What is Signal?
Signal is a free, instantaneous cross-platform, centralized encrypted messaging service application that uses the internet to send and receive daily one-to-one and group messages like files, documents, voice notes, images, and videos. The app has been developed by the Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC, the US. It has become a role- model for all instant messaging apps because ‘Privacy’ s not an option but a ‘mandatory incorporation’ within the app.
Secure Instant Messenger like Signal
With end-to-end encryption as the main focus, a typical chat instant messenger has the following architecture-
- Sender’s messaging device
- Recipient’s messaging device
These are the interconnected parts within the architecture.
How it Works
A sender sends messages to recipients via a server. Without encryption, messages will be transmitted in the form of ‘plain texts’, that are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. On the other hand, with encryption, the messages first convert into cyphertext (encryption with a key)while transfer and then converted back on reaching the recipient’s device (a decrypted form with a paired key).
Encryption keys are not stored on the server rather at the end- user’s device(recipient’s). Only sender and receiver can read the messages and not even the service provider can access them.
One disadvantage – Man-in-the-Middle ( MITM)attack by hackers.
Signal -kind of app can make it immune by developing a Double Ratchet Algorithm, an encryption protocol model. Even ‘Whatsapp’ has adopted this model of Signal.
Why You Should Develop a Signal-like-App?
- Onboarding features means a short description of the app itself. The app must be easily comprehensible and meaningful to the end-users.
- The strict pattern of signing-up and login process to the messenger that can be onboarded on mobile also.
- Unique profile creation means storing user’s crucial private information and Signal takes an extra protective layer.
- Signal allows users within the setting option to adjust messenger as per their unique requirement or convenience.
- Instant Notifications.
- Safe and secure one-on-one and group text chats.
- VoIP feature. Quality sounds assured because Signal provides a stable internet connection even when the speed is very slow.
- Self-destructing messages option gives users to set a timer for destroying crucial or personal messages so that they don’t reach the wrong hands.
- Syncing of features lets users switch between devices smoothly.
- The strict protocol contains a two-step authentication process to protect data. This process includes fingerprints, pin codes, passwords, verification links, and code.
Peer-to-Peer Messaging App Development
Developing a Signal-like peer-to-peer messaging app, the certain unique features that users can avail of-
- Secured secret private chats – Heard about disappearing and lockable chats? Means, some secret chats are automatically deleted once logged out. They are not stored in Cloud servers or anywhere.
- Secure Video Chats – With strict protocols,of-course!
- GIFs and Stickers – Popular interaction services in the form of free GIFs and stickers.
Ways to Secure a Messaging App like Signal
Signal’s backend specialists are the real heroes behind its successful stint in the market. They know how to encrypt the messages by giving proper security codes and lends reliability features. The various ways to secure a messaging app like Signal are
- Encrypted messages are stored in cloud servers that re-secured for this purpose.
- Decryption keys are available in the users’ devices only to avoid any sort of data-breach in case the cloud server happens to be hacked!
- Using an encrypted messaging API directly from the Signal app itself.
- Open-Source encryption protocol which is regularly audited and reviewed.
Ideas About the Cost for Developing a Signal-like App
On average, it takes around 520 hours to develop just a back-end for a Signal app. The idea is, the total cost depends on the total time taken for developing the whole app. Usually, for the back-end programming language, Elixir or Erlang is the ideal choice. The other cost-determining aspects are the timing of the following processes in the development cycle–
- Specification-Creating & business analysis.
- Client-side iOS mobile app
- UI design & UX design
- App testing for iOS platform
- Back-end development
Developing time and testing time for the Android platform differ. So, an estimate can be assessed accordingly. You need to consult a mobile application development company that can give you the exact cost estimation and other related guidance.
Approximately around $51,000 as a rough estimate!
Anybody can develop an encrypted messaging app. But to make a secure end-to-end messaging app like Signal needs some expert hands of back-end developers in the organization you are availing of the service. Signal assures a user’s greatest asset – Privacy! That’s the reason why even famous names like Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype (private messaging), Google Messages for the Android platform are following the Signal protocols for encrypting their messaging content. Just imagine, messages you are typing on some crucial business deals with your clients and they get leaked, what would be the consequences? Your rivals will come to know your business plans. That’s the pain -point that a Signal messaging app is addressing perfectly, helping businesses across the world.
Interested to launch your own brand like Signal? Check out how we are helping other businesses to achieve their mobile app goals through our specific mobile development services.