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'Telegram' Articles

Telegram 5 Gains In-App Notifications and Swift Code Rebuild for Faster Speeds

Telegram received a major update today that includes new in-app notifications and a complete rewrite of the encrypted messaging app in Apple's Swift coding language, resulting in all-round faster performance and better energy efficiency. On the face of it, the Telegram 5.0 interface looks just like the previous version, but the developers say that rebuilding the app in Swift has made it "faster, sleeker and more battery-friendly," and has also removed a bunch of persistent bugs. The speed improvements should be immediately noticeable, particularly when viewing animations in chat threads and syncing messages across multiple devices. At the same time, the new in-app notifications allow users to keep on top of new messages without leaving conversations. From the Telegram blog: The new expandable in-app notifications will help you focus on whatever you're doing in the app without having to ignore incoming messages. When a notification arrives, pull it down to open the relevant chat. When you’re done with the interruption, simply close it to get right back to what you were doing.Elsewhere, the app now includes streaming support for audio files and improved navigation for busy chats, while the app icon message counter has been tweaked so that it no longer shows the number of unread messages in muted chats, which should make it a lot more informative. Telegram is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link

Telegram Gets First Update After Six Week App Store Lockout

Telegram today received its first update in two months after an App Store update lockout caused by a dispute with the Russian government and Apple. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov yesterday explained that Apple had been blocking updates to the Telegram app on a worldwide scale since April, when the Telegram app was banned in Russia. As back story, Russia in April banned Telegram because Telegram refused to allow government officials in the country to have backdoor access to the content of user messages. Russia's ban attempt was not entirely successful, leading Russia to demand that Apple remove Telegram from the Russian App Store. Amid this dispute, Apple was apparently refusing all Telegram app updates dating back to mid-April. This situation caused certain Telegram features, like stickers, to break with the launch of iOS 11.4, and it prevented Telegram from complying with new GDPR rules in the European Union. From Durov's statement yesterday:While Russia makes up only 7% of Telegram's userbase, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world since mid-April. As a result, we've also been unable to fully comply with GDPR for our EU-users by the deadline of May 25, 2018. We are continuing our efforts to resolve the situation and will keep you updated.Apple appears to have reversed its position on Telegram updates, and Telegram 4.8.2 is now available in the iOS App Store. The update includes a new registration process for the EU and UK along with some other small changes to the app. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding

Telegram CEO Says Apple Has Been 'Preventing' iOS App Updates Since Russia's Ban in April

In April, the Russian government banned secure messaging app Telegram and this month asked Apple to remove it from the iOS App Store completely in the country, citing the potential for terrorist communication via the app since Telegram refused to allow Russia to read user messages. As this unfolds, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov posted an update for users early this morning in an effort to explain why some features "don't work correctly under iOS 11.4" (via ArsTechnica). According to Durov, Apple has been "preventing" the Telegram iOS app from updating on a global scale, dating back to when Russia banned the app in April. Durov says that his company chose to do the "only possible thing" and refused to provide Russia with decryption keys to access user messages, "preserving the right of our users privacy in a troubled country." He continued by stating, "Unfortunately, Apple didn't side with us." The CEO says Apple's restricting of Telegram dates back to mid-April and while Russia represents a small subset of its user base (7 percent), Apple's actions affect all Telegram users around the world. Because of this, the launch of iOS 11.4 on Tuesday has broken some Telegram features like stickers, and caused the company to miss its deadline for compliance with the GDPR for users in the European Union. Apple has been preventing Telegram from updating its iOS apps globally ever since the Russian authorities ordered Apple to remove Telegram from the App Store. Russia banned Telegram on its territory in April because we refused to provide decryption keys for all our users’

Russia Demands Apple Remove Telegram From Russian App Store

The Russian government has asked Apple to help it block Telegram, the secure messaging app that's highly popular in the country, reports WCCFTech. A Russian court in April ordered carriers and internet providers in the country to block Telegram back in April, after Telegram refused to provide Russia with backdoor access to user messages. Telegram, for those unfamiliar with the app, offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging purposes. With end-to-end encryption, no one, not even Telegram, can access the messages that are sent between users. Despite issuing the block order back in April, Russia has only been able to disrupt Telegram's operations in the country by 15 to 30 percent. Given the government's inability to block the app, Roskomnadzor, the division of the government that controls media and telecommunications, has demanded that Apple remove the Telegram app from the Russian App Store. The group first asked Apple to remove the app in April, but is appealing to Apple again. "In order to avoid possible action by Roskomnadzor for violations of the functioning of the above-mentioned Apple Inc. service, we ask you to inform us as soon as possible about your company's further actions to resolve the problematic issue," the regulator wrote. Roskomnadzor has given Apple one month to remove the Telegram app from the App Store. Roskomnadzor's director Alexander Zharov said he did not want to "forecast further actions" should Apple not comply with the request following the 30 day period. The Russian government said that it needed access to Telegram

