Replacing Verizon’s Message+ for Android

Yesterday while I was working my Message+ application, that I use for text messaging, updated itself to version 6.4.1. I soon discovered the app now requires you to create a public profile. There is no way to opt out or cancel this. So, in order to read the text my wife sent me, I had to agree to this. When I got home I called Verizon, and ended up having press the 0 key a few dozen times, just to talk to a person, and I got no real answer. Then I checked their privacy policy from the link in the app, and it gave no clear indication of what this public profile is, or who can access the information. Luckily, when it forced me to create the profile I just put in some random characters instead of my name. Now I’ve decided it is time to use a new app.

Fortunately, with Android this is a very simple task. After some research, I decided to switch to Signal. Signal is a free open source app that is similar in Messenger in the look and feel. Plus it has the added feature of encrypting the messages if both the sender and recipient are using Signal. And what really sealed the deal for me was it also has a Chrome extension allowing you to send messages from your desktop.

Replacing Message+

Installing and setting it up Signal to replace Message+ was a breeze. All you have to do is download it from the Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.thoughtcrime.securesms&hl=en. Then once it finishes installing launch the application. It will prompt you if you want to make it the default SMS app. Just tap on the banner to do this. Then it prompted me to import my current SMS messages. I did this as well, and all my previous messages showed up. As of right now my only complaint is it prompts you to invite contacts that are not using Signal. It is kind of annoying, but so far, it does not reappear for that contact once you click the X on the invite banner.

Follow Up

I’ll be sure to report back after a few days, to see if Signal is going to meet my messaging needs.

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