Telegram adds voice chat scheduling, new web apps and direct downloads for Android

Telegram has announced another big update for its messaging app, adding new features, animations, and a few tweaks that should make things a bit more convenient. Before we dive into the new features, there are two other big announcements. First, Telegram released new versions of its web app. Yes, you have a choice.

Both new apps promise to be super lightweight, requiring only a 400KB download, and they work equally well on mobile devices as they do on desktops. They support features like dark mode, animated stickers, chat folders, etc. One version is called Telegram Web K and the other is Telegram Web Z, and they are the same in many ways, although there are some differences in visuals like font and spacing between elements. Presumably only one will live eventually, but there is no indication yet of this happening.

For Android users, it is also now possible to officially download the Telegram app from the website, rather than relying on the Play Store. Both versions will continue to be available, but the direct download version should update faster because it doesn’t have to wait for every update to be reviewed by Google. In fact, today’s update may take a bit longer to arrive on the Play Store due to the review process.

Video showing the payment process for a pizza order on Telegram for iOS

As for what’s really new in today’s update, there is Payments 2.0, which is an improved iteration on payment bots first introduced in 2017. As of this update , merchants can use any of eight integrated payment providers, including Stripe, to sell goods and services on Telegram. Payment information used to purchase goods on Telegram is never sent to Telegram itself, and the app does not take any commission on sales on the platform. If you want to see how the feature works, there is a demo channel where you can test the experience without spending any money.

Voice chats have also been updated with the ability to schedule them in advance. If you are scheduling any meeting, scheduling voice chats can make it easier for everyone in a group to participate. When a voice chat is scheduled, a countdown timer will appear at the top of the chat, so everyone can see when it’s scheduled.

Once you have participated in a voice chat, Telegram also introduces a mini profile viewer, so you can take a closer look at the people participating in the chat without having to leave the voice chat screen.

Other improvements include the ability to pinch-to-zoom images directly from the chat, without having to first tap the image to access the media viewer. When it comes to videos, the media player now supports long press on either side of the screen for fast forward or rewind, as well as double tap to skip 10 seconds back and forth. On iOS, users can press and hold the + 15s Where -15s buttons instead.

Video showing fast forward and rewind gestures in Telegram for Android

Finally, the Android application offers new animations, especially when opening and closing the side menu on the home screen, or when swiping left to right from a chat to return to the screen. reception.

If you haven’t already, you can download Telegram for your preferred platform from the app’s official website.

Sam D. Gomez