How to Use Signal on an iPad

This guide will take you each step of the way through the process required to install and use the secure chat App named Signal on your iPad.

You’ll need a phone number that can receive SMS text messages in order to complete the signup process. If you don’t want to display your phone number to other Signal users, that’s where Google Voice comes into play. Just sign up for a Google Voice account (free, however you will need a mobile phone to sign up) and use the phone number they assign you. Note: Google Voice is not available in all countries. You can also get an assigned phone number via Skype, but that involves a monthly fee. You can completely avoid the need for a mobile phone if you opt to use a Skype number. Yet another option is to use Twilio and set up forwarding.

  1. Grab your iPad and open the App Store. In the search field, enter just the word signal
  2. You’ll notice that Signal isn’t listed in the search results. No problem. In the upper-left corner of the App Store tap the button/link titled iPad Only
  3. From the little ‘bubble menu’, select iPhone Only
  4. Ta-da! There’s Signal. Tap the Get button to install it as you would any other App on your iPad.
  5. Open Signal when the download and installation have completed.
  6. Enter your phone number – whether it’s your actual mobile phone, a Google Voice or Skype number and tap the Activate This Device button.
  7. Signal will send a text message to your number that contains a verification PIN. Enter that PIN in the space provided and then tap Submit
  8. You’ll be prompted to allow Signal to send you notifications. Tap OK
  9. Now give your Profile a name. This is the name that will be shown alongside your existing phone number when communicating with others. See this official document for more details on how Signal shares this information with other users. If you’d like to assign yourself an Avatar just tap the button next to it and select an existing photo or take a new one.
  10. Now you can send and receive Signal messages on your iPad. Tap the Compose button to get started.
  11. You’ll be prompted to grant access to your Contacts – tap OK
  12. Your contacts will load and you can select someone to chat with from where.
  13. That’s it!
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