- Not all messages are end-to-end encrypted
- Takes a light hand on moderation
- No group video calls
Each message has a time stamp and is marked with a double checkmark when your recipient reads it. I couldn’t find a way to switch this particular feature off. I also couldn’t find a way to respond with an emoji, which is a surprising omission. You can, however, press and hold the send button to send a message without a sound or schedule a message to be delivered later.
Along with text, you can send a variety of attachments, including files and photos, as well as video and audio recordings from within the app. Telegram has some surprisingly deep photo editing capabilities, letting you quickly punch up images before you send them. You can also set an individual self-destruct timer for photos.
If you’re looking for locals, you can use the People Nearby to see a list of users in your general area. You can also find any Groups that are close by. Now, I have been on the internet for a long time, but that did not prepare me for the degree of exposure in some of my (presumed) neighbors’ user pics. Good for them for living their truth, but it was rather startling. Note that this feature is opt-in, you never have to enable it.
Stuck On You
Stickers are, without a doubt, Telegram’s best and most vibrant aspect. The breadth and quality of Telegram stickers stem from the numerous artists who create them. Anyone can design a sticker set and make it available to everyone. I’ve seen people commission custom stickers of themselves or their favorite characters for a truly unique look. Signal has only recently started with stickers in its app, and while it’s a uniquely privacy-first design, it hasn’t taken off with the gusto you find on Telegram.
That diversity can also be overwhelming. It can be difficult to sort through all the stickers in the tiny window Telegram allots for the task. Another issue is that the complete freedom afforded to sticker makers means that some may range from the risque to the outright explicit. A dedicated store would make it easier to sift these out—or elevate them, depending on your preferences.
Groups and Channels
To take your conversations beyond the one-on-one, you can indulge in Groups and Channels. Far from a messy SMS or email thread, Groups in Telegram come with fine-grained control to let you keep order. There are public and private groups with customizable options on how people can find the group. The group’s creator can designate other Admins (or create different roles) each with their own set of permissions, as well as set global permissions for group members. This makes it easy to manage everything from a chatty group of friends or a massive fan club.
To really go big, you can create a Channel. These are basically one-way chat rooms, more akin to Tweets or Facebook status updates. While Channels and Groups often appeal to broad interests, they don’t have the same flexibility (or video call integration) that you get with Discord. Channels do, however, support an unlimited number of people in voice calls, along with additional participation tools like adding speakers or letting participants raise a virtual hand.
You can find Groups and Channels with the search bar at the top of the screen. Some have URLs that let you join from other sites or directly from messages. Note that the quality and content of these wildly vary. I found some Channels with content from major news outlets like the New York Times. Sports, especially, are well-represented. Depending on the Channel, people can comment or interact with the posts, but I had trouble figuring out when (and how) this was possible.
I also easily found groups for buying and selling steroids, various kinds of adult content, and numerous QAnon channels. Searching “Star Trek,” I quickly pulled up not only groups of arguing Trekkies, but channels whose sole function was to upload pirated TV show episodes.
Moderation is a problem on every platform, and we’ve already seen the disastrous role social media can play in organizing hate groups and spreading conspiracy theories. Telegram has mechanisms to report groups and accounts, but it’s clear from the company’s public statements that it prefers a more hands-off approach. This can have serious consequences beyond my bumping into weird accounts, like the proliferation of non-consensual pornography on the platform. I can’t say that Telegram is more insidious than other networks, but I will say that I encountered far more non-family-friendly content much faster on Telegram than other services.
Look Me in the Face
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken video calls from a niche endeavor to an exhausting ritual we all endure in lieu of actual human interaction. With Telegram, any one-on-one Chat can be made into a video or voice call. Groups only support voice calls, so this won’t be a go-to for replacing Zoom. A recent update adds the option for recording voice calls, as well.
