Telegram is rolling out a chunky new update, which includes a bit "Payments 2.0" overhaul, scheduled voice chats (plus "mini profiles" for voice chats), improvements to photos and videos, and new animations for the Android app. On top of that, Telegram is also launching two new web versions of its app, matching what we learned a couple weeks back.
The news comes courtesy of Telegram's blog and dives into each of the new changes. In short, this is a big update.
Payments 2.0 encompasses several changes, including the native support for credit card payments in any chat (via third-party providers) across any Telegram app — including the desktop ones. Tips are also supported, and Telegram touts the fact that it takes no commission for those transactions, and stores no payment info. There's a demo channel you can play with to see the feature in action, and developers and merchants can use the Payments API without waiting for approval.
Building upon the recent Clubhouse trend (which Telegram already further jumped on last month), Telegram is picking up support for scheduled Voice Chats. That means big broadcasts to groups can be planned directly inside the Telegram app, without needing separate notifications or preparations — though you shouldn't worry about it starting if you aren't ready, admins still have to actually tap "Start now." In a similar Clubhouse-like vein, you can expand profile pictures and bios in Voice Chats from directly inside the Voice Chat window and change either.
Photos and videos can also be expanded directly from your chat view by pinching outward (which is a bit of an oxymoron) without opening the media viewer. In the same vein, there's an improved video player that supports new fast-forward and rewind behaviors — pressing and holding the left or right side of the screen or double-tapping to jump 10s either way on Android.
There are also those new Android animations, including a swipe back to the conversation list view and a slide-out for the side panel.
The new web versions of the Telegram app don't actually replace the current dated version (which still exists), but both of them support new features like animated stickers, dark mode, and chat folders. They're both lightweight web apps taking up the same space as, and I quote, "two photos of a medium-sized cat." They work on mobile, too, and as expected based on the prior news, there are two versions you can try: Telegram Web K and Telegram Web Z.
According to Telegram, there is one bummer about this update: It isn't rolling out yet on the Play Store, due to "longer than usual review times due to adjusted work schedules." Thankfully, Telegram started self-distributing its app just a couple weeks ago, so you can pull it down and sideload it yourself at your convenience — unless you're in Google's Advanced Protection program.
There is a small question about when this update actually started rolling out. Telegram doesn't give version numbers, and the current Play Store version is 7.6. v7.7, which is the current version distributed at Telegram's site, has been available since April 17th, so this may simply be a late announcement of the features that debuted with that update, or there may be a slight delay between the blog post announcement and the proper version's distribution. Either way, you can get what looks like the latest version at our sister site APK Mirror.