Telegram is releasing a feature update for the messenger of the same name before the Christmas holidays. The big innovation: group calls, which I tried out in beta earlier this month. Telegram has had group chats since 2013, and compared to conventional groups such as those on WhatsApp, for example, they offer numerous additions such as surveys, admin tools and statistics.
Telegram has been integrating individual calls from one person to another for a long time, and voice chats are now being started for groups. Basically, every Telegram group can be used as a voice chat room. Members can join there quite optionally and flexibly. If a voice chat is currently running, you will recognize this by the upper bar in the group. There you can also see who is speaking (and how loudly). If you have joined the voice chat, you can continue to use the app normally and communicate at the same time, just as you are used to from conventional Telegram calls.
A widget overlay is even available for the Android app:
The voice chat is started via the three dots in the upper chat bar. As the “push-to-talk” principle is followed, it is possible that several thousand participants can take part in the voice chat. You can try this out particularly well in our blog chat, where almost 1,200 users have already gathered.
For Telegram desktop, a keyboard shortcut for the “Push-to-Talk button” can be stored – also under macOS. In the future, the voice chats will also incorporate some user feedback. In addition to improved noise suppression, video and screen sharing are planned for future updates.
The voice chats were the “big highlight” of the update, but there are still other little things to announce. So they continued to work on the stickers: They should now load faster. And until they are loaded, the stickers already show their contours:
For users of the Android app who have a smartphone with an SD card slot, you also have something in the luggage: The Telegram app data can now be moved to the external memory.
New animations are also available for Android users:
Android shouldn’t just be about looks. Android users can now add effects or drawings to a photo that has already been sent. Previously you only had the option of using Android, now iOS users can scribble in a received photo with a pen and send it back. This means that Android and iOS are on par again in terms of their features.
There is also a new delicacy available for iOS users, something that a Reddit user had previously discovered: Incoming messages can now (optionally) be read out via AirPods or compatible Beats headphones. The whole thing can be activated as follows: System Preferences> Notifications> Announce Messages with Siri.
Last but not least – as is so often the case – new animated emojis are available:
Since Telegram lives from user feedback, a platform for errors and suggestions has now been created. They speak English there and hope for appropriate feedback from the users. In the future, they want to become even more active and expand in this direction.
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