App maker Open Whisper Systems took an important step in this direction today with the release of a major new version of its Signal encrypted calling app for iPhones and iPads. Signal app is specifically designed to make secure and easy-to-use encrypted voice calling. But that’s what the application was providing in its previous release introduced last July with Signal 1.0.
Signal 2.0 allows users to send end-to-end encrypted group, text, picture, and video messages between Signal on iPhone and TextSecure on Android.
Some of the Key Features of SIGNAL 2.0
- The end-to-end encrypted messaging support added to Signal 2.0 for iPhone is Free and Open Source.
- Besides sending text, images and videos, Signal also supports free calls.
- Signal app doesn’t require a login, usernames or PINs. It uses only your phone number and address book to get you started with end-to-end encrypted texting and calling.
- Signal makes your conversation end-to-end encrypted in such a way that nobody, including the company, can tap into calls or read your conversations.
- Signal also supports forward secrecy, so if an attacker steals your encryption key, they cannot go back and decrypt messages they may have collected in the past.
- With Signal 2.0 release, you can message across iOS and Android (via a third-party app called TextSecure) without any fees or set up.
Unlike other text messaging products, Signal’s code is open source, meaning it can be inspected by experts, and the app also supports forward secrecy, so if an attacker steals your encryption key, they cannot go back and decrypt messages they may have collected in the past.
According to Marlinspike, the high-profile coverage of government spying is increasing demand for encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram, an app that offers strong encryption has already sent over 40 million messages.
“Every time [Intercept parent company] First Look publishes a story, our installs go up,” Marlinspike told Fusion. “It’s well-documented that calls and messages you send over [phone networks] are not private. Things like Signal are a way to have private communication from your phone and also a better experience. Sending media messages to your friends will be frictionless and high quality and a lot better than sending MMS.”