Signal, the encrypted messaging app from Open Whisper Systems, finally reached the open beta testing phase for desktop computers.
Four months ago, the developers started testing the software in closed beta stage. During this period, users only had access to it via an invitation program, but now that the beta is open so anyone can have a taste of Signal.
Users can get Signal from the Chrome Web Store and must log in via their Android device with the mobile variant of the app. By using the option to link the mobile and desktop environments, users can sync and continue their conversations across multiple devices.
After registering using their phone number, users can start messaging their contacts in complete discretion. The developers guarantee that each and every conversation gets end-to-end encryption and there are zero ads to be worried about.
The app does pretty much what one would expect. It allows users to send images, videos, audio files and text, but it needs a bit of tinkering to bring it on par with its rivals. For example, users are unable to manually create a group - so they have to rely on the Android app for that. What is more, the app only works on Android at the moment, leaving iOS users behind.
Should anyone want to study the app's open-source code, take a look at it on GitHub.
Signal has been commended by security experts for a good while now. The application got appraisals from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who lauded the software's capability to establish confidential communications thanks to its native end-to-end encryption support.
You don't have to take Snowden's word for it, though. The Google Play store reports that Signal saw between 1 and 5 million installs, and the score of 4.5/5 is a solid indicator of the app's functionality.
There is a myriad of highly encrypted messaging apps on the market, and Tech Times compared and contrasted three of them so users know what to expect. Signal, Apple's iMessage and ChatSecure were pitted against each other, and each of them trump the others in a certain respect.
As Web security is becoming increasingly more important for the tech industry and consumers alike, using a messaging app with end-to-end encryption support becomes paramount.