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Signal vs. Google Messages

Signal vs. Google Messages

Messaging has become a part of our life. Whether it’s SMS or instant messaging apps, people message more than ever.

Two of those popular apps are Signal and Google Messages. How do both differ? The article takes a ride and covers Signal vs. Google Messages.

The main difference

Signal vs Google Messages
Signal and Google Messages Features

Both Signal and Google Messages support SMS and instant messaging features. The main difference between the two is that Signal is more powerful in instant messaging while Google Messages is more effective in SMS.


Signal and Google Messages Interface
Signal and Google Messages Interface

Both have a simple interface where you see conversations one by one. The top search row can search for names and discussions.

You can access the settings menu in the top right section. Signal also supports opening the menu by clicking on the profile icon in the top-left corner.

Sending options

Signal allows you to send photos, videos, voice, contact, and location. Due to the SMS and MMS limitations, both apps have size limits. Google Messages, on the other hand, supports the below options:

  • Voice
  • GIFs
  • Stickers
  • Photos and videos (maximum 307 KB on cellular)
  • Files (maximum 307 KB on cellular)
  • Photos, videos, and files (up to 100 MB on chat features)
  • Location
  • Contacts

I like the location feature of Google Messages because while sending your location, it shows the nearby places to send if you like to meet at one of those locations.

Related: Textra SMS vs. Google Messages

Signal vs. Google Messages: Encryption

There aren’t many surprises because both are the same regarding encryption. In the instant messaging mode, the conversations are end-to-end encrypted.

Signal uses the open-source Signal Protocol, which is one of the most powerful and used by apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Google Messages also uses the Signal Protocol to encrypt the RCS (chat features) messages.


Google Messages chat features

There are certain limitations with both apps. Google Messages chat features only work when the other person has Google Messages.

The problem with the previous sentence is that Google Messages is not available on iPhones, so you are limited to Android devices.

Signal, however, can be installed on iPhones, and with that, you have access to both SMS and instant messaging features if the other person is using Signal.

Related: Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages



Signal is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPhone, and iPad devices. You must have the Signal mobile app to log in to the desktop app.

However, if you just use it for instant messaging, you don’t need to have an internet connection on your phone at all times.

Google Messages has a Messages for Web feature from which you can send and receive messages. Unlike with Signal, you must have the phone connected to the internet at all times.

Other features


Note to self: Signal allows you to send notes to yourself. This helps if you want to remind yourself of something.

Voice and video calling: Unlike Google Messages, Signal supports voice and video calls.

Voice and video group calls: With Signal, up to 40 group members can voice or video call.

Groups: On the above note, Signal supports fully featured groups. In Google Messages, you can create groups, but due to limitations, you can’t use the internet features to send and receive messages.

PIN: Signal supports creating a PIN to stop unauthorized access.

Payments: Signal supports sending and receiving payments in supported regions. To see if the option is available in your region, go to settings and find the payments option.

SMS and instant messaging: Signal shows the unsecured lock while on SMS. The app-to-app messages show check marks like in WhatsApp.

Google Messages

Copy code: Google Messages recognizes if you have received a code in the message and shows a button to copy the code with one tap.

Message schedule: Google Messages supports scheduling messages, whereas Signal does not.

Spam protection: Both apps support blocking people from sending you a message, but Google Messages uses strong AI to detect spam and send messages to the spam folder before you even open it.

Smart reply: Google Messages supports smart reply, which means you get one-tap suggestions depending on the last messages. The feature is not available in all languages, but the suggestions are good.

SMS and instant messaging: Google Messages shows the SMS messages in a slightly lighter color. While using the internet, the label “chatting with contact” is displayed on the top.

Similar features

Message archive: Both can archive messages. Archived messages are not deleted and can be viewed at a later date.

Message stats: Both show you when the recipient starts typing and when the message has been delivered and viewed while using the internet.

Related: Google Messages Review

Which one is for you?

Both have many similar features. As mentioned in the differences section, if your primary purpose is using a messaging app, you should go with Google Messages. It’s the default Android app that has constantly been improving.

If you have access to the internet at all times, you should go with Signal.

Signal vs. Google Messages: Links


No software program is complete, but if you figure out what you want, you can have a near-perfect experience.

Anyway, this is all for Signal vs. Google Messages. I hope the guide was helpful. Please share your thoughts in the comments and subscribe to the newsletter to stay updated with MK’s Guide.


Friday 28th of October 2022

Thank you for the great comparison. With Signal dropping support for SMS I think more people will be looking at this.

You should update these things: Google Messages is available on the iPhone. Google Messages has video and voice calls. Messages allows you to send txt msgs to yourself.

And of course the big upcoming change is Signal will drop support for SMS.

I was a big time Signal user but just made the switch today. One Android with no clear Rich Chat Services client, dropping SMS support is going to make tons of ppl leave Signal.


Friday 28th of October 2022

@jp_eb, Thank you. I don't think Google Messages is available for iPhone.

Thank you those points. I will make the article with new details soon.