Russia Bans Access to Telegram Encrypted Messenger Service [Updated]

A Russian law court has ordered that access to the Telegram encrypted messaging service should be blocked, according to Russian news agencies on Friday (via Reuters). The development follows last week's news that Russia's media regulator had filed legal proceedings to block the app in the country because the company refused to enable state security services to access users' messages. The Telegram platform allows people to communicate with each other using end-to-end encryption, meaning no-one – not even Telegram – has access to messages sent between users. The app has over 200 million users globally. They include Kremlin staff, who use Telegram to coordinate conference calls with Vladimir Putin's spokesman. Many government officials also use the messenger app to communicate with media, according to Reuters. When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue, replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an open VPN app.Telegram becomes the second global network after LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia. In 2016, a court found LinkedIn guilty of violating a law that requires companies holding Russian citizens' data to store it on servers within Russia. Update 04/17: The Russian government has formally requested that Apple remove Telegram from its regional App Store in the country, reports Reuters. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics,

Russia Moves to Ban Telegram Encrypted Messaging Platform

Russia appears to be following through on its threat last year to block access to the Telegram encrypted messaging platform. The BBC reports today that the Roskomnadzor media regulator has begun legal proceedings to block the app in the country, after Dubai-based Telegram refused to comply with requests that it hand over the encryption keys. Telegram was given a deadline of 4 April to hand over the keys, but the company has refused, explaining that the way the service is built means it has no access to them. Russia's main security agency, the FSB, wants the keys so it can read messages and prevent future terror attacks in the country. In its court filing, Roskomnadzor said the legal action was related to the FSB request and Telegram's non-compliance with its legal requirements as a "distributor of information".Telegram's lawyer, Pavel Chikov, called the Russian attempt to block the app "groundless" and said the FSB's demand to access users' chat logs was "unconstitutional, baseless, which cannot be fulfilled technically and legally". Telegram had a legal challenge to the demand dismissed in a Moscow court in March, but the platform creator Pavel Durov has said Telegram, which is widely used in Russia, will not "give up" the private data of its users. Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won't bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.— Pavel Durov (@durov) 20 March 2018 Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion,

Apple Pulls Telegram Messenger From App Store for 'Inappropriate Content' [Update: Returned]

Apple has pulled popular encrypted messenger app Telegram from the App Store, following reports of "inappropriate content" hosted on the platform that violated Apple's developer guidelines for iOS apps. Users first noted Telegram's absence late on Wednesday via Reddit, after App Store searches for the app began returning results for Viber, Skype, and Messenger instead. Both the original app and experimental offshoot Telegram X still don't appear on the App Store at the time of writing. The exact reason for the apps' removal isn't yet clear, but Telegram founder Pavel Durov responded to a tweet on Thursday by explaining that the company was alerted by Apple to "inappropriate content" made available to users of both apps, which led to them being pulled. We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store.— Pavel Durov (@durov) February 1, 2018 Apple's review guidelines include a section on user safety that prohibits "upsetting or offensive content", while a sub-section covering user-generated content requires that the relevant apps include: • A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app • A mechanism to report offensive content and timely responses to concerns • The ability to block abusive users from the service • Published contact information so users can easily reach you Apps with user-generated content or services that end up being used primarily for

Telegram Messenger 4.5 Update Brings Albums, Saved Messages, and Better Search

Encrypted messenger app Telegram received an update today that brings additional features and enhancements to the platform, including media albums, saved messages, and an improved search function. Starting with Telegram 4.5, whenever users send multiple photos or videos they will be grouped into albums. Each album can include up to 10 photos or videos, which are displayed in chat threads as "elegantly proportioned thumbnails", the upshot being that recipients will be notified just the once instead of ten times over. The order in which the photos are sent can now be controlled within the app, too. Photos selected for sharing get a sequence number, so users can send "before and after" pictures in the correct order. In addition, users should find profile photos easier to navigate, thanks to thumbnails that show in the lower part of the screen. Elsewhere, Telegram users can now bookmark important messages and media by forwarding them to a personal cloud storage area called Saved Messages. Each saved message also has a "go to" button that takes users to the place in the chat where it was originally posted. Saved Messages can be found in the Chats list and in Settings. The developers have also improved the global search algorithm used for finding public channels, groups, and bots. It's now possible to search for public channels and bots by their titles, and most popular items will always be displayed first. Lastly, Channel admins can now pin messages to focus their subscribers' attention on important announcements, while the settings screen and context menu has

