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Telegram gets message scheduling, major privacy additions

Telegram now lets you control who can see your phone number, as well as who can add you via your number.

Published onSeptember 6, 2019

The Telegram icon on an HONOR View 20 on a blue background.

The Telegram team has been pretty busy in 2019, and the version 5.11 update brings even more goodness to the table. For starters, the app now lets you schedule messages.

Scheduling a message is done by simply holding on the send button and then choosing Schedule Message. From here, you can specify a time and date for the missive to be pushed out. Telegram says you can also use the function in the Saved Messages window, allowing you to essentially create simple reminders for yourself.

What is Telegram and why should I use it?
Generic Telegram stickers on the HONOR View 20 on a carpet.

The app also has cloud theme functionality now, letting you share a custom theme with others via a sharing link and having any changes to said theme being pushed out to all users.

Telegram has stepped up its privacy game too, now allowing you to change who can see your phone number and who can link it to your profile. Set the Who Can See My Phone Number option to Nobody and you’ll also be able to control visibility for people who already have it too. You can also set the Who Can Find Me By My Number option to My Contacts to prevent random users from adding you on the service.

This Telegram update is rolling out now, and you can grab it via the Play Store link below. Are these recent updates enough for you to switch from WhatsApp?

Recent updates

Slow mode, silent messages

August 13, 2019: The messaging app introduced a slow mode and Silent Messages option. Slow mode will allow administrators to limit how often individual members can send messages in a group (every 30 seconds, every 30 minutes etc). Telegram’s team is also allowing users to send Silent Messages, which are essentially messages that don’t play a notification sound (regardless of the recipient’s sound profile). 

Telegram has also added admin titles and interactive timestamps, with the former allowing you to give custom titles to admins in your group. Meanwhile, the latter means you can add a timestamp to a video caption, and tapping said timestamp will take you to that exact place in the clip. This works with shared videos and YouTube clips.

Add people, join groups nearby

June 24, 2019: Telegram now lets you add people standing next to you via contacts > add people nearby. This is a pretty handy addition, as you don’t have to manually enter a number then. Telegram adds that it’s also ideal for a group situation, allowing everyone to seamlessly exchange details. Thankfully, both parties need to have this page open for the feature to work. Other noteworthy additions in this update include the ability to see and join nearby groups, and the ability to transfer ownership of a channel or group.

Archived chats and a new chat menu

May 13, 2019: Telegram has been updated to enable a new archived chats functionality. Swiping left on a conversation will send that chat to an archived chats folder, but it’ll return to your usual chat window if a new message pops up in that thread. Swipe left on an archived chat and you can send it to a hidden folder within the archived chats folder (the hidden folder is accessible by swiping down on the screen.

The update also introduces a new chat menu, accessible by tapping and holding on a chat. Much like WhatsApp, doing this will allow you to select multiple chats to archive, mute, pin, or delete.

Telegram v4.8 adds night mode, video streaming, Telegram Login

February 7, 2019: Telegram v4.8 added video streaming, which essentially allows the user to start viewing the video without having to fully download it. The progress bar shows a grey strip indicating how much of the video has been cached. Meanwhile, this version also brings support for automatic night mode. It is not turned on by default but can be easily enabled by going to Settings > Theme > Auto-Night Mode.

The last major update added Telegram Login. Telegram Login is a widget that websites can use to issue an authorization token by sending a confirmation message to the Telegram client on the phone using the phone number. Logging in with Telegram will send the Telegram name, username, and profile picture to the website owner. The user’s phone number, however, remains hidden. Websites can also request permissions to let their bots do the talking. Telegram Login offers fine control over the entire process and the authorization permissions can be reviewed and revoked as needed.

Self-destructing images and videos, improved photo editor

July 24, 2018The biggest addition in this Telegram update is that you can now send self-destructing photos and videos in one-on-one chats. The great thing about this is that it’s customizable — you can set a self-destruct timer that starts when the recipient opens the photo or video. Also, if the recipient takes a screenshot, the app will notify you immediately. Other new features found in the update include an improved photo editor that allows you to edit images faster, and the option of adding a bio to your profile so that people in large group chats know who you are. You can now also download media from large public channels quicker thanks to the new encrypted CDNs.

Short video messages

May 19, 2018: This update added the option of sending short video messages. Just tap the small microphone button to switch to video mode. When the camera icon pops up, press and hold the icon and a video will begin recording.

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