Latest Telegram update brings with it 7 useful features

Telegram is one of the most feature-rich messaging apps out there at the moment. Through it, users can send large files, make voice calls, create abnormally large groups, create one-to-many broadcast channels and even access utility services through Telegram’s bots platform.

To stay ahead of the competition, which includes WhatsApp which is backed by big money Facebook, and to continue adding value to its users, Telegram keeps on adding several new features every now and then. The latest, which are currently rolling out to all users through app version 4.8.10, are even better.

1. Mark chats as either read or unread

Telegram users will now be able to mark chats as either read or unread. Other than being able to pin/unpin messages, one of the features that I really like about Telegram since I use it all the time, it has always bothered me that there’s no way I can “unread” a message so that I can retain the notification which will prompt me to go back to that particular chat. More so when the message in question contains an action item that I should not forget about.

My temporary recourse has been not opening such messages and only peeping via the notification shade or having to set up a Google Calendar reminder when I accidentally open them. The former means that the sender does not get a read receipt for a long time and may either think that I ignored their message (which, to be honest, I do sometimes) or I missed it all together. The latter is just too much work.

Now, there will be no more need for all that. Just long-press the conversation that contains the message you want to remain in an unread state and select “Mark as unread” in the resulting menu. Easy.

2. Create links

There’s also another small feature that many may not appreciate but which those of us who are always sharing links will love: the ability to “use the “create link” option in the formatting menu to make text URLs”. Just highlight the word(s) you want to link, click on the 3 dots to expand the formatting menu, select create link, key in your link and hit Enter. Simple.

3. Cancel messages before they are sent

So far, we have been able to delete messages on Telegram even after we send them both from our side as well as from the recipient’s end. Even WhatsApp has had to extend the window it had put for being able to do this owing to the popularity of the feature. The feature has come in handy for those of us who don’t use Telegram’s ephemeral messaging feature that ensures end-to-end encryption.

And now, Telegram is taking it to another level. It will be possible to delete messages even before they are sent.

That can be a bit confusing. What does it mean by “before they are sent”? Simple. It’s not when the message is still in draft format. It’s when you have already hit “Send” from your end but the message is yet to be delivered to Telegram for onward transmission to the intended recipient. In such a case, instead of the usual single check mark that shows successful transmission of the message, the user is usually presented with a small clock. This is usually because of lack of network connectivity. Now, whenever you find yourself in such a state and want to take back the rant you had typed, just tap the message and click “Cancel sending”. Life saver.

4. Share contacts with multiple numbers

To be honest, I had no idea that Telegram was lacking this feature. This is because I usually share contacts mostly via WhatsApp. And WhatsApp lets me do exactly what Telegram is finally able to do after yesterday’s update i.e. share contact details that include more details like multiple telephone numbers, email addresses etc. What took Telegram so long?

5. 2X playback for voice notes and video messages

If you have those weird friends who prefer to bark into the tiny microphones on their smartphones for communication purposes instead of typing whole novels like I do then this is for you. Going forward, you can choose whether to listen to voice notes or recorded video messages at regular speeds or speed things up a bit. Choice.

6. Edit already sent media + add captions

We can’t edit tweets but we can edit the text we share on Telegram. And now, we can even edit photos and videos as well. Just as you would have a typo on a text message so is there a possibility of sharing a photo or video that is not the one you intended. Now, what next after that happens?

Most times, we have no option but to apologize and delete the photo or just shoulder the shame (and, maybe, blame). What if we could just swap the video or photo and act as if nothing happened? That’s what we will be doing going forward. We’ll even be able to add captions to images and videos we had already shared without adding the all-necessary small description. Exciting.

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7. Telegram will now remember your position in a search

No one likes losing track of where they were. That can be when you’re scrolling your Twitter timeline, switch to the notification tab and come back to find that the timeline has refreshed and you’re either lost or you’ve lost an important tweet that you can no longer remember. It’s also the case when you’re on Telegram and the app acts like it has short term memory loss.

“When you open a chat from Global Search and then go back, you will return to the search results and keep your position in the list.”

Telegram can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Subscribe to the Android Kenya channel while you’re at it.

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Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]

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