Afghan Government Moves to Block WhatsApp, Telegram Messaging Services

Afghanistan's government has ordered a block on messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram, according to a letter sent to the country's internet providers that was widely shared over social media on Saturday. The letter was reportedly sent to Afghan ISPs after the country's National Directorate for Security ordered the move, in what some observers believe is an attempt to prevent use of the encrypted messaging services by the Taliban and other insurgent groups. According to Reuters, the letter by telecoms regulator ATRA, dated November 1 and signed by an official of the regulator, directed internet companies to block Telegram and Facebook's WhatsApp services "without delay" for a period of 20 days. However, the temporary ban does not yet appear to have been enforced, with both services said to be still working normally on Saturday on both state-owned operator Salaam and private service providers. Afghan government instructed telecom companies to shutdown @WhatsApp & @telegram in Afghanistan. Reason unknown. #AFG pic.twitter.com/l156HBC0ri— Ahmad Mukhtar (@AhMukhtar) November 2, 2017 Public use of mobile phones has boomed in Afghanistan since the Taliban was removed from power by a U.S-led campaign in 2001, while use of services like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Viber are popular among the country's politicians as well as the Taliban, which also maintains a sophisticated social media operation. However, civil rights groups and Afghan social media users have criticized the attempt to block the chat platforms. Many argue such a ban is unenforceable anyway because

Telegram Chat App Gains Reply/Mention Alerts, Twitch Video Support, and More

Encrypted chat platform Telegram pushed out a new iOS app update on Sunday, with a new reply/mentions alert system among several other tweaks and improvements. Since 2015 when Telegram first introduced the reply feature, the maximum group chat size has increased from a maximum 200 members to 10,000. As a result, new user mentions and replies in group chats can happen several times a day. To help users stay on top of these messages, Telegram 4.3 has introduced a new in-app notification badge. Now, whenever someone replies to a user or mentions them in a group, an "@" symbol appears in the chats list. A tap on the new "@" button takes the user to the new replies/mentions and disappears once all the relevant messages have been read. Elsewhere, the "Invite Friends" section in Contacts has been completely redesigned. Going forward, contacts that are not on Telegram yet but have many friends using it are now listed at the top, making it easier to invite them to the chat platform. Twitch videos are now supported in the Telegram in-app player, so it's now possible to watch Twitch streams in Picture-in-Picture mode while chatting with friends. And when on a Telegram voice call, users can check the signal strength using the new indicator. It's also now possible to edit any photo pasted directly to a chat from clipboard before sending. For those who use stickers in Telegram, anyone with five or more sticker sets installed can now mark individual stickers as "favorites" and have them always accessible at the top of the sticker panel in the "star" section. And large

Telegram Encrypted Chat App Gains Self-Destructing Video and Photo Messages

Encrypted messaging app Telegram received an update on Sunday that makes it the latest chat platform to embrace Snapchat-style disappearing messages. Up until now, Telegram users have only been able to send text-based "secret chats" that self-delete, but in version 4.2 of the app they can now share videos and photos armed with a self-destruct timer. Timers are set using the clock icon in the media picker and can be anything up to one minute long. The countdown starts the moment the recipient opens the photo or video that's sent, and the sender is notified if the recipient tries to take a screenshot of the disappearing media. Elsewhere in the update, there's an improved photo editor and a speed boost for media downloads from large public channels, thanks to new encrypted content delivery networks. Lastly, users can now add a bio to their profile in settings, so that people in large group chats know who they are. Telegram is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Encrypted Chat App Telegram to Remove Terrorist Content Following Ban Threat in Indonesia

Telegram is to form a team of moderators to remove terrorist-related content from the encrypted messaging platform in Indonesia, after the country's government threatened to ban the app. Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has already blocked access to the web version of the chat platform, citing concerns that it was being used to spread "radical and terrorist propaganda" in the country, according to Reuters. "This has to be done because there are many channels on this service that are full of radical and terrorist propaganda, hatred, ways to make bombs, how to carry out attacks, disturbing images, which are all in conflict with Indonesian law," the communications ministry said in a statement on its website.Telegram co-founder Pavel Durov said on Sunday that the service had blocked channels reported by the government and that it would take further action to remove the illegal content. "We are forming a dedicated team of moderators with knowledge of Indonesian culture and language to be able to process reports of terrorist-related content more quickly and accurately," Durov said in a Telegram post quoted by Associated Press.Telegram has been criticized by governments before for its use by terrorist groups to spread propaganda and recruit members. Last month Telegram agreed to provide basic information about the company to Russia after authorities threatened to block access to the service. Despite pressure from governments, Telegram's founders have refused to bow to demands for backdoors into the platform for authorities to access

