Signal update for Android, iOS adds chat wallpapers, animated stickers

Signal has released a new update for its Android and iOS apps that brings about a host of changes including chat wallpapers and animated stickers. The features are available in the latest 5.3.1 version of Signal for iOS and version 5.3.7 for Android. The features were announced by Signal on January 12 and are finally rolling out for users.

Among common features for both iOS and Android are chat wallpapers and animated stickers, which rival WhatsApp has had for a long time. Signal has also added a new “About” option in Signal Profile. Wallpapers can be set for individual chats or as the default background for everyone. Users can select a photo of their own to set as wallpaper or select from presets offered by the app.

Coming to animated stickers, the first official animated sticker pack by Signal will be “Day by Day” by Miguel Ángel Camprubí. To recall, WhatsApp released animated stickers in July last year. Signal allows users to create their own APNG animated sticker packs in Signal Desktop as well. The sticker packs can be shared with multiple chats as well.

Additionally, Signal iOS users get a new setting to lower data usage for calls. The setting lets users automatically pause attachment downloads while a call is in progress. The downloads can be resumed or paused at any time. Finally, Signal has also improved image compression and quality and expanded the chat list previews that now display the sender’s name in group chats. Signal says the expanded chat list previews make it easier to decide which threads to look at first.

Signal is an end-to-end encrypted messaging app just like WhatsApp. A large number of people flocked to it after WhatsApp updated its Privacy Policy earlier this month, triggering privacy concerns. According to a Sensor Tower report, Signal was downloaded over 23 lakh times between January 6 and January 10.

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