We all love Telegram for its robustness, great set of features, and unparalleled security measures. As we've been beta testing the next major release of the app, version 5.14.0, to be precise, we were surprised by the inclusion of cool new functionality to add to the already huge list of options there.

After a long long time without any updates, perhaps almost a month, we now have our hands on Telegram version 5.13.0 beta to test out, and in fact, it does include some major upgrades to the prior release.

Telegram for Android got a couple of new features in the minor update v5.12.1. At first, it became available to beta users and after a couple of small fixes, it was released to Google Play.

Here is the changelog:

  • Listen to podcasts and audio tracks longer than 20 minutes at 2x speed.
  • Resume playback from where you left off when watching long videos and listening to long audio tracks.
  • Search for items in the current folder when attaching files or music.
  • Tap and hold on chats when sharing from other apps to send to several recipients.
  • Hold on the Archive folder to mark all archived chats as read.

Telegram account on Twitter was always relatively active but since Jul 1st they started a new hashtag #TelegramTips where they post short tips on how to use Telegram app in a more efficient way.

This hashtag also got used by other Telegram users (including @TestingCatalog) to share their helpful tricks.

During these 3 months, there were enough tips being shared in order to aggregate them into one list.

Telegram Tip #1

Contacts can be quickly shared face-to-face. Simply open Contacts > Add People Nearby and see users next to you (who also have this menu open). No telepaths were harmed in the making of this feature.

I got asked to compare Telegram beta client versus Plus messenger in order to find a reason to use the first one instead of another. First of all, I need to say that my review is based on a 2-day usage experience with Plus messenger and daily usage experience with Telegram beta client.

It isn't a long time before another Telegram update comes out, yet today we are here with a new build. Version 5.7.0 is available with a generous number of upgrades upon the previous release but still deemed enough for us to do a report about it. So, here we go.

New theme switcher

First things first, this update adds two new themes to the app and more redesigns to the majority of the pop-up dialogs, whilst bringing a separate page for managing all themes and creating custom ones. The Arctic Blue theme, as the name suggests, combines white with blue, while the second theme, named Graphite, boasts a lighter variant of gray as the preferred main background color.

More granular privacy management

Telegram 5.7 allows its users to do thorough adjustments to their privacy preferences, giving a gives a certain level of flexibility and control over personal information sharing. These include options for hiding user's phone number, managing permissions for messaging and calling, etc. You can find all of them in the Privacy and Security page in the settings.

Seamless weblogging with bots (channel comments)

Logging in to other web services with your Telegram account is going to be instant, thanks to the newly added @discussbot. It provides many opportunities, such as the rumored channel replies function otherwise labeled as comments, and you can begin testing them immediately.

Other good news is that anyone can create such bots for connecting existing services to Telegram on the fly.

Discussion groups for channels

With this update, channel admins can assign groups to their channels. After doing so, subscribers will see a 'Discuss' link in the bottom panel of a selected group chat for discussions, and every new post from the connected channel will automatically get forwarded and pinned in the corresponding group.

Public channel viewing

From now on, anyone can view public channels on the web by hitting the 'Preview channel' button.

Scam alerts

If suspicious accounts get detected, Telegram will display a scam label next to their names.

Animated stickers

Before wrapping up, shared in a post by Telegram Info, appears that Telegram is working on a new .tgs format for animated stickers. You can make your own ones by archiving JSON sticker files of your choice as gzip, and then changing the extension of the archive to .tgs.

The popular messaging service is going head-on about providing its user with better and more flexible privacy settings as well as simplifying the connection between channels and groups in this release. Moreover, new themes, UI refinements are in place too.

We have a guide explaining how to become a Telegram beta tester here, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

Via: Telegram Blog

Last month Telegram announced a new design contest for developers from around the world. Their purpose has been to spice up the interest of some clever minds and give them a platform to showcase their fresh design and coding ideas, with the added benefit of giving them prizes and hiring them later down the line. The latter is perhaps, mostly applicable for winners who are good enough to pass all stages of the contest and prove themselves to be worthy, though job opportunities by other companies may come up too.

March Contest

So, the March contest's winners for Android were announced over the past week. The original goal was to develop a fast and easy to use software for displaying charts in either JavaScript, Android Java or iOS Swift, with a sample data originally provided by Telegram. Included were sections for profile/channel/group activities and based on this information, there is a great chance that we will see such a feature implemented into the official clients of the messaging service shortly.

The winner of the March Android Contest is @thankyou2 who has received $50,000 as a gift. Looks like his app has been the only one to comply 100% with the published design guidelines and has been the best performer in terms of reliability and speed even on older Android devices. His sample APK, including apps from other winners, were all posted on the Telegram Contests channel, which you can test if you wish.

