Signal, the open-source encrypted messaging app, is now available for desktop

signal-desktop
Already on mobile, you can now grab Signal — an open-source encrypted messaging app — through the Chrome web store. It employs the same security technology that powers the immensely popular Whatsapp, namely end-to-end encryption. This prevents even the company behind the app’s servers from seeing the messages you’re exchanging, keeping your private conversations out of the hands of unwanted lurkers.

The app comes from a group of developers who have historically stood their ground on privacy issues, thereby deeming it by some a less threatening alternative to Facebook’s social messaging behemoth.

The Signal beta first came out for desktop to a select crowd of specially invited users eager to try out the software last December. While it doesn’t have nearly the install base as Whatsapp, its developer Open Whisper Systems still claims to be improving the look and feel of the service, resulting in increased traffic.

In the app, users can pull up chat windows to communicate in either individual or group settings with the added ability to attach photos and videos, similar to iMessage or Google Hangouts. Unfortunately, while the mobile app boasts an audio calling feature, it’s notably absent on the desktop version. Video calling, meanwhile, is missing from them both.

Granted, there’s a solid reason for this. Voice and video calling isn’t as easy to implement securely in a browser. Then again, that doesn’t explain why video calling can be accomplished in the mobile version, or why there isn’t a standalone desktop app independent from a browser. Not everyone uses Chrome, after all.

The reason may be that Signal is coming from a small non-profit group, Still, delivering on mass market appeal is essential for the app, since messenger apps lacking an audience don’t tend to get very far. We’ll have to see if the app’s encryption capabilities are enough to attract users.

Product Review

The Klipsch T5 headphones are classy AirPod killers

Klipsch’s new true wireless headphones are a classy, high-end pair of AirPod killers with better battery life, water resistance, and one of the prettiest charging cases you’ll ever see.
Small Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

June may be coming to an end, but the bonanza of tech jobs just keeps coming. High-paying jobs abound at companies where people love to work. If you’re ready to make a change, this is a great time to look for something more fulfilling…
Movies & TV

Marvel’s Netflix universe is dead, but its legacy lives on

The end of Marvel's superhero universe on Netflix is a big deal for the streaming service, but this grand experiment had far-reaching effects that changed the streaming landscape for years to come.
Smart Home

Make a better morning cup with the best coffee makers of 2019

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Computing

The MacOS Catalina public beta is live. Here’s how to download it

Apple's latest MacOS update, known as Catalina, is finally available for developer preview, which means if you're willing to pay a little for the privilege, you can be one of the first to try it out.
Computing

MacOS Catalina has arrived. Here are the 5 best features you can use right now

As of Monday, June 24, Apple has released the public beta of its newest MacOS, Catalina. Here are the five best features to expect from MacOS Catalina, including the trio of apps expected to replace iTunes.
Computing

Apple has a plan to save Mac gaming, but it’s not the one you want

The Mac isn’t known for being a game-friendly platform, but Apple hopes to change that in the coming months and years. The thing is, its plan may not be quite what you were hoping for if you’re a Mac gamer.
Apple

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular gets $80 price cut on Amazon ahead of Prime Day

Apple iPads are getting a piece of the Amazon Prime Day action in the weeks leading up to July 15. Now on Amazon ahead of Prime Day, score your 32GB Apple iPad (Wi-Fi + cellular) for just $379, down from $459.
Deals

Amazon’s back-to-college store drops deals on refurbished items before Prime Day

Buying refurbished is a great way to save money, and Amazon has a ton of deals right now. While there's hundreds of Amazon refurbished items on the site, we've found 20 items that we think both college students and parents might be…
Deals

The Dell G5587 Nvidia GTX 1060 gaming laptop just dropped to $799 at Walmart

Gone are the days when you had to spend a grand or more to get a great gaming laptop. PC makers like Dell are cranking out some excellent and affordable machines today like the Dell G5587, which is on sale right now for just $799.
Computing

The Surface Centaurus might run Android apps, but is that a good idea?

A new leak hints that Microsoft's rumored Project Centaurus is a dual-screen device that will run Android apps. Is this what Microsoft needs to save its desperately-ignored Windows tablet mode?
Photography

Create apocalyptic A.I. world with this camera app that removes people from pics

What would the shots in your camera roll look like without any people? Bye Bye Camera is a new iOS app that uses artificial intelligence to remove all people from the photo., but it's not designed for practical applications.
Computing

A dual-screen device from Microsoft is in the works. Here's what we know so far

Would you be interested in a dual-screen Surface computer? The Surface Centaurus is a Microsoft project working on just that -- and Microsoft already has a prototype. Here's all the important information on Centaurus!
Computing

Nvidia's new Super GPUs are upon us. Here's everything we know about them

The Nvidia RTX Super graphics cards could be just a few weeks away from general release and they could help fix the high prices of current-generation GPUs. Here's everything we know about these new super cards.