Telegram update adds private local chat, removes need for phone numbers

Chris Burns - Jun 25, 2019, 3:03 pm CDT
Telegram update adds private local chat, removes need for phone numbers

The best alternative to basically any other chat app in the world today is Telegram – that’s my word. Today they’ve added several features that push the most-secret chat app into the future, including the ability to transfer group ownership, a new theme picker, and a new set of Siri shortcuts. Some of these updates work with iOS only for now, but will be on Android soon. Except Siri, of course, because Siri is an iPhone joint.

In the latest update to Telegram, users will be able to employ enhanced notification exceptions. You’ll be able to delete all exceptions at once, or search to find the right chat, or toggle message previews for the chats of your choice. This feature is mostly helpful for people who chat with a LOT of people on a regular basis.

For iPhone devices specifically, Siri shortcuts can now be used. Once you’ve activated this feature, you’ll be able to record a personalized phrase. That phrase can be used by Siri to tell Telegram to run the app shortcut – straight into a chat with no hands at all.

The Theme Picker update is also for iOS only – not that you’ll really need to see it on Android. This update updates the settings under Appearance, and allows users to preview their various different themes before they decide on any big chances.

Users may now Transfer Group Ownership. This means that if you are the owner of a group in Telegram, you’ll now see a “Transfer Group Ownership” button in your group settings. This works for groups and channels, too.

Local Groups are NEW! Users will be able to create a Local Group which is open to users within a given physical set of bounds. You could, for example, create a dorm-based Telegram group. You could create a Telegram group that works only for your classroom. You could create a Telegram group that can be joined only by those customers that visit your comic book shop. The possibilities are wild.

Users can also now Add People Nearby quicker than ever before. Users need only head to Contacts – Add People Nearby – and bang! They’ll appear on your list, so long as they’ve also got the app open and are very, very close to you in the physical world.

Finally, all new chats now have an Add to Contacts button at the top. Users can now add people to their contacts list without the use of your phone number. This makes Telegram a social network, doesn’t it?

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