Signal imitates WhatsApp with several new features

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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US-based cross-platform encrypted messaging service platform Signal is trying to add a range of new features that are already available on WhatsApp.

The new updates became apparent just days after the instant messaging app welcomed a surge of new users. The increase in popularity of Signal has come in the aftermath of the WhatsApp privacy policy change.

Chat wallpapers is one of the main changes brought by Signal by mimicking WhatsApp. An ‘About’ option that looks identical to the one on WhatsApp will also be added by messaging platform for the users.

As noticed by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, Signal 5.3.1 beta for Android carries the new chat wallpaper feature. It can be accessed by clicking the Settings option.

Signal Chat Theme
Signal has added a Chat wallpaper option that works similar to WhatsApp

Around 21 pre-set wallpapers are available to choose from, while users can also add their own photos on the app as chat wallpapers. A choice to set a dark theme to dim the chat wallpaper is also available.

WhatsApp has had chat wallpapers for quite some time now. In December, it also included custom wallpaper for chats.

The ‘About’ option is available in the new Signal beta, which allows users to inform their contacts about their status. It is available in the Profile option in the settings menu on the Signal app. WhatsApp has a similar ‘About’ option.

In the new update, Signal has also added support for animated stickers, with the first official animated sticker pack being ‘Day by Day’. The Signal desktop app also enables users to create new animated stickers and share them directly with their friends, as per the reports.

Signal About
Signal has introduced an ‘About’ option that is just similar to WhatsApp’s About status

In July last year, WhatsApp added animated stickers. It is also reportedly bringing the ability to import third-party animated stickers in the coming weeks.

Signal also adding a low-data mode for calls, which is already available on WhatsApp. The app also lets users look at their chats, on the iOS share sheet, this feature has been introduced by WhatsApp for iPhone users last year.

Earlier this week, Signal brought the ability to let users to select when their media files should be downloaded automatically. The app also recently changed the limit on group calls from five participants to eight. Both these features are already available on WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned app increased the group call limit to eight people in April.