Talk about instant messengers and the first app that comes to our mind is WhatsApp. It’s no surprise though with WhatsApp’s immense popularity. In this article, we discuss why Telegram X, with over 10,000,000 installs on the Google Play Store is gaining popularity and why you should switch to it.
A quick disclaimer before we begin:
This article is not sponsored by Telegram Messenger and is solely based on our usage experience of Telegram for Android. Please note, it’s 21st century and data is very valuable. We encourage our readers to grant access to your personal data, to only those apps and services, whom you trust.
We have divided the review into its pros, cons and the final verdict. Let’s get started.
- Our Impressions
- The Final Verdict
Telegram X: Our Impressions
Look & Feel
- The app is incredibly smooth and it’s the first difference from other messaging apps that’ll impress you right after you launch the app.
- The in-app navigation gestures will come next, as a culture shock to most Android users, as you realize that the entire app can be navigated by just swiping in different directions without once touching your phone’s navigation buttons.
- This gives you granular control of the windows as they slide out of your way as you swipe, making the experience of using the app even more fluid and pleasing.
- You can swipe to the previous window, swipe out from gallery while attaching media, swipe photos up or down to get out of preview and many more.
- Night mode! Telegram X has two themes Night Blue and Night Black which can be selected, according to your preference, from Settings > Themes and Chats. Night Mode can be made automatic using the device’s light sensors or scheduled according to your needs or by detecting sunset and sunrise time from the same menu. Take that, WhatsApp!
- You can change your profile picture by clicking on your photo in the settings tab. However, you cannot edit or crop your profile picture which can be frustrating for some.
- Funny auto-corrections and accidental messages have always been a problem of the 21st century. Telegram X saves you from the embarrassment by not only allowing you to delete your texts without a trace but also edit your text after sending it. Edited messages, however, have a symbol to indicate the change. These options can be availed by taping on your message.
- Replying to a particular text is not a new feature, but what makes it impressive about this app is that you can reply to a text just by swiping left.
- Aside from the usual bold and italic, Telegram X also supports code markdown!
- In Telegram X, you can search for YouTube videos, Wikipedia articles and GIF directly from the chat text box by using Inline Bots!
- Telegram X allows you to view shared YouTube or Instagram video in-app with picture-in-picture support so that you can carry on chatting while watching the cats play.
- When sharing photos, have you ever found it frustrating not to be able to preview photos while multi-selecting? Well look no further as Telegram X let’s you preview and select photos simultaneously!
- Every app has a different take on managing emoticons, stickers and GIFs. In Telegram X, just fire up the emoji palette by tapping on the icon on the left of the text box. You’ll find all emoticons stacked vertically in groups. Swipe left and the GIF/Sticker palette will slide in.
- If that wasn’t enough to excite you, you’ll be glad to know Telegram X stores about the last 50 GIFs you shared. Gone are the days of searching GIFs every time you try to find that one killer GIF you had used to amuse your friends last time.
- That brings us to doodling and Telegram X scores, yet again. Not only can you choose different colors but you can also choose to doodle freely or by using arrows and rectangles. Why not add lines too, Telegram? While doodling or highlighting images is all fun, you cannot adjust the brush size which may be a problem in some cases.
- Apart from all these, you have the usual features like crop/rotate photos, edit them using the inbuilt photo editor which is incidentally pretty similar to Google Photos. You will be able to send compressed photos and uncompressed photos as files. The conversation looks clean as sent or received photos are automatically grouped together.
- Telegram X supports a feature to send short Video Messages which can be switched from the mic option. On holding the camera icon, you can record a short message. The most impressive thing about this feature is that it is delivered almost seamlessly. You can lock your camera by swiping up which makes it easier to record, just like the hands-free voice note recorder.
- As Telegram X is a cloud platform, the media you receive are downloaded but are not saved to your gallery. You can however save them to gallery by clicking on the image and selecting Save to Gallery. This is great because it does not clutter your gallery. But if you require to save multiple or grouped images, you cannot.
- While you can quickly send an image by clicking the camera, Telegram X missed the basic tap to focus feature that may require you to retake some pictures.
- Telegram X has missed yet another basic feature in the camera, which is zoom.
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Search & Filter
- Even here we are impressed! Telegram searches are fast and you will be able to search in a single conversation or across all other conversations.
- Telegram X lets you narrow down your search within a single conversation by date. Just select the calendar icon from the search screen. Neat!