Note that Stage 2 of the contest is running at the moment and submissions will end on April 15. For more details, click here, but in a nutshell, this time the goal is to build five graphs in total, in addition to line charts developed in Stage 1, three new chart types are required: line charts with 2 Y axes, bar charts and percentage stacked area charts

Source: Telegram

Recently, Telegram officials created a channel where they publish the best design and feature concepts in regards to their apps, all created by talented designers and developers from around the world. We did a report about the more eye-catching concepts published there a while back, which you can take a look at from here. Just a couple of days ago a new concept was shared and it indeed caught our attention as it has some pretty neat ideas that you would wish Telegram's developers go ahead and leverage as soon as possible. So, without further ado, let's see what this concept by @maratkharr has in mind.

Concept video by @maratkharr

  • QR codes for profile sharing

This would come quite in handy as it is crazy simple to scan a code to add someone to your contacts list and instantly start chatting with.

  • Global currency rates

Telegram is already a great source for news, then, why not have daily currency reports as well?

  • Channel/group statistics

Having such a piece of detailed information about channel and group visitors and how they interact with each other is going to be extremely helpful for optimizing the content that is being shared and is going to be.

  • Quantum games

Facebook Messenger's games are a hit. Why does Telegram not have similar time killing games too?

  • In-app GRAM payments

Sending money and paying for things would get a lot more convenient if Telegram adds this feature. FYI, GRAM is their cryptocurrency.

  • Live broadcasting

  • Donations

This is for sure the best way to support people.

  • Video calls

Currently, there is only voice calling is supported by Telegram and for video chats, users have to resort to other apps. If we get that one, it would certainly be great.

As we said in the beginning, Telegram representatives have picked up this concept, so this means that they are considering adding some of the concept features in future releases of their official applications. Though, we will have to patiently wait for a bit. In the meantime, if you have some other great ideas, you can submit your concepts to the @design_bot on the 'Telegram Designers' channel.

Source: Telegram Designers

Our channel about Telegram with more stuff: TGTester

I wrote this post for Google+ but I think that it might be also helpful for others to check.

Google+ is going to be shut down but what does it mean for us?

  • No more access to our favourite collections.
  • No more access to our favourite communities.
  • No more social platform without ads.
  • No more content delivery as we used to.

We validated many alternatives and here is what we found:

  • Telegram is the only platform which offers a good user experience and perspectives for the future.
  • It has a channels concept which is an alternative to Google+ collections and supergroups which is an alternative to Google+ communities.
  • It supports bots which becomes a major plus compared to Google+.
  • It has a transparent development process and roadmap.
  • It is about to release a new cryptocurrency which will open a lot of new perspectives for Telegram users.
  • It is a very fast growing messager despite the fact that some governments are trying to block it (Unsuccessfully).
  • No ads and no spam.

We at TestingCatalog are going to triple down with our efforts on improving our Telegram channel in 2019.

If you are not a Telegram user yet, you can get it from Google Play

Here you can find a list of cool Android channels to follow, enjoy!

Some of them are generic, some of them are for specific apps and some are for developers. Do you know more channels to add here?

Telegram is my favorite cloud-based instant messaging app because of its simple user interface and the great level of functionality it has to offer. It also uses end-to-end encryption for sending and receiving messages and does not pack intrusive ads as Facebook Messenger does.

Its clients for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Linux are all fully open-source, allowing anyone to fork the sources and build their own variants and contribute to the project by adding newer localizations or helping improve the current ones, assist with fixing bugs and provide fresh design ideas. Speaking of design ideas, there is a new official Telegram channel dedicated especially for that. The development team behind Telegram will choose the best concepts for new UI layouts and animations and share them on the channel. Perhaps, some of those may get implemented in future updates of the mobile apps as well.

At the time of writing there is only a handful amount of design concepts, so we did pick up a few that look quite promising.

  • Workspaces

Suggested by @am0040 and named "Workspaces", this layout would allow users to switch quickly between groups of people by tapping on a dropdown menu in the action bar.

  • Hideable categories

This idea comes from @jonaaron and lets users collapse chat sections such as Channels and Friends, so the chats page looks less cluttered. They can be expanded back too.

  • Hidden tabs

@shchuchkin has suggested another similar concept, but this one differs a bit because it adds hideable tab buttons and would allow you to access them by just swiping down. His mockup video shows tabs names like Everything, Unread, People, Groups, etcetera.

  • Chat sections

Another interesting idea is about a row of tabs again in the chats page but with differentcategories this time - All, Family, News, Crypto and Sport. The person behind this one is @daa24.

If you would like to suggest a new UI change such as a unique and pretty layout or an animation(s), please, do not hesitate to send your mockups to the @design_bot and wait for the admins to share them on the Telegram Designers channel.

More Telegram news can be found in our TGTester channel 📲

Source: Telegram Designers

Telegram is a messaging app where you can use different chatbots in order to enhance your chat experience. There are a lot of different bots available including different timers, reminders, and services. There are also plenty of different poll bots with allow users to create and share polls in their channels and groups. From now on, most of them will become unnecessary.

New polls feature was introduced in the latest Telegram beta update for the Android v5.1.0.

