Voice calling is coming to Telegram

Image Credit: Vox

While Whatsapp reigns supreme in the instant messaging landscape, Telegram is a distant miles away. The messaging app is mostly loved for its power features though some have slowly crept into Whatsapp.

Now Telegram is also borrowing from Whatsapp with reports suggesting that voice calling (VoIP) is coming to the app. It is more like your conventional calls except that these will happen over the app and are charged against one’s data bundle.

Notable features to lookout for is the ability to select from whom to receive calls owing to the fact that Telegram employs user names instead of phone contacts. Whoever has access to your user name can message you and likewise call you. With this new calling feature, you can limit this by either selecting only contacts in your list or nevertheless turn off the voice calling feature. It doesn’t stop there, you can as well block individual users from calling you.

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In other words, you’re going to be in total control of who can call you and who can’t. This however is a surprise omission from Whatsapp where anyone with your number can call you regardless of whether they’re in your contact lists except of course when you block them. However, this will as well limit their ability to message you.

Another outstanding feature about Telegram’s supposed calling feature is the ability to determine whether the call is encrypted on either side. This is to avoid anyone from snooping into your business while the call is active. Telegram is executing this by generating an image and text string which can be compared with an image and text on the other end of the  call. Provided they match, end-to-end encryption is guaranteed.

The calling feature on the contrary is limited to Android beta testers of telegram and is hidden by defaults. You can only activate it by following this guide on how to activate them.