Signal adds custom wallpapers and animated stickers to catch up to WhatsApp
Signal enjoyed an unexpected uptick in users following WhatsApp’s recent privacy blunder. In an effort to capitalize on its rising popularity, Signal has started testing features that make the messaging platform feel a little friendlier.
Earlier this month, Signal announced a handful of new features that would be coming to the platform, including chat wallpapers and animated stickers. As promised, these two features are now available in the beta version of the app, making it feel more like WhatsApp than ever before.
Android Police got its hands on both new features, sharing screenshots of what chat wallpapers look like. You can change your chat wallpaper in Signal by going to Settings > Appearance > Chat wallpaper. You can also change the wallpaper of an individual chat by tapping the person’s name in the top bar and looking for the chat wallpaper option.
There are a total of 21 chat wallpapers to choose from, including 12 solid colors and 9 gradient colors. Android Police said you can also choose a photo from your phone’s camera roll for extra personalization. Before, Signal featured only white and black backgrounds depending on if dark mode was enabled on your device.
Android Police also provides a quick preview of Signal’s new animated stickers—something the platform has dabbled with in the past. There’s a new Day by Day sticker pack that contains 24 animated stickers to help liven up your conversation. The art is by Miguel Angel Camprubí.
Finally, Signal appears to be adding a simple About section for users’ profiles. Users will have the opportunity to choose an emoji and also add a short description of themselves. It’s a simple way to share some of your personality before even having a conversation. Apparently, Signal users can save several blurbs and switch between them on the fly, essentially making them status updates.
If you’re on iOS, Signal said it also plans to add media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos, the latter of which is already available on Android.
These new additions to Signal appear to be in the beta version of the app for now. Hopefully, testing goes smoothly so they can be added to the stable build. Once that rolls out, we’ll be sure to let you know.