Signal, the messaging app that is set to replace WhatsApp for the most privacy-focused users, is borrowing one of WhatsApp’s most useful features with wireless account migration. Have you ever thought about how to keep conversations and messages up to date as you swap between phones? Probably not. Whether you’re using WhatsApp or Telegram, your chats are often stored in the cloud, and accessible on every device when you log in.
Signal’s privacy-focused nature didn’t allow for that, restricting users to only being able to transfer account data via way of a local backup. That’s changing in version 5.5, at least in beta builds.
Via Reddit, The changelog for the beta update reads:
Your next upgrade deserves an upgrade. Quickly and securely transfer your Signal information to a brand-new Android phone. Use the end-to-end encrypted migration feature to move your account and messages from an old device to a new device over a private local WiFi Direct connection.
It’s a step-up from basic file transfers, and it’s nowhere as good as the seamless cloud transfer that users can experience on WhatsApp. Nevertheless, it is here, and it works, if you’re in the beta at least.
Given past patterns, Signal will roll this change out to stable users in a matter of weeks. The messaging app has also added a slew of other features aimed at attracting users, from chat backgrounds to custom statuses. Little by little, Signal’s starting to feel a lot more like a contemporary messaging app than it did at the start of the year.