A couple of weeks ago Telegram rolled out phone calls to Western Europe with a promise of the rest of the world to follow soon. It seems they have been true to that promise with the “soon” coming sooner than we all thought, with phone calls arriving here in Australia overnight.
Using version 3.18 of Telegram will now enable you to make phone calls from within the app. All you need to do it tap on the user within the chat and then on the phone icon. The app will monitor your connection (network speed, ping times, packet loss percentage, etc.) and will alter the bit rate accordingly. If you are worried about your data allowance there is an option to “Use Less Data” which decreases data usage by 25-30%.
The calls use the same end-to-end encryption as Telegram’s Secret Chat. The process of key verification has been improved with a simple comparing of four random emoji with the recipient. It doesn’t require the emoji to be checked before making or receiving the call but you can check the security of the call by matching it on the recipient’s screen. After hanging up Telegram asks you to rate the quality of the call. The call details are also recorded in the chat with that person (eg. call duration, and time of call).
It’s a nice addition to the Telegram app, which is our go-to chat app here at Ausdroid. If you are not already using it I recommend you check it out. It is also good to see that the new feature did not take forever to arrive here, just a few days — Google should pay attention.