If I start explaining why Telegram rocks, I will take a lot of your time but in sum, we all know that the app is a solid messenger and there is no way you are going to dislike it unless you are a difficult person to impress. Among the things that I have come to love about it is how fast it receives genuine updates that do not come with a ‘bug fixes and performance improvements’ changelog. In fact, any time they bump a version number, complementing updates come in tow, and that is a good thing.
Today’s update christened v4.4 is no different, and has brought three major gains.
Live Location Sharing
I’m not sure this feature exists in any other popular messaging app in the wild. Ideally, users can finally broadcast their current locations instead of sending static locations. It works as it title suggests. All you have to do is hit ‘Location’ button and you will see this addition. Practically, it is a handy plus for people who want to share their coordinates in real time, and this can be done every 15 mins, 1 hour or 8 hours. Also, a notification in the status bar/drop-down menu alerts users that they are broadcasting their location in real-time.
Let’s see how long it will take for WhatsApp to rename this feature and push it to us in a few weeks.
Improved Media Player
I have thousands of media files saved in my Telegram chats, bots and ‘chat with yourself’ profile. Sometime, I play these media files, which include songs using the app’s inbuilt music player. It has been updated with a cleaner look, and can be expanded from the bottom of the screen. Its UI includes a playlist of songs/audio files that you receive/send/download, as well as controls such as shuffle and repeat buttons (which were there before the updated, but have since been conveniently re-positioned).
This is one of the features that WhatsApp has not included in its app as media audio files are played within chats, and playback is terminated once you minimize the messenger. We will wait.
Improved Group Chats
Telegram allows users to create groups that can accommodate thousands of people in what it calls Super Groups. Obviously, a group that has thousands of members is going to be chaotic, which is why the app introduced replies that can be tied to a given message centuries before WhatsApp. Today, admins in super groups will have their message slapped with the ‘admin’ badge so that members take what he or she is saying seriously. Also, admins can now control new members can get access to earlier messages. Of course, there is no way this is possible in WhatsApp because it is not cloud-based, so there is that.