How Telegram works: You are looking for a new messaging application because the one you are currently using no longer satisfies you. Some of your friends have suggested that you try Telegram , as they claim that it is very good and that it is a great alternative to WhatsApp. Well I can only agree with them! As I explained to you in my guide dedicated to messaging apps, Telegram is a noteworthy application, which also offers many more functions than the very famous WhatsApp.
The purpose of this guide will therefore be to explain in detail how Telegram works and how you can use the service in question on Android, iOS / iPadOS and on PC. A Web version of Telegram is also available, which allows you to use most of the app’s functions directly from the browser.
What do you say? Are you ready to discover in detail the main features of this excellent messaging application? Yup? Well, then take a few minutes of free time to read this tutorial with peace of mind: I’m sure you will be very satisfied with it. As always, I just have to wish you a good read!
Features of Telegram
The operation of the Telegram application is essentially the same on all mobile devices and in the web and desktop version of the service. Telegram is cloud-based with encrypted chats (although in reality end-to-end encryption , which makes messages unreadable even for Telegram servers, is only used for secret chats)
The cloud integration just mentioned is a noteworthy feature of this service, as it has the advantage that all multimedia attachments and conversations will be saved online and, therefore, will be accessible from any device on which you log in. .
Similar to other messaging applications, Telegram has several useful features for messaging: the ability to send emojis , GIFs , voice messages , photos , videos and much more. What differentiates Telegram, however, are its additional tools: the ability to create channels (conversations in which a single person posts messages and is followed by other users), groups (conversations between groups of people) and the aforementioned secret chats (conversations with messages that self-destruct), but I’ll tell you about it in the next chapters.
Telegram also offers advanced features as it is an open source application that can be customized thanks to the APIs. Telegram’s purpose is to become a very complete tool and not just a simple messaging application.
How to download and configure Telegram
If you want to know how to download and configure Telegram on your devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs, all you have to do is carefully read the information you will find in the next chapters.
How to download Telegram on Android
Do you have an Android device and would like to find out how to download Telegram ? In this case, I can explain in detail how to download the application on devices equipped with the famous green robot operating system.
First, open the Google Play Store (the colored ▶ ︎ symbol icon). The Play Store app is located on the main screen of your device, which is the one where all the icons of the installed applications are located (home screen or drawer).
Once the application has started, tap on the search bar located at the top right and type “telegram” , then pressing the magnifying glass icon on your device’s keyboard to confirm. Now you have to locate the messaging application among the search results: the application has the symbol of a paper airplane on a blue background and is developed by Telegram FZ-LLC .
After identifying the application, tap on its icon and wait for its preview to be shown. To download it, you will then have to press the Install button and wait for it to be downloaded correctly on your smartphone or tablet. If you want to simplify this procedure, tap on this link which refers directly to the Telegram card on the Play Store.
If you use a device without Google services, you can get Telegram from alternative stores.
How to download Telegram on iOS / iPadOS
Is your device an iPhone or an iPad ? Don’t worry: Telegram is also available for iOS and iPadOS operating systems. I’ll explain immediately how to download it on your Apple mobile device.
Open the Apple App Store (The icon of a stylized A ) and tap the Search button below. Then type “telegram” in the search engine that will appear at the top and press the Search button on the keyboard. Once you have located the app, download and install it by pressing the Get button .
At this point, unlock the download and installation via Face ID, Touch ID or Apple ID password. If you want to facilitate this procedure, tap on this link that refers to the Telegram tab of the App Store and follow the instructions I have given you.
How to download Telegram on PC
If you want to download Telegram on your PC you must know that you have several options. First of all, you can take advantage of Telegram Web , which allows you to access the service of this messaging application directly from your browser, without having to install any software. All you have to do is reach the official website .
As for Telegram on Windows 10 , from the Microsoft Store at this link you can easily get the application of this service, by pressing the Get button .
Regardless of the Windows version, however, you can install Telegram via .exe file , which can be downloaded from the official website . Click the Download Telegram for Windows 64-bit button to get the version of Telegram compatible with 64-bit processors, otherwise click Download Telegram for Windows . After downloading the file, on the installation screen, press OK , Next (three consecutive times), Install and finally on Finish .
