The COVID-19 pandemic has given prominence to voice and video calling apps. With everyone working from home, Zoom, WhatsApp, and other similar apps have kept us connected over the past 9-odd months. Telegram is now jumping into the action with the launch of its own take on group voice calls.
This feature was first spotted by Subin on our team in a recent Telegram beta update. The company has made the feature official today and it is already rolling out to users on Android, iOS, and the web. It seems to have taken cues from Houseparty to build a voice chat room-like feature. You can jump in and out of the call at any time. It is like walking up to the water cooler to join your friends who are already there and having a talk.
Telegram says “Voice Chats are not group calls,” but they can achieve similar goals and offer more flexibility. You can check out the UI in the header image. You will now see a ‘Voice Chat’ banner at the top of your group chat when a call is active. It will show how many active participants are in the call and you just need to tap the ‘Join’ button to hop in. You will be muted by default but can unmute or hold the ‘mic’ button to talk.
Once you’ve joined the call, you can navigate back to the app and explore other chats or send messages to your family. You’re free to move around without hanging up. Android users further benefit from a floating widget. They can navigate around the phone, with key calling features such as mute, speaker, and end call button being accessible to them at all times.
You can check out an in-depth guide on how to start a Telegram Voice Chat (or group voice call) right here. It’s easy and definitely sounds fun for group conversations.
Besides the voice chat feature, Telegram has also updated the Android app animations, enable Siri to read messages aloud, and a powerful new image editor. The stickers now load faster, with an outline of what sticker is loading. Also, if you’re an Android user, it is now possible to move app data to an SD card to free up some precious space on your device.