Russia Threatens to Ban Encrypted Messaging App Telegram

Russia has threatened to block access to the Telegram messaging platform unless the company that runs the app provides more information about itself (via Sky News). The head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, said repeated efforts to obtain the information had been ignored by the company and warned that "time is running out" for the app. "There is one demand and it is simple: to fill in a form with information on the company that controls Telegram," Zharov said in an open letter. "And to officially send it to Roskomnadzor to include this data in the registry of organizers of dissemination of information. In case of refusal… Telegram shall be blocked in Russia until we receive the needed information."Telegram's non-response appears to be down to the repercussions of handing over the requested details: Doing so would effectively add it to the state regulators' registry, which would require it to retain users' chat histories and encryption keys and share them with authorities if asked, according to Russian news agency TASS. The demand isn't the first time the Russian founders of Telegram – Kremlin, Nikolai and Pavel Durov – have failed to comply with state requests. In 2014, the Durovs refused to turn over data on Ukranian users of Vkontakte, a social network they also set up together. Telegram claims to split its encryption keys into separate data centers around the world to ensure "no single government or block of like-minded countries can intrude on people's privacy and freedom of expression". According to the group's policy, it can

Telegram Encrypted Messenger Gains Video Support, Bot Payments, and More

Encrypted messaging platform Telegram received a significant update today, bringing video messaging, bot payments, and other new features to the chat app. In version 4.0 of Telegram, users can activate video messaging with a tap of the mic icon to switch to camera mode, or tap and hold the icon to record a quick video clip. Swiping up while recording enables handsfree mode, which works with voice notes too. Users can also stop and replay the clip before sending. In addition, chat bots can now accept payments, with the developers saying that users will soon be able to order pizza, shop for clothes, and potentially pay their utility bills using Telegram bots. Also included in the update is a new Instant View feature, which is similar to Google's AMP platform. Essentially it enables users to view articles directly from within the Telegram app, and comes with the added ability to create article previews using the Instant View Editor. Lastly, Telegram has also announced a new service called Telesco.pe that lets anyone watch video messages from public Telegram channels. Telegram is a free download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Telegram Messaging Platform Introduces Encrypted Voice Calling Feature

Mobile messaging app Telegram introduced voice calls today, bringing the communications platform's secure feature list up to date and more in line with rival chat apps WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger, and Signal. Telegram said in a blog post that the voice calls are based on the same end-to-end encryption methods as its Secret chats feature, but says it has introduced a new "key exchange mechanism" to make sure calls are even more secure. The key verification UI we came up with in 2013 to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks served well for Telegram (and for other apps that adopted it), but for Calls we needed something easier. That‘s why we’ve improved the key exchange mechanism. To make sure your call is 100% secure, you and your recipient just need to compare four emoji over the phone. No lengthy codes or complicated pictures! Whenever possible, calls go over a peer-to-peer connection, "using the best audio codecs to save traffic while providing crystal-clear quality", according to Telegram. If a peer-to-peer connection can't be established, the closest server to the user is connected to instead. Once a voice call is made, a dedicated tab for calls appears on the main screen of the app. The Voice Calls feature rolls out in Western Europe today, with the rest of the world to get them "very soon". In addition to voice calls, the latest v3.18 version of the app also offers users direct control over the quality of videos shared over the platform. Telegram remembers the compression rate once it has been selected, and uses it as the default setting for

Telegram Messaging Service Launches Bot-Powered Gaming Platform

Popular messaging app Telegram today announced the launch of a bot-powered gaming platform that enables users to play games right inside their chats. Last year we launched a Bot Platform for Telegram. Free, powerful, and open, it was an instant hit among users and developers. Today we are aiming to push the boundaries further by launching a bot-powered Gaming Platform on Telegram. That’s right: you can now use bots to play games in your chats, complete with graphics and sound. The company promises 'hundreds of games' are heading for the messaging service, but around 30 are ready to go live, many of them published by developer platform gamee. Games can be anything from simple arcades and puzzles to multiplayer 3D-shooters and real-time strategy games. Users can start a game by interacting with a chat bot, either directly or by invoking a bot from an existing conversation thread using the @gamee alias. Gamers are also able to challenge friends on the Telegram service and start up competitions across existing chats, with high scores saved and updated for every game played in a thread and gamers notified if they get overtaken in a leaderboard. Telegram is promoting the idea of users building their own games, which it calls 'easy', and reckons some can be created in a matter of hours. The technology powering the games is HTML5, so they're loaded on-demand like ordinary web pages and therefore take up zero space on the host device. To be able to play the games, users will need to update their apps to version 3.13, which should roll out on the App Store store today. T