One of the main disadvantages of using Signal on WhatsApp is that it currently lacks a seamless migration feature. While messaging offers a solution to help users transfer their chats to a new device, the process requires them to take a local backup, transfer the local backup to the new device, and restore it to access their messages. On the other hand, apps like WhatsApp and Telegram offer a much simpler solution. This could be a deciding factor for many users looking for alternatives to WhatsApp, so Signal is now rolling out a new, more seamless solution.
According to a recent report of TestCatalog, Signal’s latest beta channel update (v 5.5.0) introduces a new migration tool that will help you transfer your account and all of its data to a new device via a local and protected Wi-Fi-Direct connection . Its description in the changelog 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 via a private local direct WiFi connection. “
Not only is this new feature a much more seamless alternative to the old local backup solution, it’s also more secure than similar features in WhatsApp and Telegram, as it offers end-to-end encryption for backups. If you’ve signed up for the Signal beta program, you can find the new “Transfer Account” feature in the “Chats” settings of the app.
To use the new feature, you must first download Signal on the new device. Then tap Transfer or restore account, select Transfer from Android device when prompted, and then tap Continue. This will instantly migrate your account to your new device. Note that since the feature uses Wi-Fi Direct to migrate accounts, you need to keep the two devices nearby for this to work as expected. It’s also worth mentioning that the feature is only available on the latest beta of Signal at this time and we currently have no information on its rollout on the stable channel. We will update this article as soon as the account transfer functionality starts rolling out to more users with a future update.