We have known for a while that Telegram has been working on the voice calling feature, well after WhatsApp and even Facebook Messenger added the feature, it was about time Telegram did as well.
Today, Telegram has started rolling out voice calls, starting with Western Europe as the rest of the world waits a little longer to get it. In Telegram’s tradition, the company will not just include a pain voice calls feature, they have to go that extra mile.
Telegram says that the feature is built upon “the time-tested end-to-end encryption” of Telegram’s secret chats. To check if your call is secure, you and the other person on the other end of the line can compare four emojis which are now the key verification. Telegram says this is an improvement of the key verification UI that they developed back in 2013.
Telegram’s voice call feature is also AI-powered. Each time you make a voice call, “a neural network learns from you and your device’s feedback”. Telegram says that the AI does not access the content of the conversation but rather collects technical information such as network speed, ping times and packet loss. The machine optimizes dozens of parameters based on this input, improving the quality of future calls on the given device and network. Telegram will adapt and provide excellent sound quality on stable WiFi, or use less data when there’s bad reception.
Telegram claims that the calls are already superior to any of their competitors on comparable connections. The company also says that the quality of Telegram Calls will further improve as consumers use them, thanks to the built-in machine learning.
When possible, Telegram calls will go over a peer-to-peer connection, “using the best audio codecs to save traffic while providing crystal-clear quality.” Users can also control who can call them and they can even switch voice call off completely if you’d rather not use the feature.
The new update also gives users direct control over the quality of videos they share. The app will remember the compression rate you selected and will use it by default for your future video uploads.