Telegram picked up a Saturday update today that introduces several tweaks and improvements to the UI, as well as new features for both regular and premium users.
The biggest upgrade is a new Topics feature for group chats. This essentially turns your groups into forums, where a single group can have multiple topics that you can have side chats in. You’ll enable Topics in the settings of a group chat, which will then allow you to start creating topics.
Those individual topic chats have their own notification settings, plus they can use polls and all of the other features you might take advantage of in a normal group chat.
Telegram suggests this new Topics feature is mainly for large groups that need better management. They have some sort of plan for smaller groups coming later this year. Return of the forum!
While Topics is the biggest feature, Telegram also added the following:
- Text resizing on Android: A new text size slider lets you adjust the size of text, link previews, reply headers, and more.
- New iOS dark theme: iPhone owners are getting a new dark theme that makes “colors more balanced with better blurring effects.”
- New animations: Throughout Telegram’s UI there are new animations, like for swiping left to reply to a message or when things are loading in a chat. There’s also a new call menu that shows when you tap on someone’s phone number.
- Interactive emoji: Telegram added 4 new interactive emoji in this update.
- 12 new emoji packs (Premium): For Telegram Premium users, you’ll find 12 new emoji packs to play with, including some for Halloween, which happened 5 days ago.
- Voice to text video (Premium): Premium users can also now transcribe videos into text, just like they could audio messages in a previous update. So now if you see a video in a chat, a little bottom right voice-to-text button will instantly transcribe it.
- Collectible usernames: And finally, Telegram is doing something with collectible usernames and Blockchain. No idea.
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