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Verifiable Builds, New Theme Editor, Send When Online and So Much More

Dude in a jacket inspecting the hologram of a mechanical dog to verify it's built according to the blueprints provided.

Telegram is the only mass market messaging app with open source apps. Since 2013, this not only allows independent researchers to verify the integrity of end-to-end encryption, but also helps look for vulnerabilities (or backdoors 😈).

As of this update, Telegram becomes the first messaging app to allow you to independently verify that the code on GitHub is the exact same code that was used to build the app you downloaded from App Store or Google Play. Security researchers are welcome to check out our Guide to Reproducible Builds for iOS and Android.

But we know security isn‘t the only reason you love Telegram – so we’ve also added dozens of new features and improvements. Gather round, this blog post is a long one.

Theme Editor 2.0

Using the new theme editor in Chat Settings (or Appearance Settings on iOS), you can quickly tweak the style of elements in Telegram chats and add awesome gradients to both your messages and your background. Switch between tabs (Main Color, Background, My Messages) to see how deep this rabbit hole goes:

Once you're done editing, you can quickly share the result of your work with friends so that they can continue tuning your theme.

By the way, this update includes dozens of new cool patterns you can apply to your background. Our favorites are the Math and Parisian motifs, but there‘s also one we made especially for New Year’s Eve.

Screenshot demonstrating some of the new background patterns.

There are new patterns with cats as well. And space. And cats in space. No time to explain, go check them all out.

New Predefined Colors

Not in a creative mood? Not a problem – we've added a boatload of new predefined color schemes for Telegram's default themes. The theme of your dreams may be just a few taps away, try the new options under Classic, Night, Day, etc.

Send When Online

Some things are best served fresh, like sushi and today‘s hot memes. For messages that have to be delivered at the perfect moment, we’ve added the option to schedule messages to be sent when your recipient comes online.

Now you can slide your message in with the morning post – or time a funky duck sticker for the exact moment a meeting gets boring.

Note that this option is only available if you are allowed to see your recipient's online status. You can still sneak out of bed without anyone noticing.

Improved Venue Sharing

Location sharing has been updated to make finding venues easier. You can now tap a place directly on the map to select it, rather than scrolling through a list of all the power converter purveyors in Tosche Station.

View Search Results as a List

The Search function allows you to easily jump between messages containing a keyword – or sent by a particular person, or even from a certain day. Tapping the bottom bar will now switch to list view in case you want to see all the results on one page.

On iOS, you can also select several messages without leaving Search Mode. (Before you ask, this feature was already available on Android.)

Screenshot showing several messages selected in a chat on iOS – without leaving the Search Mode.

Podcast and Audiobook Support

You've always been able to share files of up to 1,5 GB, but podcasts and audiobooks now get special treatment. Telegram apps will remember your last position when resuming playback of audio files longer than 20 minutes.

If you'd like to make podcasts get to the point a little faster, try the new 2x button (which you already know from voice messages). We've eliminated voice chipmunking in 96.8% of cases.

Screenshot showing the location of the 2x playback button for long audio files.

On iOS, you can skip forward and back with high-precision scrubbing: just hold on the progress bar and slide your finger down, then left or right.

New On Android

Switch to Night Mode Faster

Telegram has shielded your eyes in dark places with Night Mode since 2017. The power of the sun and moon are now even easier to control, with the Night Mode Switch at the top of the menu. Tap the moon icon and watch the sun rise and fall at your whim.

Maps have also joined the dark side in Night Mode, so you don't accidentally burn yourself while browsing locations late in the evening. Ve do as the count vills. (•,..,•)

A shared location on a map in Night Mode on Telegram for Android.

On iOS, dark maps turn on and off with the system dark mode. Speaking of which, we recently added the option to sync your Telegram theme with system dark mode on iOS 13.

Sleek New Animations

We‘ve peppered the interface with little ripple animations when you press on things to help you get more joy out of buttons. Snappy new animations await when jumping between messages in a chat, opening global search or pulling out the archive folder. To get a closer look at a user’s profile picture, drag down on their profile page.

Select Parts of Messages

Following in the footsteps of the iOS app, Android now also lets you select a portion of the message text to copy or share, instead of only the full text. Sometimes you only want a slice, rather than the whole pie.

Multi-sharing from Other Apps

Sharing is caring, so we've made it easier than ever to share content from other apps with your friends. You can now tap and hold to select multiple recipients – and even add a comment in case your savage subtweet needs some context.

Mark Archive as Read

A cluttered chat list reflects a cluttered mind. Clear up those extra unread message counters in your archive by tapping and holding the archive folder and marking them all read. (Not to be confused with marking it red, that's a job for themes.)

Mark all messages as read in the Archive on Android.

And Other Android Goodies

You can сhoose video quality in a more intuitive way when sending videos.

New button for selecting video quality when sending a video.

Sending contacts now uses a simple, card-style interface that won't take up your whole screen (unless you pull up to expand it).

New contact sharing screen.

When you're done listening to a voice message with your phone up to your ear, Telegram automatically records a reply - but now you can disable that by turning off Raise to Speak in your Chat Settings.

We found 31 other shiny bugs to fix and improvements to make on Android, just in time for your Telegram advent calendar. See if you can find them all.

New on iOS

Text Size, All the Way

You've been able to adjust the size of message text on Telegram from the beginning, but now you can scale the font size throughout the app. I'm not sure if Grandma reads this blog regularly, so you may have to tell her yourself.

Telegram for iOS with enlarged font.

Choose Your Browser

External browsers are now supported for opening links – you can select your preferred app in Settings > Data and Storage > Other.

Browser settings screen.

Share Sheet Settings

Your most popular Telegram chats were recently added to the iOS Share Sheet. In case you‘d like to control what can (or can’t 😉) appear there, you can use the new toggles under Settings > Data and Storage > Other > Share Sheet.

Share Sheet settings screen.

Switch Accounts Faster

Superman has had a hard time finding phone booths lately, so we added a way to swiftly switch accounts right from your home screen on iOS 13. Simply hold down on the app icon any time you need to change costumes.

App menu on an iOS 13 home screen, featuring a 'Switch Account' button

Remember that you can use Telegram with multiple accounts, switching between up to 3 phone numbers without logging out.

Storage Usage At a Glance

The Storage Usage page has been redesigned to more quickly find the settings you‘re looking for. It also shows your device’s storage status, and how much space all those other pesky apps are using compared to Telegram. Bigger, after all, is not always better.

You did know that with Telegram there's no need to store every silly meme people ever sent you on your precious device, right?

Storage Usage settings screen.

Cache-Clearing Shortcuts

Selecting multiple messages in a group or channel gives you the option to clear the chat's cache. Like we said, no need to store what you don't need – but also no need to delete actual messages. Just keep things in the cloud, like the cool kids.

Clear Cache button in a channel.

Check out Settings > Data and Storage > Storage Usage for more options.

Member Lists: The Shorter Scrolls

In case you're looking to leave some large groups and start fresh in the new decade, long member lists will collapse, so you can get to the ‘Leave Group’ button without scrolling.

By the way, swiping on a group or channel from the chat list and selecting ‘Delete’ is still the shortest way out, but now there is more than one way to leave the New Year's party early.

Group members screen with a collapsed member list.

And that's all for today. Happy New Year!

2020 is going to be fun. Enjoy winter while we get back to our little warm R&D bunker deep deep underground.


December 31, 2019,
The Telegram Team