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Telegram is one of the feature-rich messaging services that comes with some great perks that can put rivals like WhatsApp and Signal to shame in terms of functionality. While basic Telegram features like the ability to edit messages after they have been sent are well known, here are some lesser-known but incredibly useful things the app can do that could prove to be very useful.
1. Live location and proximity alerts
Telegram users can send live locations to one another like WhatsApp. With live locations, the recipient can track the sender in real time for a set amount of time when they are on the go. However, both parties can also use Telegram to set proximity warnings. These are mini-alerts that ring when another user approaches. For example, you can set up a proximity alarm when your friend is within 50 meters of you in the mall so you can find them near you.
To use live location and proximity notifications, go to the contact’s chat window and tap the attach icon in the shape of a paper clip. Here, select the “Location” button and select “Share my live location”. You can broadcast live locations for 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 8 hours.
Once you and your contact have shared your live locations, Telegram will show both parties on both maps so they can keep track of each other. Once you are here, select the proximity warning button in the top right. Here you can choose your distance parameters while the app shows you a live preview of the circle distance you have chosen.
2. Scheduled and silent messages
With Telegram you can specify that messages should be sent at a specific time. You can also send “silent” messages without sound if you don’t want to disturb the recipient. This can be great when you want to message your boss while you know he’s in a meeting or when you want to send something important to a friend when he’s out with his family.
To schedule and send silent messages, users can simply type their messages but long tap the send button instead of just pressing it. This will show you the schedule and options for silent messages.
3. Custom themes
With Telegram you can customize your app interface according to your needs. To achieve this, users can choose from a number of themes and color combinations in the app. This also changes items like the colors of chat backgrounds and messages.
To do this, go to Telegram’s settings by sliding over the hamburger menu on the left of the app. Here select “Settings” and then click on “Chat Settings”. In this menu, you’ll see a number of themes and color options to choose from. You can also change the curve in message boxes and the font size.
4. Edit and replace images as you send
Are you sending an image without adding your usual filter or highlighting the text you want to highlight? Sent the wrong picture altogether? Telegram can help you. The app allows users to edit photos and even replace them after you’ve sent them.
To do this, long press on a picture that you have sent. Select the “Edit” button at the top, just like you would edit a text message after sending it. Now you get a built-in photo editor where you can add filters, draw or crop pictures. Alternatively, you can even replace the image and send another one in its place.
5. Chat folder
With Telegram you can organize all your chats into different folders. This way you can work on a group of chats at the same time and avoid others when they are not important. For example, you can set up one group to contain all of your co-workers’ chats and another to manage your personal social circle.
To do this, go to the telegram settings and select “Folder”. Here you can create as many folders as you want and add personal chats as well as groups and channels to each folder. You can also order the folders you just created. Note, however, that the default All Chats folder is always first.
6. Stay alive
Depending on which Android skin your phone is using and how much RAM you normally have available, the Android algorithms can close Telegram and other apps in the background and delay your notifications of new messages until you manually reopen the app.
If you don’t want this to happen and the Telegram should continue to run in the background to send you notifications in real time, you can go to Settings / Notifications and Sounds / Keep Alive Service and activate it.
7. Unlimited personal cloud storage
The Telegram has a personal area for saved messages for each user. This is accessible from the left hamburger menu on the main screen. Users can save important messages here which, like your chats, are backed up in Telegram’s secure cloud. The saved message space can then be accessed on your phone, laptop, and any other device your account is signed in to.
In contrast to other cloud-based solutions, Telegram’s personal area has an infinite amount of storage space. You can also send all types of files here. Note, however, that any file you send must be less than 1.5 GB in size.
8. Find users in your area
Telegram allows users to find contacts near you in case they want to be discovered. This allows you to quickly add someone close to you to Telegram without the hassle of writing down their number first and manually saving the contact. Users can also use this feature to find and create groups of users nearby.
To use this feature, go to the hamburger menu by swiping right and selecting Contacts. Select “Find People Near You” and here you will see a list of the contacts selected to be visible. You can also scroll down to see all the nearby groups and the option to create your own. Users who want to be discovered by this function can activate it in the hamburger menu / People nearby / Make visible.
9. Group voice chats
Telegram’s new Group Voice Chats, recently introduced, allow users in a group to initiate a shared group voice chat for all members. However, users can exit and re-enter the ongoing group chat at any time. To use this, go to any group of your choice and tap on the group name. Now go to the three dot menu at the top right and select Start Voice Chat.
10. Animated emojis
Telegram’s standard emojis can be displayed in an animated avatar to further increase their emotional value. These are different from GIFs that you send in the app. To enable animated emojis, go to Settings / Chat Settings / Large Emojis.