Telegram encrypted video calls arrive with picture-in-picture support

Secure messaging app Telegram is back with a new update, this one bringing one of the most-requested features from users: video calls. The new capability is joined by the same security that draws many to the platform, offering a more secure alternative to regular phone calls and many other video apps. As well, the update also brings another batch of fun, animated emoji.

Telegram points out that it has been around for seven years now, having reached a notable level of users and ranking during its time. Video calls give users a new way to interact with each other on the platform, eliminating the need to turn to other apps when a video chat is needed.

The decision to rule out this feature seems to have been spurred by the pandemic and resulting social distancing, which caused a spike in the use of video-based chatting apps. Telegram's video calls feature is available on Android and iOS, but is currently an alpha version, meaning it may not work perfectly.

The video calls feature includes support for picture-in-picture, enabling users to participate in video calls and see chats at the same time. All video calls that take place in the app feature end-to-end encryption, according to Telegram, which says that four emojis are used as a sort of code to confirm that both users have a secure call.

Telegram plans to update the feature and to eventually launch support for group video calls, as well. As mentioned, the update also now includes more animated emoji, including cat faces, a birthday cat, and more. The update is available to download now.