Telegram is an instant messaging service best known for its mobile implementation, but a desktop app is also available and it’s even better than users might expect.
Telegram grabbed the public’s attention right after Facebook bought WhatsApp. People were looking for an alternative and Telegram was there to provide them with an alternative. They had a lot of users before that, but their user base exploded soon after. One of the cool things they did was provide an API that could be used by third-party developers.
On the other hand, Whatsapp is fighting developers trying to deliver apps and this was immediately noticed by users and the online community. Either way, Telegram not only managed to deliver this useful API, but also went to the trouble of providing a desktop app with the same functionality as the mobile version.
We tested the Telegram desktop app in Ubuntu 14.10 and it is quite easy to install and run. It is available in the Ubuntu Software Center, although it is an older version. This isn’t much of a problem as the app will update after the first run. Even so, it won’t get the latest version. For this you will need to download it and run the updater in the archive. The installed version will also be updated.
For the most part, Telegram works like any other similar app and you can’t really tell it’s too different. The main difference is the fact that all the chat history is kept on one of their servers, which means that no matter where you open the app, you will always have the history there.
The same is true for contacts. If you add a contact in the desktop app, it will appear in the mobile peer almost immediately. This kind of feature is fun and interesting to have, but it does raise some security concerns. The developers at Telegram take pride in the fact that they have very strong encryption algorithms that keep the servers safe, but nothing is 100% secure.
Additionally, users can change their personal account default options like upload their own photo, manage notifications, change the interface scale (you can make it a lot larger, if needed), change the back -Chat plan, see how much traffic you generated with and determine the default connection type.
Also, the ability to share images with users is a good idea and could save you money if you have a mobile plan without internet access. Because it runs on a PC, everything is done at the same time and there is no delay.
It’s hard to find fault with it, but there are a few minor issues that other users might notice as well. Closing the application with quit does not do this. It is always running in the background and you can see its indication. The indicator’s exit button is working as it should. Also, for some strange reason, it uses an internal file browser and not the available one. It’s not a major problem, but it looks out of place and very old.
If you have a lot of friends who use Telegram, you should definitely get this app. The fact that they provide an API and a desktop app is already available should be reason enough. It is easier to type messages on the keypad and you will also have these messages on your phone. That’s about all you could possibly want with the exception of privacy, which seems to be covered as well.