Everyone knows that WhatsApp stands out above all the rest of instant messaging and chat applications. The service now owned by Facebook has got over a billion active users with full control over the most important chat apps for Android and iPhone. And that's despite the fact that it has incorporated new functions much slower than its rivals, such as Facebook Messenger, LINE or possibly the best alternative to WhatsApp that we'll ever be able to download to our smartphone. We're obviously talking about Telegram Messenger.
The only drawback of Telegram regarding its rival doesn't have to do with its functions but with its number of users. Their user base is out of proportion leaving the Russian application developed by the Durov brothers are long distance behind the North American service. Nevertheless, it has found a market niche of a few million users (mainly in Russia and its area of influence) that use it as their principal app or to complement WhatsApp.
One of the most complete messaging apps
And the reason why it's so complete is the vast amount of features that have been gradually incorporated into this software, enriching the user experience to the max in different aspects that range from usability to security. The latter, together with privacy, has helped Telegram to create itself an image of a solid brand focused on users that demand safe and private communications.
The most serious and consistent WhatsApp alternative.
These are the main features and functions that you'll find in the APK of the app that you can download and install on your Android smartphone:
- Messages sent and received at high speed.
- Synchronization with the rest of platforms: open Telegram for PC, online from the web version, iPhone, Mac or Linux, and access your entire activity and message log.
- Security: one of the app's main hallmarks. All communications are encrypted including individual and group chats, and multimedia messages. All the latter, end to end with 256-bit AES, 2048-bit RSA and the exchange of safe keys by means of the Diffie-Hellman protocol.
- Secret chats function that can be programmed to be self-destroyed on both the recipient and the sender's phone.
- Voice calls.
- Unlimited delivery of files without size restrictions and with support for any document types and formats (DOC, MP3, ZIP, AVI…).
- Create groups with up to 5,000 members.
- Configure bots for specific tasks.
- Create online communities and news distribution groups.
- Designed to deliver messages even with slow connections thanks to its compression technology that reduces the size of the transfers.
- Different tools to edit photos and videos, as well as to send stickers and GIF animations.
- Send voice messages.
- Simple and clear design that will help you to keep a clean and tidy interface that makes it easier to use.
- 100% free and without adverts.
We're talking about a very solid and versatile app to send and share messages. It offers us clients for different platforms such as Windows PC, Linux, macOS, web, and iOS, so that we can continue our communications wherever we want.
However, it's not perfect if we keep in mind that it still doesn't allow us to make video calls like its rivals do, taking advantage of the VoIP protocol. This might be the next feature that will be implemented in VKontakte's app since it has recently included voice calls.
Which one's better? Telegram or WhatsApp?
Well, we have to say that in certain aspects, Telegram is much better. It offers us much more reliability in terms of privacy since its developers have made an effort to stand out in this field ever since the beginning. However, and as we said before, its greatest problem is the scarce amount of users it has, and therefore, you're not going to find all your contacts on it.
In any case, it's an excellent option to get hold of a secondary messaging app that offers you plenty of security and consistency.
What's new in the latest version
The main new feature has to do with notifications sounds but it is not the only one:
- We can use any short audio as a notification sound.
- Disable during a customized period of time.
- You can now turn off the sound without disabling the notifications.
- Greater flexibility when configuring the auto removal of messages.
- Play videos in a redesigned picture window.
- View which forwarded messages have been answered.
- Improved web interface for bots.