Portable versions of Telegram that do not require software installation are also available on the official Telegram website . To download them, simply click on the word Portable version , corresponding to the version for Windows.
Telegram can also be downloaded for Linux and macOS . As for the latter operating system, you can install Telegram in two different versions, both available on the Mac App Store: the first, which I recommend, is 100% optimized for macOS and you can find it here . Then there is the transposition of the universal version of Telegram, which you can download from here , by pressing the Get button and verifying your identity. Alternatively, you can download Telegram from the official website by pressing the Download Telegram for macOS button . Afterwards, open the .dmg file obtained and drag the Telegram iconin the Applications folder .
If you want to know more about how to install Telegram on your computer or how to use Telegram Web, my advice is to consult this tutorial dedicated to the subject.
How to configure Telegram
Once the Telegram application is launched on your device, the first thing you need to do is log in using your phone number. To configure Telegram with your mobile number, then press the Start Messaging / Start Messaging button that you see on the screen.
Subsequently, on the main screen, you will need to indicate the country using the appropriate drop-down menu and also your mobile number (make sure you have the correct prefix) and then press the confirm button or click Next . Telegram will send you an SMS with the confirmation code which you will need to enter in the appropriate text field.
Once you have performed this procedure correctly, you will have full access to Telegram and can use it to exchange messages with your contacts in the application. If you are asked to activate notifications on your device, you can consent; this option will be used to notify you of the arrival of new messages.
On PC you can also log in to Telegram via QR Code : on Telegram Web it is the default access option, while on the desktop client you have to press the word Quick log in using QR code on the login screen.
The QR Code that is shown to you on the PC screen must be viewed from your smartphone or tablet where you have already logged in to this messaging service. So open the Telegram app on your mobile device and select Settings> Devices> Scan QR code> Scan QR code to enable the camera and frame the QR Code on the PC screen.
How to send messages on Telegram
Now that you have installed and configured the first access to Telegram, let’s see together how to use it to be able to send messages to your contacts.
How Telegram works on Android
When you log in to Telegram on Android you will find yourself in the main screen where all the open conversations with your contacts are present. If this is your first time using this service, it will be blank instead.
To send a message, press on the pencil icon (below) and select the person to contact by tapping on it. The panel dedicated to the conversation will open and you can send a text message via the text field below, corresponding to the wording Message .
To send multimedia content (photos, videos, music, files and much more) press on the paper clip icon . To send a voice message, press on the microphone icon instead .
When you have a private conversation with a contact, you can also decide to call or video call them. To do this, press the icon (…) located at the top and select the Call or Video call items respectively .
If, on the other hand, you want to open a secret chat with a contact, which allows you to have end-to-end encrypted communications, press the pencil icon , select the New secret chat item and then press the name of the contact you want to chat with.
How Telegram works on iOS
On iOS and iPadOS , when you start the Telegram application, you can navigate between the main application screens using the menu located at the bottom. The Contacts item (symbol of a little man ), allows you to view the complete list of your contacts in the application, the Chat item (symbol of a cartoon ), allows you to access the list of recent conversations.
To send a message to a person in the Contact list, you must select the person to contact by tapping on it. The dedicated chat will open through which you can send a text message by typing it in the text field below, in correspondence with the wording Message . To send multimedia files click on the paperclip icon . To send a voice message, tap on the camera icon .
To start a new conversation with a person not previously contacted, click on the pencil icon with the sheet of paper at the top right. To start a call or a video call, on the other hand, press on the name of your interlocutor (at the top) and tap on the handset (voice call) or video camera (video call) icon.
For the secret chat , select a name, press the button (…) and choose the appropriate item from the menu that is proposed to you.
How Telegram works on PC
As for the operation of Telegram on PC , you must know that its interface is intuitive in a way similar to what has already been seen on Android and iPhone / iPad. In the left bar you will find all the conversations that have occurred so far with your contacts, unless it is your first use and therefore it will be empty.
