Apple’s ecosystem can sometimes feel like a black hole: it’s easy to get in, and it’s extremely painful to get out. And iMessage is one of the primary reasons why this is so. The company has kept iMessage exclusively for Apple devices, making it an awkward and expensive experience when sending messages to non-Apple users.
Although several messaging apps offer a solution to this, the Telegram app stands out. Its numerous features, accessibility and ease of use make it an attractive alternative to iMessage. So, the question we want to answer in this article is is it good enough to replace iMessage? Is Telegram better than iMessage? Well, let’s find out.
What is a Telegram?
In case you’re not the most technologically appreciative Joe (or Jane) in the room, and you have no idea what a Telegram is, here’s a brief description.
Telegram is a free messaging application that offers video and voice call functions with the ability to share photos and files on multiple platforms. It comes with the added convenience of encryption, screen sharing capabilities and great image and video editing tools. In addition, there are no ads and there are millions of active users.
These are good features that fit well in iMessage. There are a few others, which are simply not available in iMessage.
Telegram vs. iMessage: 10 reasons to use Telegram instead of iMessage on your iPhone
Now, to work day. Let’s get into why we think it’s a great idea to leave iMessage for Telegram.
1. Available on multiple platforms and devices
One of the most convenient aspects of using iMessage is its seamless syncing on your Mac devices, iPads, and even the Apple Watch. This means you can quickly start a conversation on one of your Apple devices and effortlessly resume it on another.
Telegram, being available on several platforms, takes this feature a step further. It offers a great level of synchronization on all your devices. You can start a conversation on your iPhone and seamlessly resume it on your Windows device. You can also log in to your Telegram account with as many devices as you want, all at the same time. All you need is your phone number, and your conversations will be synced across all your phones, computers, and tablets.
2. Edit and delete sent messages
There is currently no way on iMessage to edit text after it has been sent. Once you press that send button, the error you made is delivered unchanged. The only cure is to send a new message with the correct term or to assume that the other person would understand what you mean.
The Telegram app comes with an excellent editing feature that allows you to edit the sent text. You can immediately correct this typo and correct any error before the other person reads it, even after you submit it. All a person sees is a small indicator below the text that says “arranged.” They never see the original message.
Telegram also allows you to delete all messages on both your device and the recipient’s phone. You can even delete the entire conversation history at both ends without leaving a trace. These features are useful, especially for those awkward moments when you mistakenly send the wrong things to the wrong person.
3. Groups and channels
This is one of the features in which the difference between iMessage and Telegram is obvious. The first offers a group feature, but is limited to only 25 to 30 Apple users.
Telegram also has Groups and Channels (a kind of supergroup). With Groups, you can add up to 200,000 people and there is no limit to the number of people for Channels. You can pin a particular message in both, run polls, edit messages on both channels, and broadcast messages to as many subscribers as possible.
4. Free, unlimited cloud storage
Unlike Apple, where you get a paltry 5GB of free file storage, Telegram offers unlimited cloud storage. You can store a range of files, documents, messages, contacts, video files, audio files, all for free. The only restriction is that each file must not be larger than 2 GB. They store it all in the Telegram Cloud, which means you can access these files on any device you’re logged on to. This acts as a fairly neat backup system and a good way to free up space on your device.
5. Support for bots
Telegram has support for bots, which are essentially automated programmable applications. You can design them to give you alerts, give you regular weather forecasts, create stickers, and even play games. Bots can also provide instant translations, allowing conversations with another speaker of the language. You can also set up a bot to answer frequently asked questions in Groups and answer business questions for you at any time.
You can always disable the bot if it gets too annoying and restart it as you wish. iMessage has no support for bots.
6. Excellent privacy features
Knowing the importance of privacy in this period, Telegram offers an excellent level of customizable privacy options. It comes with a two-way power-on option, which means you must first accept a contact before they can send you a message. Also, you can set it up so that only selected individuals can know when you are online.
It also allows you to hide your phone number and search only through your username. If an unsolicited message somehow passes or someone becomes disobedient, Telegram makes it easier to block such numbers. You can set a self-destruct timer to automatically delete your conversations, especially if you use a shared account. To run, Telegram comes with a secret chat option, and all messages sent through this option use end-to-end encryption and are not stored on Telegram servers.
iMessage has end-to-end encryption, so privacy is guaranteed in that aspect. Only the sender and recipient of messages have access to their content, including photos, videos, and other file attachments.
Apple also assures its users that iMessage apps are safe and protected from corporate prying eyes. iMessage applications, which allow you to share labels, songs, and other content without leaving messages, do not have access to actual contact information or participant conversations. Each app on the iPhone and iPad assigns a unique identifier to each participant, which is reset when the app is uninstalled.
iMessage also has an SMS filter that protects users from spam, a feature that has been enhanced with the iOS 14 update. Still, Telegram’s privacy features outperform Apple’s.
7. Good security and encryption
Telegram uses MTProto Protocol, the proprietary encryption method, to encrypt your data. Users can also set up two-factor authentication for their accounts as an additional layer of security.
Because Telegram supports multiple device logins, you have the option to check which devices are logged in and close the ones you want to leave. It also has support for end-to-end encrypted voice calls, and you can lock your conversations with a password.
However, one caveat is that you have to turn on end-to-end encryption for all conversations because Telegram does not turn on that feature by default, while iMessage does.
8. Customizable application interface
Telegram also gives you the ability to change the look of the app. You can adjust the background color, resize text, and even bubble colors. And if you want, you can also create a custom theme for your app, share themes, and download themes from others. You get the freedom to personalize the experience to your liking.
iMessage, on the other hand, does not allow for such creative freedom.
9. Optimized applications for multiple platforms
Because it has support for different platforms, Telegram has different source applications for each. Every native app, be it iOS, Android or Windows, is perfectly tuned to run independently of the other even when used at the same time.
This is possible because all messages are synchronized with the cloud and updated automatically. This feature can be helpful, especially in groups where multiple people would require simultaneous access on different devices to a single account.
10. Plan messages
This feature gives you the ability to set a specific time and date when you want the message to be delivered. Let’s say you remember something late at night and want to inform a colleague, you can send a message and set it to deliver in the morning. When you schedule a message, the clock icon will appear in your chat field. If you touch it, you can edit, move or delete the message. You can also use this feature as a reminder by sending the scheduled text to yourself.
The features we listed in this article make Telegram the winner in the Telegram vs. iMessage debate. The first offers the least painful way out if you want to effectively get rid of Apple’s iMessage blockade. It is full of features and is relatively good compared to iMessage. It doesn’t have that touch of Apple integration, but the multi-platform approach it brings makes up for it. So, do you think the features in the Telegram app are good enough to replace iMessage for you? Well, tell us your views in the comments section below.
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