The ultra-secure messaging app favored by Edward Snowden and many security analysts has finally landed on desktop. Signal, the app made by the same organization that powers the encryption in WhatsApp and other services, now has a dedicated desktop experience for its iPhone users.
Notably, Signal still doesn't have a standalone desktop experience — you'll need to link the desktop version to your mobile version — but the new app should make using the app a bit easier for many of its users.
Signal creator Open Whisper Systems, the open source software group that focuses on end-to-end encryption, first launched a desktop app for Android users last year and rolled out a beta version for iOS in the spring. But with the most recent update, it's now ready for all iPhone users.
To get the new version, existing users of either app just need to download the Chrome app and link it to the mobile version by scanning a QR code on the desktop version. Once linked, you can message your contacts from your keyboard as you normally would.
While other messaging apps have begun to adopt end-to-end encryption, Signal is favored by many in the security community because the open nature of the software allows others to review its code. Snowden has also been a vocal proponent of the app and, as we saw with Google's new messaging app Allo, he's not afraid to criticize apps that don't meet his standards.