The year 2021 is truly the time for privacy-friendly apps and services to get the limelight. It all started with the wave to switch from WhatsApp to Signal to protect your privacy.

No matter how many new active users migrated away from WhatsApp, chances are – most of them still haven’t uninstalled WhatsApp.

Of course, I don’t blame them, I have it installed on my device as well (just in case someone tries to reach out for anything).

But, there’s a handy open-source tool available for Android developed by Deekshith Allamaneni that you can utilize to notify your WhatsApp contacts that you have moved over to Signal and to encourage them to install it if they want to get in touch with you.

Watomatic: An Open-Source App That Auto-Replies to WhatsApp Messages

Key Features:

  • Custom auto-reply message
  • Supports auto-reply for group chats
  • Ability to control the frequency of replies (beta)
  • Supports WhatsApp for now. Facebook Messenger support to be added soon.

Watomatic is an interesting free and open-source app that lets you set auto-replies for WhatsApp messages.

The primary aim of this is to help notify your WhatsApp contacts if you’ve migrated away to Signal or other privacy messaging service. However, you can also use this as a vacation auto-responder to send replies to your WhatsApp messages without needing any manual intervention.

It lets you set a custom message for auto-reply, and it even supports auto-replies for Group Chats.

Initially, I was confused how annoying it will be if the auto-reply is sent every time a WhatsApp user sends you a message – but fortunately, you get to control the frequency of the auto-reply message per user per day.

There’s no absolutely no tracking or advertisements included, so it should definitely prove to be a nifty tool as a vacation-responder or just to notify WhatsApp contacts that you’ve migrated to a different messenger like Signal.

Install & Get Started on Android

You can find it listed on the Play Store, and F-Droid and get it installed on your smartphone.

The description of this app states that it should work on most of the Android phones, but you need to test it yourself to find out.

Closing Thoughts

I tested this app on my Nokia 8.1 device running on Android 10 (stock) and it works quite well!

Note that the app requires permission to access/read the notifications that you receive in order to detect WhatsApp messages and send replies to them. However, it does not collect or store any of your data, so there’s nothing to worry about.

The auto-reply for group chats needs improvement, it spams the auto-reply message whenever a unique user in the group texts something, and then when they tag you or reply to your messages. You might want to disable it if it doesn’t work as you intend it to.

Overall, it seems to be a useful tool that should also help me inform my WhatsApp contacts about my switch to Signal.

You can check out the privacy policy or explore the source code anytime on GitHub to know more about it.


Ankush Das

A passionate technophile who also happens to be a Computer Science graduate. You will usually see cats dancing to the beautiful tunes sung by him.