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Signal's encrypted messaging app comes to the desktop

Signal's encrypted messaging app comes to the desktop


But just for Android users

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After making its encrypted chat and call app available on both iOS and Android, Open Whisper Systems is bringing Signal to desktops. The company released its beta Signal Desktop app through the Chrome Web Store on Wednesday, although encryption fans will have to wait before testing it; the waitlist currently numbers in the thousands. For now, the free app only syncs with Android devices, but the company plans to open the platform up to iOS soon. The Chrome app mirrors messages across platforms, allowing users to seamlessly switch between them. Testers can send private group, text, picture, and video messages, all of which are end-to-end encrypted. The app isn't ready for voice calling yet, however.

The launch follows intense public discussion on encrypted messaging apps. The terrorist attacks in Paris last month prompted many in the US government to point to encrypted communications as a great facilitator in the attacks’ success. Edward Snowden, however, extolled Signal on Twitter earlier in the month saying he uses it "every day."