Hacking your salads since 2018

Using Signal (for SMS)

09 Jan 2021 - Garrett Brown

Recently, Facebook changed WhatsApp's privacy policy to essentially say "give us your data, or you can't use WhatsApp anymore." And of course, that led a good number of users to delete their accounts and uninstall the app. And I don't blame them. I could get into a whole rant about how I don't like Facebook collecting data, especially from a messaging service which prides itself on being secure and using encryption for their messaging, but I won't get into that here. While it does suck, a new service has started to blow up: Signal. For those who aren't familiar with Signal, it is an open source, encrypted, privacy and security focused messaging platform. It works a lot like any other messaging platform does, and even uses the same encryption standard as WhatsApp (Signal created the standard, WhatsApp used it.) This makes Signal almost a no-brainer as an alternative for those looking for a new encrypted messaging platform.

Now, I never used WhatsApp much. I did try it out a while ago, and found out more friends used it than I thought used it! Of course, the people I was close enough with to strike up a conversation were people I already chatted with on other services, like Snapchat or SMS, so I ended up abandoning it. But recently, I've been looking into replacing Textra as my SMS app on Android. It wasn't bad, but it had ads which, while they weren't very intrusive, were still kind of annoying. And with all of the talk about Signal, I looked into it, to find that it could also be an SMS client. So I figured why not?

A bit of a disclaimer here, I haven't used the actual Signal messaging platform much. I only found two of my firends who are even on Signal, and I haven't spoken to them in a while. But I have used it as my SMS client for a while. The app is amazing, has no ads, and is simple to use. I also like that there is a "Note to self" contact that you can use to sent notes to yourself. While this is simple, and can be done with any platform, its a nice touch that they just have it there and ready to use for you! And since it does use Signal instead of SMS, I can easily send links and files and such between my phone and computer!

I kind of hope that a few more of my friends from WhatsApp would jump ship to Signal, or even just some friends who didn't use WhatsApp. Signal seems like an awesome messaging platform, and I wish I could use it for more than a SMS client right now. But it still rocks as an SMS client! I think this will be the app I use for SMS for a long while!

This is post 15 of #100daystooffload.