I made both voice and video calls with my colleague Michael Muchmore to test the service. We used several different devices in our testing. Voice calls were remarkably clear and the interface was designed with the same luxuriousness as everything else in Telegram. The large microphone button in the center pulses along with your voice in a very pleasing way.
Telegram’s video calls were a little underwhelming by comparison. Muchmore and I had numerous bad patches where the video froze or became so pixelated as to be meaningless. That said, I can’t rule out my own network instability as the cause of the trouble. Your mileage may vary. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything in Telegram to compare to the stunning AR Animoji masks offered by Apple.
Every message you send on Telegram 9.1.3 Crack Premium Mod Apk is encrypted, but not all messages are encrypted the same way. Chats, Groups, and Channels are stored on Telegram’s servers and the company holds the keys to these messages. Secret Chats are end-to-end encrypted (e2ee), meaning that only you and the recipient of your message can read it. No one, not even Telegram, can decrypt it. I asked Telegram if it was possible for the company to view messages that aren’t Secret Chats, but the company did not respond. It is my understanding that in these systems it is at least technically possible for the company that manages the keys to decrypt and view messages.
Secret Chats are entirely separate from Chats, and you cannot change a conversation from one type to the other. Facebook Messenger uses a similar setup with optional e2ee chats, but WhatsApp encrypts all messages end-to-end by default. Note that not all Telegram’s apps support Secret Chats. For instance, one of its macOS apps supports Secret Chats, while another macOS app does not.
Besides the cryptographic magic behind the scenes, Secret Chats barely differ from regular Chats—and that’s a good thing. You can’t forward a Secret Chat, but you can copy it. Secret Chats can also have a self-destruct timer for text, which can range from a few seconds to a week. The countdown to deletion doesn’t begin until after your recipient views the message or image, so don’t worry if you see them hang around a while. In both Chats and Secret Chats, selecting and manually deleting a message will delete it from the recipients’ phone, as well. Keep in mind that all these protections won’t do much against simply taking pictures of a phone’s screen.
The Telegram documentation notes that the service doesn’t store logs for Secret Chats, meaning they don’t even know when those messages are sent. That’s great. In video and Secret Chats, participants can check for man-in-the-middle attacks by comparing generated sets of numbers or emoji—which is useful.
Telegram 9.1.3 Crack Premium Mod Apk documentation and public statements by its co-founder CEO Pavel Durov lay out the reasoning for bifurcating encryption. The company says that e2ee would limit Telegram’s ability to provide messages across multiple user devices (say, your laptop and your phone), and that e2ee messages in other apps end up in less-secure backups that can later be attacked. Telegram is right to make its point about backups, especially when companies grant access to backups when confronted with court orders.
I disagree with Telegram’s position that convenient features and security are inextricably at odds. Signal now supports e2ee single and group chats, as well as voice and video calls for groups and one-on-one. Apple has also been able to securely push messages to multiple devices while still using e2ee. The issue of backups conflates the problems of secure transit and secure storage, but I don’t believe their solutions must be mutually exclusive. To protect your messages on Telegram’s servers, the company seems to rely more on the complexities of legal jurisdiction rather than simply using e2ee.
To me, having different levels of security is more confusing and more dangerous. People unfamiliar with the ins and outs of Telegram’s design may not understand, for instance, that Group messages are secured differently from Secret Chats. They might not even know that Secret Chats exist.
Is Telegram Secure?
Beyond your telephone number, Telegram requires precious little personal information. A photo, name, and email address are all optional. That’s good. You can optionally sync your contacts list to Telegram’s servers to match with people you already know, and the service stores the contacts’ first names, last names, and telephone numbers. Telegram’s documentation says it also stores user IP addresses and other metadata for moderation purposes, and that this information is deleted every 12 months. All data, according to the company, is encrypted on Telegram’s systems.
Telegram 9.1.3 Crack Premium Mod Apk is a fun social messaging platform with a strong independent streak, but it’s not as airtight as some other secure messaging services.