Info-tech

Here’s what’s new with Telegram

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 27, 2021

File photo   -  AFP

From group video calls to animated backgrounds, you can do it all

Telegram has introduced a range of features as part of its latest update.

This includes Group Video Calls, Screen Sharing, Noise Suppression in Voice Chats, Animated backgrounds, a dedicated Bot Menu, among others.

The Group Video Call feature is the third major voice chat update from Telegram in the last six months. It has also added new animated emojis and enabled the import of customised third-party stickers as well.

Group video calling and screen-sharing

Users can now convert their voice chats into Group video calls by tapping the ‘Share my video’ option in any active session.

The option is currently available for the first 30 people who join the voice chat (while the number of audio-only participants is unlimited). Telegram will increase this limit soon as voice chats take on streaming games, live events and more, it said.

Users can start a voice chat from the menu option on the profile of a group where they are an admin (on iOS, users have a 'Voice Chat' button right in the group profile).

“Screen sharing feature gives a new level of boost to the users, especially who are using the platform for business-related collaboration,” Telegram said.

Users just need to tap on the menu button, and press the screen sharing option followed by app permission. The messaging platform has also introduced Noise suppression option. This feature can be enabled during a live voice chat.

The platform has also added tablet and desktop support.

Users will need to tap to open the side panel to see a split-screen view of the video grid and list of participants, optimised for both portrait and landscape orientation.

Voice chats on the desktop open in a separate window. 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

The platform has also introduced Animated Backgrounds.

These are multi-colour gradient wallpapers. Telegram is offering this feature along with many default themes pre-installed.

Users can find more animated backgrounds in Settings.

Users can also create their customised animated background with the composition of different colours and patterns. They 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

Additionally, Telegram has also introduced login info reminders on iOS.

“Login Info Reminders becomes an essential feature to keep user’s phone number up to date on Telegram. This overall ensures a user can always log in to his account. In case the phone number has changed, users can quickly update it right from the new reminder in Settings on iOS,” it said.

It will also introduce the feature on Android in the next update.

Users on all platforms will receive a notification from Telegram each time their Two-Step Verification settings are changed.

BOT API 5.3

Telegram has also made it easier for users to communicate with bots, by adding a special menu button that let them browse and send commands.

“Bots can also change the placeholder in the input field to give you 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,” it said.

The sticker bot on Telegram can help enthusiast users to 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.

“Developers who are interested in making apps that help users create stickers and publish them on Telegram. 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,” it said..

Published on June 27, 2021

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