Problems with Signal messaging app

I want to use Signal as my default messaging app but am running into numerous issues.

  1. can only send/receive messages to/from other Signal users when connected to wifi. If i’m on a cell network the messages don’t make it through in either direction until I am back on wifi.

  2. problems responding to or initiating group texts. (always get a message saying ‘not delivered’. sometimes it actually does get delivered and other times not. depending on i don’t know what.)

  3. problems with MMS in general if not communicating with other Signal users – for example I can send photos to other signal users but not to non-Signal users.

I have a Moto G phone with the plan where I can call over cell or wifi but only get data over wifi.


Hi @layneg.ocbhkc,

The only messaging apps that work properly with your Moto G1 are the bundled Messaging app and Google Messenger. Your experience with Signal on a legacy Republic phone (Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1, X2) is regrettably what can be expected when using a messaging app other than bundled Messaging or Google Messenger with these phones.

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Hi rolandh, what about Signal on non-legacy Republic phones? I have a brand new (got it today) Moto X Pure and would like to use Signal, however I am currently running into issues with MMS.

Hi @willf.jj8ide,

It all depends on whether Signal supports the Android system API when sending to others not using Signal. Signal to Signal should work fine as that bypasses normal SMS/MMS channels. I’ll do my best to take a look and post back but probably won’t be today. It’s too bad Signal’s encryption only works when communicating with other Signal users.

Good Morning @willf.jj8ide,

I went ahead and installed Signal on my Moto X Pure. I’m able to successfully exchange MMS with another Republic phone in my household and an iPhone on T-Mobile. Republic’s 3.0 app doesn’t complain about me using an unsupported messaging app, so from that I conclude Signal supports Android’s system API and should work for you. Republic’s Anywhere beta desktop app even picks up the activity while using Signal on the Moto X Pure rather than the companion Android app.

Would you be able to provide some additional detail regarding the issues you’re seeing with MMS. Are you not able to send? Receive? Both? Does MMS work with Android Messages (formerly Google Messenger)? Is the issue limited to exchanging MMS with someone on a specific carrier? Or, is the issue with multiple recipients on multiple carriers?

Apologies for all the questions but I’d like to help if I can.

ETA: Should have asked one more question. Is this happening on WiFi, cell or both? Okay that’s three more questions.

Hi again @rolandh,

I went ahead and tested using Signal again and this time it seems to work perfectly, I can receive and send MMS over both WiFi and cell. The problem before was I would not receive MMS when on WiFi. I did apply multiple OS security patches (brand new phone) in between the first attempt and the second round of testing, no idea if this is what fixed it or not. During both rounds of testing Android Messages worked fine with regular and MMS texts. I tested it the first time by texting someone on AT&T and someone on Verizon. Both times MMS did not work but regular texts did. I will not however that after having the problem solve itself when on WiFi MMS takes longer than when on LTE for some reason. Could be the WiFi network I’m on, no way of knowing from my position.

Thanks for being so helpful and quick to reply @rolandh, I really appreciate. Sorry it turned out to be a wild goose chase with no definitive answers for those with similar, but as of yet, unresolved issues.

Good Morning @willf.jj8ide,

You’re most welcome! No worries, I’m happy the issue seems sorted for you. I understand Republic’s choice to focus support resources on Android Messages (formerly Google Messenger) but also like having options, so was happy to test and see that Signal appears to meet the requirements as far as supporting Android’s system API. Offering this sort of extended support when Republic itself doesn’t have the resources to devote is when Community is at its’ best.

Perhaps, it was the operating system updates or maybe there were updates to Signal since you tested previously? Should the WiFi struggles return (let’s hope not) there is a setting that might help. With Signal open at More (three dots upper right) -> Settings -> SMS and MMS; toggling on WiFi Calling compatibility mode might be worthwhile. For purposes of this experiment, I didn’t need to do so but Republic’s blended service is WiFi first for both calling and messaging.

My wife is having a similar problem with not being able to send messages when not on wifi (her phone has cell service but no data.). Does the signal app use the cell service?

No, Signal uses data for signal-to-signal messages. If no data is available then signal-to-signal messages would fail. For regular texts/SMS, Signal should still be able to send as long as the data is enabled in Android settings, even on a plan without data.

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