In recent years gestures have become fundamental to the way we interact with our devices, prompting not only Android itself but also the apps that call it home to implement them. A prime example of this is Telegram, one of the best messaging apps out there. With such a rich tapestry of features included in Telegram, it's easy to miss some of them or forget that they exist. So, let's take a look at some of the most useful gestures and shortcuts that are hidden away in Telegram, and why you should be using them.
Sometimes I want to read a message, but I don't have time to reply to it there and then. The problem is, the sender can see when you've read the message they sent, which can be especially problematic if you have a psycho partner, or an annoying friend or family member. Telegram has a solution, however, in the form of peeking. If you long-press on the image next to the conversation name, a preview will pop up, allowing you to read the last few messages in its entirety without marking it as read. If you do want to reply then and there, simply swipe up to open the full conversation.
Swipe to exit
In finding this feature for the first time, our benevolent leader, Artem, commissioned this very article. It's incredibly simple: Swiping from left to right anywhere on the screen in an open conversation will slide it away, and take you back to the chat list. Simple, but practical and useful nonetheless.
Swipe to reply
This is my most-used gesture by far, and it's especially handy in group chats with dozens of users. We're all familiar with the headache that is group chats where there are a hundred different conversations all going on at once. In Telegram, you can swipe from the right on any message to reply to it. Your reply, when sent, will show a preview of the original message that, when pressed, will automatically scroll up to that message. You can even reply to your messages, making sure that thoughts can be read coherently later. So, if you've been going to all the effort of long-pressing messages to use the reply button all this time, do yourself a favor and swipe instead.
Telegram has more stickers than you can shake a stick at, with users being able to create and share their own, as well as the ones included by the developer. The problem is, these stickers are incredibly small when viewed in the keyboard, making it impossible to read the text in a sticker or see the finer detail. The solution to this is a simple long-press. Doing so will show you a larger preview, allowing you to check that it's the one you want. Animated stickers will play in this preview, too, so really, there's no excuse for sending the wrong one.
Pressing and holding on the microphone button allows you to send short voice memos to whoever you're talking to. Well, if you have a lot to say, swiping up toward the padlock will, as the name suggests, lock the microphone on and allow you to let go. When you're done, press the stop button and send it. Tapping the mic will switch to video memos, where you can record and post short videos, and swiping up to lock the camera on works here too if you're planning a long speech.
Batch select messages (Telegram X)
This one is an honorable mention, as it's currently only available in Telegram X, an experimental app where the Telegram devs test new features. Now, when selecting messages to forward to someone else, or to save, you have to choose each one individually. In Telegram X, you can simply select two messages, one at the top of your selection and one at the bottom, and then press the three lines in the action bar. Every message between the two chosen ones will then be highlighted, saving you plenty of taps in the process.
To most of us, these features seem obvious. If you've been using Telegram for a long time, this is yesterday's news and something you use every day. However, if you've only just joined Telegram and have yet to grasp all of the intricacies, I hope this little guide will help you on your way.