• Breaking News

    Signal Can Now Transfer Your Chat History To Your New iPhone

    Encrypted messaging app Signal now lets you transfer your account data, including your conversation history, to a new iPhone or iPad from your existing iOS device. The feature rolled out in the app’s version 3.9.1 update last week, but the company formally announced the new feature in a blog post published on Tuesday, which also outlines the steps of how the process works. “This is the first time that upgrading to a new device without losing any information has been possible on iOS,” according to Signal.

    The new procedure is an attempt to find a balance between comfort and security. The process works via a QR code which generates your new device and analyzes your old device. The devices then establish a direct Wi-Fi connection (or Bluetooth if Wi-Fi is not available) and transfer your data over your local network without the data passing through the cloud of the third-party server. Because the transfer is done locally, even large transfers can be made quickly, says Signal.

    Signal’s new iOS transfer feature attempts to offer convenience, while still keeping keys in the hands of users. The connection between the two devices is end-to-end encrypted, and the app will use a variety of checks to make sure it’s only receiving the data it’s expecting. Once the process completes, you should be left with a more or less identical app on the new device.
    Secure messaging apps like Signal typically store conversations only on local devices because of the risk of compelled decryption. But this has created a long-standing problem of how to transfer logs between devices without potentially exposing all the conversations a given user has had. WhatsApp, for example, can back up your chat history to Google Drive or iCloud depending on your device, but it warns that these backups currently aren’t protected by its end-to-end encryption. IMessage backups work the same way: they are encrypted if you choose to back up to Apple iCloud servers. But Apple currently has the keys to these backups and often provides decrypted law enforcement backups in response to valid order requests.

    Signals users on Android can transfer their data between devices for some time, but the process is more complex and depends on the need to manually move the encrypted local backup between the internal storage of the Android device. The new QR-based transfer is currently not available on Android.
    You must be notified of the operation of the new functionality. The first is that you will need your old device if you want to transfer signal data from it. In other words, if you delete the signal data from your old phone before setting up a new one, you will lose the message history. The feature also doesn't work between iOS and Android.

    It is only the latest feature introduced by Signal that helps users to switch between devices. Last month, the messaging service introduced PIN codes that allow you to encrypt data such as profile information, account settings and people you have blocked, as well as a backup on Signal servers so that you can restore them to a new device. But the feature does not allow you to save conversations, unlike the new iOS transfer feature.

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