WhatsApp rival Telegram finally gets group video calling, other new features
Telegram has introduced a series of features in its latest update, including Group Video Calls, Screen Sharing, Noise Suppression in Voice Chats, Animated backgrounds, a dedicated Bot Menu and many more. The Group Video Call feature is the third major voice chat update from Telegram in the last six months, which can be used for online classes, business meetings and family gatherings. It has also added new animated emojis and enabled the import of customized third-party stickers as well.
Group video calling and Screen Sharing
Users can make group video calls by tapping ‘Share my video’ option in any active session. The Group Video Chat option is currently available for the first 30 people who join the voice chat (while number of audio-only participants is unlimited). Telegram has claimed that it will increase this limit soon as voice chats take on streaming games, live events and more.
To start a voice chat, check the ⋮ menu in the profile of any group where you are an admin (on iOS, you will find a ‘Voice Chat’ button right in the group profile)
The screen-sharing feature can be accessed by just tapping on the menu button, and pressing the screen sharing option followed by app permission. In order to amplify the quality of the voice, Telegram has introduced a noise suppression option as well. This feature can be enabled during a live voice chat.
Tablet and desktop support
Tablets and computers have more screen space and offer more display options. Users simply need to tap to open the side panel and see a split-screen view of the video grid and list of participants, optimized for both portrait and landscape orientation. Voice chats on desktop open in a separate window, users can type and talk without minimizing anything. Desktop apps also have selective screen-sharing to broadcast an individual program instead of the entire screen of a particular user. While using the desktop app, and sharing screen by a specific user automatically gets pinned.
Animated Backgrounds along with creating and sharing options
Telegram has also introduced Animated Backgrounds. Telegram claims these multi-colour gradient wallpapers are designed algorithmically and move with beautiful looking aesthetics every time users send a message. Telegram is offering this feature along with many default themes pre-installed.
Users can find more animated backgrounds in Settings. Android: Chat Settings > Change Chat Background. iOS: Appearance > Chat Background.
Additionally, if any user wants to create their customized animated background with the composition of different colours and patterns, the platform is offering the same, as well. Users need to choose three or four colours to unlock the animation, then add an optional pattern for extra style.
Enhanced user security measures and messaging interface with new animated emojis
Login Info Reminders becomes an essential feature to keep user’s phone number up to date on Telegram. This ensures a user can always log in to his or her account. In case the phone number has changed, users can quickly update it right from the new reminder in Settings on iOS.
Telegram has announced that Android users will get these reminders in the next update. Users on all platforms will receive a notification from Telegram each time their Two-Step Verification settings are changed.
Users can now send stickers and emojis seamlessly from keyboards into the chat window – with lightweight animations that won’t affect the battery life.
On iOS, this also applies to media you send from the attachment panel, and even text messages. Your input text smoothly transforms into the message bubble as it flies into the chat.
In another interface change on iOS, Telegram has introduced transparent backgrounds which are now partially visible through the header and the footer in chats, giving the interface a classy new look.
Two new gradient app icons are available in Settings > Appearance in addition to the classic blue and black versions.
BOT API 5.3 with dedicated BOT Menu and Stickers importing ability for developers
Telegram has made it easier for users to communicate with bots, by adding a special menu button that lets them browse and send commands. Bots can also change the placeholder in the input field to give the user a better idea of what kind of message they are expecting. Moreover, the Bot developers can now create commands that change based on a user’s interface language and chat type, as well as special commands that only appear in specific chats or for admins.
The sticker bot on Telegram can help users create new sticker packs as well as get usage stats for their stickers on Telegram.
Telegram introduced access to third-party developers with tools to make apps that help people generate new custom unique stickers and import their creations to Telegram in one tap.
In case the developers want Telegram users to install the stickers made, they don’t need any additional apps. They can simply upload their set of stickers using Telegram’s bot, and then share the link with others.
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