Telegram is releasing a major update that will bring a ton of new features to the messaging app. The update includes features like ‘Payments 2.0′, scheduled voice chats and mini profiles for voice chats, two new Telegram Web apps, update to Android UI, and improvements to the photos and video viewer within the app. Telegram has not given any details regarding when the update will be rolled out. Also, the company has mentioned that the update will have to be manually downloaded onto Android devices.
The information regarding the update to Telegram was detailed on the company’s blog. The company has also said that the updated app will not be immediately available on the Google Play store, citing Google, which told the company it is “currently experiencing longer than usual review times due to adjusted work schedules”. Those impatient for the latest version of Telegram on Android, can instead navigate to Telegram’s official website to sideload the latest version of the app manually. However, iOS users will be able to update the app through the App Store. Additionally, the Android app has received new animations when opening the side menu or swiping back to the chat list from a chat.
One of the biggest features in this update is the introduction of Payments 2.0. This feature will allow Telegram users to make payments to merchants using credit cards. The company says it takes no commission for this service nor does it store any information about the users. It also lets buyers add tips for delivery, etc., and payments can be made through any Telegram app — even the Web apps. It has created a demo channel so that users can experience the feature beforehand. Also, there is a Payments Manual that lists all the critical information for the payments feature.
Telegram’s Voice Chats 2.0 has received a new feature that lets hosts and admins schedule a voice chat and a countdown will appear at the top of the screen. At the end of the countdown, hosts will still have to manually start the voice chat. Listeners can opt to receive a notification at the end of the timer instead of waiting for it in the chat. Alongside, users can easily set their Mini Profile by selecting their profile pictures and bios without leaving the voice chat.
As we saw, Telegram recently quietly introduced two new Web apps — WebK and WebZ. Now officially announced by the company, the new apps have features like Dark Mode, animated stickers, chat folders, payments, and more. Alongside, the chat app has also improved the media viewer within the app. Telegram now lets users expand and zoom into media directly from the chat without having to open it in the media viewer. iOS users can now fast forward or rewind videos by clicking on + or – buttons to skip 15 seconds. Android users, on the other hand, can press and hold on either side of the screen to do the same. Alternatively, users can double tap to jump 10 seconds in either direction.