Signal is probably the best option out there if you want a truly secure and private messenger on your phone, even despite the recent controversies around its server code and its crypto features. The private chat app has long been trying to outdo WhatsApp in the feature department to give people even more incentives to switch, and now, the service is continuing this effort with new features concerning voice messages.
The latest Signal for Android Beta, version 5.16, comes with two new options for listening to voice messages. You can speed up playback by the factor of 2 and slow it down to half the regular speed by tapping a small “1x” button below the waveform preview of the message. This should be useful depending on how clearly the other party talks, or how much time you have to listen to someone’s message.
Signal 5.16 additionally introduces voice message drafts. When you leave the app while you’re recording a message, you’ll be presented with a draft when you open the app the next time. You can’t add more content to a draft once you exit the app, but at least your five-minute monologue won’t go to waste completely now. You may have also noticed the new voice message player at the top of the chat in the GIF above. This interface tweak also extends to the Signal homescreen and other Signal chats, making it easy to pick up on a message when you need to pause.
Left: Recording. Right: Draft.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently also introduced speed control options for voice chats, but so far, the company only supports faster speeds — you can’t slow down playback yet. WhatsApp has supported voice message drafts for a long time already, though.
You can download Signal 5.16 by joining the test program on the Play Store, but we’ve also got the APK over at APK Mirror if you don’t want to fully commit to beta builds. Whichever path you choose, the stable Signal version on your phone will be overwritten with the beta, and you’ll have to wait for the next higher stable release to return to the stable channel if you don’t want to go through restoring your chats manually.