and conversations are protected and are only seen by you and whoever you are speaking with. All of the technology and code behind Signal is open-source, which means users can see how the app functions and what happens to their data. Signal also has no ads, which gives you less time to be distracted on your phone or misled by false information.
Signal has almost the features you would want from a messaging app. Signal offers HD video calling, group messaging, person-to-person messaging, and the ability to share pictures, videos, GIFS, and files. Long-distance messaging, calls, and video calls are also available for free with no stated drop in quality. The only thing not currently available in the app, which is available in alternative messaging apps, is the ability to highlight previous messages when replying.
Signal can access contacts through your phone book or contacts app if you request, allowing you not to take extra steps when transitioning to using the app. You can also set ringtones and alerts for each individual person or go on silent mode. Signal also has a dark and light theme and a picture editor similar to Snapchat. Signal is not restricted by age and is accessible to everyone as long as they have the appropriate device.