Signal, one of the most popular encrypted communication app, has added a new feature of video calling in its offerings. The feature makes it even more impressive as you can make encrypted video calls from your smartphone without getting worried about the privacy of your conversation.
There are many chat apps promising the privacy and security as one of their features, but Signal made security its USP. It is extremely popular among politicians, journalists, and activists who cannot take any chances when it comes to secure communications.
It has recently released an update to its Android app and iOS app. This not only improves the voice-calling experience but adds to video calling for good measure.
Developed by the non-profit organization Open Whisper Systems, and led by former Twitter security engineer Moxie Marlinspike, Signal has set the standards for end-to-end encryption and is used by a diverse group of users. Anyone in a compromised location can take advantage of the app’s security features to communicate with others safely and securely. But the app’s demographic goes considerably beyond activists and journalists. People who prioritize security more generally use Signal for more benign functions — even casual communication with GIFs and other less sensitive content.
Open Whisper System’s encryption code and protocols have been used by WhatsApp, Google and Facebook to introduce protected messages to some of their products. The encryption type works by using public and private keys that only allow the intended recipient to read a message. It isn’t possible for the messaging service to access what has been sent between individuals or groups.
Video capabilities should serve groups, assuming it can perform at a level that matches more traditional and less secure, services like Apple’s FaceTime and Google’s Hangouts. To that point, Open Whisper Systems is continuing to work on making it easier for developers to incorporate Signal in their products.
Calls via Signal are effectively treated the same way as calls received natively on any cellular network. Unfortunately, this integration might create vulnerabilities for, particularly privacy-conscious because it syncs call duration and destination with iCloud. This feature can be turned off within your phone’s settings though if you’d prefer to prioritize security over convenience.
To try out the new features included in the update, you’ll need to go into your Signal settings and enable video calling beta under advanced. Just remember that calls will work only if the person you’re trying to reach has also enabled video.