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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Signal lacks these important WhatsApp features

Many users are switching to Signal, because it is more focused on privacy. But it does lack some features seen on WhatsApp, and we wish these were available on the platform as well.

Written by Ankita Garg | Mumbai | Updated: January 16, 2021 10:30:40 am
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WhatsApp is one of the best messaging apps as it offers a simple user interface and is packed with features. But many people have decided it is time to quit WhatsApp in light of the new privacy policy, and switch to Signal. While it is good to see most of the WhatsApp features available on Signal, there are a few key ones that we miss having on it. Here are WhatsApp features we wish were available on Signal.

Live Location

It is one of the important features that WhatsApp offers to its users, especially in India. While you get the option to share location on Signal, users can’t share live location, which might not be very helpful in some situations. It is a good feature to have in those scenarios where users need to coordinate and meet up at places, which are difficult to find otherwise. Apps like Telegram and iMessage already offer support for live location. Until and unless Signal adds live location feature, one can use Google Maps to share live location.

Media settings

There is no option to change media settings for every chat, unlike WhatsApp. By default, all your photos or videos are not downloaded in your phone’s storage and you will have to manually download them. WhatsApp is widely used in India and a lot of photos or videos are shared on a daily basis and some people do like to save them to their phone. The company should offer the option to let users decide whether all the media should be automatically downloaded in the phone’s storage or done manually. Of course, this also means that with Signal all those good morning forwards are not eating up your phone’s storage.

To find out what all media you have shared with your friend in Signal, just visit the individual’s chat > tap on three-dotted icon > All media. Here, you can manually select photos, files, videos, audio files, and documents (that you have exchanged) to download on your phone.

If you have received more than one image in a chat, you just need to long-press on the photos, then the app will give you the option to all download. Once you tap on the download button, all the photos will get downloaded.

Last seen

One of the important features of WhatsApp is Last Seen, which is missing on Signal. It is a great feature, which lets you check the last time your contacts used WhatsApp. The messaging service even has the option to disable the Last Seen feature for everyone. You also don’t get to see if the person is online in Signal, which is a bit disappointing. While we understand Signal wants us to give privacy, we do believe it should give the option to control who can see your last seen.

Profile picture

There is no option to hide the profile picture from some of the users. Signal doesn’t offer any feature to set who all can see your profile picture. Those who are in your address book, or part of any groups you accept can see your profile picture on Signal.

Chat Wallpapers

There is no option to change chat wallpaper here. WhatsApp allows you to personalise chats by changing wallpaper, which makes a chat look more interesting and attractive. You can set custom chat or doodle wallpapers. You also get the ability to set separate wallpapers in light and dark mode settings. The ability to add custom chat wallpapers to make chats personal and distinguishable by using a custom wallpaper for different chats is quite nice and interesting.

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