You can get it directly from our channel in Telegram or from the in-app update if you already have it installed.

How to find it?

After updating the app, this feature will become immediately available. In order to use it, you need to open a group or channel and tap on the "attachment" icon. A new pop-up will contain an additional "Poll" option which will lead to the poll creation view. Please keep in mind that it is not possible to create polls on 1 on 1 chat.

How to create a poll?

When you open a "new poll" view, this process becomes very straightforward. This feature is very simple at this moment and it only allows you to customize a question text and add up to 10 different options to it. Simply tap on the "Add a new option" to add more and drag and drop them to rearrange. The copy-pasting is disabled for all text fields which is not very handy. Also, all of them have a character limit.

When you are done with editing, just hit on the "ok" icon on the top right. The poll will appear in the channel or group and other people will be able to vote. This poll is shown as anonymous which means that nobody will know who votes where. Results will be visible to everyone after the voting. It is also possible to change the vote by tapping on the message and choosing "Retract Vote". The poll creator also can stop the poll at any time.

It is important to know that people with clients where these polls are not supported will see a poll as "Unsupported message".

What do you think about this feature?

Source: tgtester, Telegram blog

Telegram is a messaging app in its core, but it also packs some extra features you may haven't come across. One of them, in particular, is the music player, which can be used to play music files attached to your messages. The player can also play in an order all MP3s in a chat and has extra options like shuffle play, reverse order, and repeat. Other than that, it also allows rewinding. The playing continues in the background as in every other music player and can be controlled from the notifications panel of your Android devices. The buttons in the media notification are quite large, so I'd wish for them to be smaller. Btw, there is always the quick control panel below the action bar, which shows the currently playing track and by taping on it you can get to the queue.

You can also search and download music by using a Telegram bot. The one we can recommend is called @vkm_bot. It understands the following five commands:



/song - Enter the song name to search for music

/artist - Enter the artist name

/setlang - To change the language

/settings - To access the settings

This is it for now. We just wanted to give you guys a quick heads up about this feature of the Telegram app. For your information, the music player in Telegram X has more features, so if you choose to, you can try it instead.

Don't forget to join our channel about Telegram beta for Android 📲

The Telegram app is the most secure and flawless instant messaging app for Android. That said, it is also the easiest app to customize in terms of looks. It supports applying custom-made themes and there are very well designed ones on the Internet. We constructed a special list just for you to browse and chose the best of the best themes ever made for it.

Where to get them from?

First things first, here are some popular Telegram channels you can browse and choose from:

If you are a fan of dark or black, this is the place to go hunting for themes you like.

It is all about the colors.

Here you will find a huge variety of different styles and color combos.

I am attaching my own black theme with teal accent colors, so please, leave some feedback about it.

How to apply?

To apply a theme you have to download it by using the Telegram app, or you won't be able to import it. If you want to apply a theme from somewhere else, you can upload the .attheme file to your 'Saved Messages', redownload it and tap on the file. You will be greeted with a preview screen and a button at the bottom right saying 'Apply'. To switch between already used/applied themes, go to Settings > Theme and select the one you want to use.

As you can see, there is a large catalog with themes for Telegram and it's pretty effortless to install one. Please, share with us your own themes, or the themes you love and use daily.

The Telegram app can be translated by using the Translations website or Transifex. You can see what languages are available for translation, suggest translations, review, and vote. If your language does not exist in the list, you can wait until it gets added or send a request on Transifex to be added.

Tips you can use when translating

So, translating is pretty simple, but there are some rules which you have to apply to make the best translation ever. Let's see what you can do:

  • Keep things consistent The same things need to have the same names everywhere.

  • Be natural You don't have to always translate word for word, or everything. Sometimes it makes more sense to simply describe what the app does in your own language.

  • Look for translation of the same feature in other apps There are many apps with a similar concept. It will be much easier for users if things are consistent between labels in products from some competitors.

  • Make it sound beautiful Use good language, that would make the app look as if it was built in your region. Respect your language's grammar and style where possible.

  • Things must fit This last one will probably cause you the most problems in most languages. Sometimes you need to look to the surrounding phrases and change them for the problematic one to work.

  • The art of typography Text should be not just linguistically, but also typographically and aesthetically correct. Please, approach the text as a magazine editor would and try to make it blend in with the design.

If you want to join the translation team and see how many not translated strings are available, you can use Transifex. It also gives you the option to download and test external language packs from there. To apply a .xml language pack, send (or receive) the file via Telegram (attached as ‘file’), download it, then tap on it to see the menu. After that select ‘Apply localization file’. You will see a language selection menu with the language from the file as one of the options.

Changing the app language in Telegram to one of the officially supported ones is also pretty straight-forward. You just need to head into the settings and select Language.

You can also check all Telegram Beta reports on TestingCatalog to stay up to date with recent changes. Alternatively, you can join our @tgtester Telegram channel to receive all info directly in Telegram app.

That's it for now. Tell us if our guide was helpful for you.