- Speaking about neat, unlike other chat apps, Telegram X categorizes received attachments by Media (photos and video), Docs, Links, Audio, GIFs, Voice and Video(video messages). WhatsApp has a lot to learn.
- According to a Telegram blog post, “Telegram groups are democratic by design.” Every group member can add new members, change the group name and photo.
- In Telegram X you will be able to choose whether to forward existing group messages to the new member or not.
- Groups can have up to 200 members with support for mentioning others, hashtagging messages and replying to messages.
- There’s a unique Supergroup feature, where up to 5000 people will be able to join. Telegram does talk about a feature to pin messages to the top in Supergroups just like in Hike Messenger. But sadly we did not find it in the Android or PC app. Telegram should let group members pin messages irrespective of whether it’s a normal group or a supergroup.
- Telegram X supports voice calls and we found them to be absolutely natural, with only a second of delay. Call quality is good enough, though it captures too much of the surrounding noise along with your voice, which is a problem also found in WhatsApp.
- Telegram X doesn’t support group voice calls.
- Telegram X doesn’t support video calls.
Security & Privacy
- Telegram is cloud-based, which has quite a few advantages when implementing privacy features, our most favourite one being Secret chat. Secret Chat which can be created by selecting the floating action button in the Chats tab. It features an end-to-end encrypted chatting option which is device-specific, that is, it is not a part of the Telegram cloud. It supports self-destructive messages that you can adjust using the timer symbol above. The conversation can be secured with PIN, Password, Pattern or Fingerprint which hides the content and all the messages you send in the conversation is not visible from the notification tab. This conversation requests your keyboard to switch to the incognito mode which does not store personalized data but can be disabled from the Privacy and Security settings.
- Telegram X doesn’t allow you to capture screenshots in Secret chat.
- You can send self-destructive images in all conversations, except groups, which expire after their set time is up. This feature can be availed by clicking the timer symbol while sending an image. Self-destructive images appear blurry and can only be viewed by long-pressing on them.
- Giving more power to the user, Telegram X allows you to tap and hold on to a conversation from the conversation screen to peek, i.e. see a live preview of the conversation without actually reading the messages. Neat!
- You have granular control over who can see your last seen, call you and add you to groups and channels, something we always wanted WhatsApp to implement to avoid all those pesky neighbours or people we selectively wanted to hide our last seen from while showing it to others. We would love if Telegram also supported such granular control on our display pictures and status, just like Hike Messenger.
- Making Telegram even more secure is the Active Sessions page which tells you which devices you are currently using Telegram in. You can delete those sessions selectively or delete all sessions with one tap.
- As for more security, you can lock Telegram X with either a passcode and use two-step verification on it.
- Telegram X has a feature to delete your account and all your data if you do not come online at least once within a certain time period you mention. This feature can be accessed from Settings > Privacy and Security. It stays on by default so it’s advisable to review it if you don’t want your Telegram account to disappear if you get stuck on the island like Oliver Queen in Arrow.
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- We consider being cross-platform to be a very important and a compulsory feature for any messaging app. A messaging platform that delivers an identical user experience and feature set across all consumer platforms like PCs, Mac, Android, iOS and Web are incredible. Imagine working on your PC and being having to switch to your smartphone to reply to important messages every five minutes.
- Telegram is not only cloud-based but is entirely cross-platform and sports native apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Linux and Web. It’s just everywhere. From our experience of using Telegram on PC, it was simply marvellous. The only downside is that though it comes from the Microsoft Store, it still doesn’t show up on Windows sharing screen, which is a bummer since you can’t just share photos, files or web pages directly from the context menu.
- Unlike WhatsApp, the Telegram on PC runs independent of the mobile app and doesn’t require your phone to be online for it to send text messages. It’s a true cross-platform messenger.
Some More Features Worth Mentioning
- Telegram X allows you to save important or interesting messages, media, links and documents under the Saved Messages tab which can be found from the slider. It’s basically a conversation where you’re the only person taking part. Useful for transferring photos to your PC!
- Telegram X supports adding multiple accounts which, again, is incredibly useful for people with multiple phone numbers and saves you from using third party cloning apps.
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The Final Verdict
Messaging apps have become an integral part of our lives and even with so many of them in the app stores, it is difficult to find a perfect messenger which is fast, smooth, customizable, cross-platform and provides sufficient privacy and security features. While absolute security is a myth in this day and age, Telegram X has by far surpassed many boundaries and is much nearer to that perfection mark.
If you wish to check out the app for yourself, head over to the official website of Telegram and choose your platform of choice.