Signal was being really secretive about its open-source server code over the last year, and now we know why: the nonprofit has been working on a payments feature and didn't want to spill the beans ahead of the announcement. Starting now, people living in the United Kingdom can send and receive a cryptocurrency using Signal beta builds.
Signal has always been heralded as the security-aware alternative to WhatsApp and Co. due to its open-source nature, but the nonprofit behind the chat app hasn't always stuck to its original open-source promises. While it regularly publishes the code of its client apps, Signal failed to update the Github repository for its server for almost a year, as reported by German publication Golem — though earlier today, the company pushed out an update with a more recent release.
The blocking of popular Western social media platforms in China is nothing new, and regulators appear to have gone after the increasingly fashionable chat app Signal. Users in the country report that the service has been down since yesterday.
With WhatsApp's recent Facebook-induced privacy woes, Signal and Telegram are enjoying their time in the spotlight. Signal's privacy focus has specifically appealed to a lot of users who decided to switch away from WhatsApp, with the app seeing unprecedented growth and topping global app charts worldwide. But many of those newly-acquired users have quickly noticed Signal's limited feature set, forcing the app's devs to rush and try to plug some holes to keep everyone hooked. A few new features were promised two weeks ago, they showed up in beta last week and are now live in the latest stable version of the app.
Many Android fans believe in a sort of holy grail: That iMessage can somehow be brought to Android. Almost everything else when moving from iOS to Android has a workaround, an app, or some way to accommodate it, though iMessage remains an Apple-controlled platform exclusive with a dominating presence in the US market. But a new app formally launching today called Beeper aims to change that, delivering not just iMessage for Android, but a single unified messaging app for all your other services, too, like Telegram, Slack, Signal, Twitter DMs, Discord, Hangouts, and even IRC.
Following a day and a half of difficulties, Signal's cross-platform messaging service is operational again. Both Signal's Twitter and status dashboard indicate things are back to normal, and following the influx of literally millions of new users to the service, we can all enjoy more private and secure communications.
WhatsApp’s recent policy update has turned into a Pandora’s box for the app's parent firm, Facebook. The resulting exodus to rival platforms has sent shockwaves so strong that the company felt the need to run full front-page ads in several Indian dailies to make its case. While Facebook was busy doing some damage control, Telegram and Signal got to benefit from disgruntled users flocking en masse for their apps. Telegram emerged as the bigger winner of the two, having added over 25 million users in just three days (breaching the milestone of 500 million active users in the process).