Dark's Code Dump

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My issues with Signal

Signal has taken the world by storm since WhatsApp introduced their latest round of anti-privacy changes. At face value, Signal seems great, but it has flaws that have me seriously considering whether the privacy aspect is worth it:

  • No backup support on iOS
    • They intentionally block encrypted iTunes backups from including Signal chat and media files. This is highly unintuitive behaviour - the only other apps that do this are video players optionally preventing backups of downloaded files, which makes perfect sense. Normally encrypted iTunes backups are comprehensive, including much more than iCloud backups or non-encrypted iTunes backups.
    • Functionality to move from one working phone to another working phone does not count!
    • They repeatedly close or disregard GitHub issues on the subject, instead redirecting people to their forum where they are equally unreceptive. This has been going on since at least 2016.
    • Data ownership is just as important as privacy!
  • It's yet another app that is a giant Chrome tab
    • They render with HTML on iOS, and boy does it show. High input latency and frame drops galore with a trivial amount of messages. (On A13!)
    • Lack of control over rendering means that seemingly simple things like the 'jump to bottom' button fading in when scrolling up cause frame drops.
    • UI, especially settings, does not feel native to iOS.
    • They had to panic release a performance update when the influx of users accustomed to a better experience downloaded the app, but there is still a long way to go.
  • They use swipe right to quote messages, but swipe left does nothing. They could change this so that swiping right anywhere on the screen goes back, and swiping left quotes messages, which would be a quick win for UX. Currently swiping to go back is a 50/50 whether it will unintentionally quote a message instead.

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