Telegram app review

Facebook, the company that owns WhatsApp and Instagram was accused of sharing the user data with third-party companies. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook appeared in front of the law on several occasions. He admitted that his company shared user data and issued an apology.

Users of social networking portals and messaging apps share sensitive information or images/videos with the users. Imagine, you share some sensitive pictures with your boyfriend/girlfriend on his/her birthday. FB shares your data with an agency and the servers of the agency are hacked. Most of the hackers make the username and passwords of the users public. But what if the hacker leaks the images on the web?

If this doesn’t happen, you should know that earlier this year, Facebook had announced its plans to monetize the WhatsApp messaging app with ads. For those who don’t know, most of the ads are based on the user’s interest. Facebook might know the text messages you send to users and what you like/dislike. So, showing relevant ads to users won’t be problematic for the company.

Telegram is a Facebook alternative app that lacks ads and claims to use powerful algorithms to secure your data. The company behind it has no plans to introduce ads. Facebook, on another hand, is working on WhatsApp ads. As I’ve mentioned earlier, ads displayed by Facebook are based on the user’s interest. If you’re planning to switch from WhatsApp or any other app to Telegram and you’re wondering what your experience with the Telegram would be like, go through the below paragraphs.

Getting started

Telegram is available for the IOS and Android operating systems. You can also use it on Linux and Windows PC. The app requires up to 43 megabytes storage memory. As in WhatsApp, Telegram must verify their phone numbers. Telegram sends a 5 digit numeric code to your phone number. You should verify your number with this code. The application requires phone log and storage access permission to work.

Security

Telegram employs end-to-end encryption technology. Unlike messaging apps that save data in one country, Telegram divides your data/decryption keys into chunks and stores these chunks on the servers distributed across the globe.

Contacts

The app finds the Telegram users in your contact lists and displays them at the top of this interface. In addition to the user’s name/phone number, it also shows the time at which the user was last seen.

Telegram enables you to find people or groups created by the users nearby you. It displays the distance in km/meters format between you and the user. The app lets you sort the contacts by their last seen time and by name. Thus, if you’ve saved several contacts to your phone-book, you can easily find the users that were recently active.

Calls

The app enables users to make calls to their Telegram contacts. According to its developers, Telegram encrypts calls and it uses the finest codecs to ensure high-quality audio quality. Telegram also uses AI technology to enhance several parameters that are used for making calls. It lets you block callers or completely disable the voice-calling feature for the users that are not in your contact list.

Chat interface customization

Telegram is one of the few messaging apps that let users create their chat theme. It supports 4 color schemes – Default, Mono, Black, and Arctic. You can customize the colors of these four themes and change the text font size. Telegram supports two list views – two lines and three lines. You can configure the application to automatically turn on the night mode or save media files to the gallery instead of a folder created by it.

Telegram allows users to share links. If you tap one of these links, the app will open it in its built-in browser. You can configure the app to open URLs in the default browser of your phone. Telegram enables you to turn off animations, emojis, etc.

Also check: Signal app review

Data and Storage

This interface of Telegram lets you set the expiry date for the media files. It also lets you clear the cache files that the Telegram app generates for the better performance of pictures and other files. The Data and Storage interface lets you see the amount of mobile data/WiFi you used while you were using the application.

Telegram lets you respond to the incoming calls with a text message. To enter the text that should be sent to the caller, tap the “Respond with Text” option that you’ll find in this interface.

Other options that you’ll find in the Data and Storage section

  • Disable automatic download of the media files over mobile data or WiFi connection or when the phone is in roaming mode.
  • Disable/Enable the auto-play feature for the GIF or video files.
  • Turn on/off automatic streaming of audio and video files.

Secret chat

Unlike regular chat messages, text messages that you send with the Secret Chat module are not saved to the Telegram servers. The users cannot forward the secret chat messages. If the sender deletes the message he/she has sent, the same message will be deleted from the recipient’s device.

Saved messages

The Telegram app lets you save texts/images to the cloud. It displays the forwarded messages in the “Saved Messages” interface. To save messages, you should forward them the “Saved Message” option.

Two-step verification

Telegram allows users to enable two-step verification process for their account. How does this feature work? Once you enable two-step verification, the app will ask you to enter a password and a code that is sent to your mobile device. If you don’t enter the correct code or the password, you won’t be able to access your Telegram account.

Passcode lock

In addition to 2-step verification, Telegram enables you to set a passcode lock. When you set a passcode, the app will prompt you to enter the code when you try to access the chat interface.

Also see: Best app locks

Other features

  • Multi language support.
  • Option to invite friends, create channels aka groups.
  • Search utility.
  • Support for GIF images, stickers, emojis.
  • Support for multiple accounts.

Screenshots

Pros

Several features: Telegram offers more features than WhatsApp. It also supports UI customization.

Security: Telegram uses end-to-end encryption to prevent man in the middle attacks. Also, the app’s Secret Chat module makes sure that the messages sent with it are not saved to the server.

Cons

Your friends might not be using it: Telegram is a great messaging app but it is popular only in only some countries.

Spam: If an admin is not moderating the group, the group/channel may contain several spam messages.