When you click on a conversation, it is shown to you in the area on the right and you can type a message using the text field below. You can also add attachments using the paperclip icon or send a voice message by pressing the microphone icon .
To start the conversation with a new contact, instead, press on the menu icon at the top left and select the Contacts item . Then click on the contact you want to chat with to open the chat screen. If you want to make a call or video call instead, simply press on the handset icon at the top. On macOS it is also possible to start secret chats (using the optimized client), while on Windows this option is not available.
How Telegram Web works
If you want to use Telegram Web , know that its interface is very similar to that of the desktop client, which I have already told you about in detail in this chapter . Therefore, refer to what I have already illustrated to you, to untangle your messaging features.
The only function not available on Telegram Web are the call and the video call: in fact, there is no handset icon to start a conversation other than the textual one.
How Telegram works: groups
On Telegram there are groups : this is a feature that allows multiple users to talk together in the same chat. Telegram groups can be private or public and can contain up to 200,000 members . They are managed by one or more administrators who can moderate the chat.
If you want to know how to create a new group on Telegram, I recommend reading this tutorial of mine. If you want to look for a group to join it, you can refer to this guide of mine. After you have found the group, you can decide to join it and, in case you want to leave it, you can read the instructions I gave you in my guide on how to leave a Telegram group.
How Telegram works: channels
Unlike groups, Telegram channels instead allow you to have an unlimited audience. Furthermore, the only ones authorized to post messages in the chat are the administrators, while the rest of the users can only read the messages sent by them. Channels can also be public or private.
It is actually possible to allow users who follow a channel to interact with published messages. This can happen if the administrator has enabled the Discussion feature in the channel settings: this feature adds a comment field that allows you to keep the discussion alive between users with each new message posted.
If you want to know how to create a channel, I recommend reading this tutorial of mine. If, on the other hand, you want to be part of a Telegram channel, you must first locate it (I told you about it in this guide of mine) and then join it.
How Telegram works: contacts
Telegram automatically accesses the contacts saved in the address book (with prior consent) to verify that any of your friends use this service. To access the Contacts tab , on iOS / iPadOS you will find the homonymous tab at the bottom, while on Android and PC, press on the menu icon and then select the Contacts item .
In case you want to add a new contact to Telegram, you can then add the number in the address book. Alternatively, in the Contacts section , click on Add contacts and fill in the required fields, also indicating the telephone number. To learn more about this topic, I recommend reading this tutorial of mine.
If you don’t have a phone number, you can still search for users, add them to your contacts so as to text them: you can find all the information in this guide of mine. If you want, you can also delete a contact from Telegram, in case you no longer want to talk to him.
How Telegram works: bot
Telegram bots are small programs generally developed by third parties that take advantage of the APIs of this messaging service to expand the features offered.
If you want to know more about how Telegram bots work, I recommend reading this tutorial of mine. If you want to know how to create one, you can read this guide of mine. You can also decide to add a bot already created by others on Telegram or in a group.
How telegram works: direct
On Telegram it is also possible to start live broadcasts with an unlimited number of viewers , as long as you do it from a channel or group of which you are an administrator. Here’s how to do it both from mobile and from computer.
- From mobile – start the Telegram app on your Android / iOS / iPadOS device and open the channel or group to start streaming from. If you are acting from a channel , then, press the three dots icon (top right), tap on the wording Start live streaming / Direct and press the Start live streaming button . Using the buttons at the bottom, you can manage the microphone and video and, when necessary, leave the live broadcast. If you are acting from a group , however, after opening it and tapping its name(top), presses on the cartoon symbol (top right) or on the Video Chat item (depending on the device you are using)
- From computer – open the Telegram desktop client on your computer (at the time of writing it seems that the Web version of the service does not offer this possibility), go to the channel or group from which you want to start the live, click on the icon of three dots (top right) and select Direct (if you are coming from a channel) or Video Chat (if you are acting from a group). Finally, choose the name with which you want to identify yourself and click on the button Start live / video chat as [name] . In the window that opens you will see the streaming, you will be able to manage your microphone and yoursvideo using the appropriate buttons and you can end the live broadcast whenever you want, using the Leave function .