Completely free and open-source Focuses on performance and privacy Very simple interface Supports groups of up to 200,000 members Emojis, stickers, and gifs are unique and awesome Everything can be customized in settings Many privacy and security options
Researchers argue about how secure the app really is
Instant messaging is a primarily mobile-based feature and everyone is using at least one instant messaging app on their smartphone to connect with their friends. However, it's important to be able to connect with the same people even when using your PC. Telegram knows that, so let's check out their desktop client!
Telegram is an instant messaging app focused on simplicity, speed, and security. It's an open-source application updated by the community. It's available on almost all platforms but we'll focus on the desktop app in this review. Messages are synced almost seamlessly and you can quickly switch between devices and carry the same conversation easily.
The Telegram desktop app keeps a very simple and elegant user interface. The left side is reserved for your conversations and the remainder of the window is occupied by the currently open chat. Clicking the menu button gives you access to more features. You can switch between the regular and the night mode. Contacts can be added via their phone number. You can then create groups with your contacts (up to 200,000 members) or create a channel where you can post various announcements and updates that everyone will receive. The difference between these two is the level of engagement: everyone in the group is equal and you create channels to share your content with others.
The desktop version of Telegram allows you to share any file on your computer via chat, record a voice message, or send unique emojis, stickers, and GIFs. Even some emojis are animated and we just love it. They do take some time to load, though. A simple click on the button at the top-right corner of a chat opens all media you've shared with the user, including files, photos, and even links!
When you open Telegram settings, you'll be amazed just how you can customize everything! For example, Notifications settings allow you to fully customize how will the notification look like, what will it contain (sender's name, preview), will it play a sound, will muted chats display as unread, and you can even set the exact location of where the notification will appear. You can also customize the chat's appearance, set a background, and even set up how your emojis will appear! You can easily set up what media you'd like to download, where you want to download it and set up the size limit for all downloads. Data older than the time frame you specify can also be deleted!
Telegram takes privacy and security seriously. You can easily manage just who can see any part of your profile. You can add a local password to the desktop client, enable two-step verification, and filter sensitive content. Your account can also be deleted if you don't access any Telegram app during the time frame you specify. There were some speculations about just how secure Telegram is. It was used by Hong Kong protesters and even some terrorist organizations because of its security and support for large groups. However, researchers would argue that the encryption protocols used are not that safe.
It's amazing to have so many options that are still easy to understand and configure to your liking. Telegram was launched in 2013 as a sign of protest against censorship and privacy issues and it's a valid competitor on the instant messaging market.
Reviewed by Vedin Klovo (editor rating 5 out of 5 stars) Sooftware editor's pick