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WhatsApp competitor Telegram Messenger is now available for Windows Phone

It was only last week when we learned that Ngram, an unofficial Telegram Messenger app, would become the official one, receiving approval from the Telegram team. Fast forward a few days and the changeover has now occurred in the Store, as the links to Ngram show the re-branded app as Telegram Messenger Beta v 0.14.5.27.

The whole story started a few months ago when the Telegram team decided to open source their app development in a pseudo-contest, letting numerous Telegram clone apps onto the Store (see app our roundup). Presumably the one that they liked the most becomes re-branded as the official app for Windows Phone. It’s a cool use of the talented Windows Phone developer pool, and we wish more companies would take such opportunities.

Telegram

Telegram (telegram.org) is a decentralized, cloud-based and encrypted messaging service that promises to be the fastest and most secure out there (it supports RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange). It’s supposed to compete with WhatsApp and users of that service will find that Telegram feels very similar. Except it has more features, which is a damning statement about the status of WhatsApp development these days.

If Telegram Beta sounds like something you’ll want to try, just grab the link below. All Windows Phones supported.

Thanks, Zapella T., and others for the tips!

QR: Telegram

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

382 Comments
  • And I thought WhatsApp is back
  • It's possibly time to give up on WhatsApp.
  • I agree... But hundreds of my friends and familiy will have to also agree with that... :/
  • That is certainly a concern. Luckily, if you try this app, it feels a lot like WhatsApp, so transitioning people over, in theory, should be easier (no learning curve).
  • Easier said than done, Dan. Nobody's gonna shift. If they don't upload it again then it's time I'll have to shift to Android :(
  • In general, I agree, but where did all of those WhatsApp users come from ;)
  • And they are will be with Whatsapp for good on other platforms as they are receiving good supports, unlike us on Windows Phone. Are you ready to give up on Windows Phone if none of your friends going to use Telegram? ;)
  • yes, i will give up on windows phone if whatsapp doesnt come to the store again because am the only using telegram and none of my friends and families are using whatsapp.  
  • I tried to market Hike messenger with my friends who use what's app. because notifications were on time and better with hike than that shitty WA... They used hike when chatting with me for few days. Now they are back to WA. That's what happened to telegram few months back in India.
    . They marketed as spam msg on what's app abt telegrams ability to send 1 gb data thru msg. Ppl used it for few days... Now every one is back to WA. But I really like Hike Messenger... Its features are WA and BBM mix...
  • There's that "first in field" phenomena - if you're first to put out a IM app like WhatsApp, then you're gonna have all the users. It's much harder to get new users for a new player or even woo users of the older service.
  • If WhatsApp does not return to WP then the platform is dead, simple as that, I own two Lumias and try every time to convert people to Windows Phone and away from Android, but no matter how much of a fanboy or supporter of Microsoft or WP you might be (or in the case of WPCentral being your job to cover and support it), losign WhatsApp is basically losing every little gain MS has had, it will be a hundred times worse than the Instagram situation. Let's not kid ourselves with Telegram, BBM, Line or any other option, WhatsApp is number one, like it or not, period.
  • Lol, nice bullshit
  • +1 Besides, Telegram has much better security unlike the ever-changing terms of F'book and Co.
     
  • zzynko: You're bullshit
  • What's BS is not knowing that WhatsApp is weakly encrypted and prone to eavasdropping. http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/crypto-weaknesses-in-whatsapp-the-kind-of-stuff-the-nsa-would-love/ I for one have a certain desire for privacy and security even when texting something trivial. That's what Telegram does best, don't want Fbook to slurp my phone book FWIW.
  • They came from this phrase: "it's BBM, but works on any phone". That's a huge word-of-mouth advantage compared to, "It's WhatsApp, but decentralized and encrypted."   I really feel that RIM allowing WhatsApp on the Blackberry was a huge, huge mistake. All those loyal BBM users could gradually transition 1) onto WA, where more of their friends could participate, and then 2) off Blackberry.
  • shift to Android over whatsapp? i thot being that the servers are down mean it aint working across platforms
  • Is not about servers anymore. Have you not been following the news? Whatsapp is withdrawn from Windows Phone store without giving a time line of when it will be back. Craps like this only happens on Windows Phone.
  • If everyone complaining about WhatsApp use it so much surely you had already downloaded it?
  • I agree. I'll get an Lumia 930 in the next 2 weeks. In Germany, we have a law the allows it to return the device within 2 weeks without any reason.  So.. they have 4 weeks to bring back WhatsApp. Otherwise I have to (some jobwise contacts are using WhatsApp, so ... no choice...) return it and buy an Nexus 5... sad, but true. :< I don't like WhatsApp, I would prefer unlimited MMS / SMS plans for everyone. But that is not the reality here in Europe... 
  • Yes, it is
  • Hey, good utilization of the concept Learning curve.. Thanks I have this in my CA syllabus. It will add to my concept. But as telegram goes, it lacks users. Many of my contacts had install Telegram and all most them has last seen of Jan-Feb. Lonely and death! :'(
  • For us, maybe. But for them, why should they switch if they don't have any problem? :3
  • I don't think you know what ur saying there. No WhatsApp is the end for Windows Phone. I am serious. You see it trough the eye of an american. But the US Market is small compared to the european market. And we in europe are using WhatsApp as an standard text app. No WhatsApp is equal to no SMS here. People will sell there phones. WP will loose marketshare in europe & around the world. Yeah, i'm not overplaying. You have no idea how important it is outside from the USA. 
  • *lose It's not that dramatic. Most people who use WhatsApp already have it installed. Microsoft had already said that they are assisting WhatsApp fix the problem.
  • Thank you for the correction. I was absolutley not sure about the "loose/lose thing... ;D   Maybe you are right. But they have to fix it in approx. 2 weeks if they don't want to lose marketshare here in europe. Here is why: People will start to upgrade to 8.1 when the update gets public. Part of the migration is an "redownload/installation" of most of the apps - including WhatsApp. Of course... if the app is not available, the installation will fail.  So ... when MS releases 8.1 for public, sh*t is getting serious ... 
  • And besides, there are people resetting their devices, buying new phones or just uninstalling/reinstalling the app. It's a disaster.
  • This.
  • I live in Europe (Sweden) and I manage perfectly fine without WhatsApp, I use standard SMS and so does my friends. Probably it's because I'm old but I don't see the problem.
  • Maybe. And maybe it's not that popular in Sweden as it is in other european countries. I don't know. Here is an source from the most popular statistics source  for students in germany: http://de.statista.com/infografik/1800/sms-versus-whatsapp/  The graph also shows "normal phones", so the amout of WhatsApp messages is even bigger for "smartphones-only". I hope you see the problem now ... 
  • Most people dont have unlimited sms in europe, especialy if you`re texting someone on a diferent country or from a diferent mobile operator. Whatsapp is so important in many european countries that even some mobile operators are letting us use for free (it wont spend any mobile data from our data plan). Also, i think you`re right about the age thing since the vast majority of whatsapp users are under 40.
  • Yes, it's because you are old. I only use SMS when I text my mother. And I am not that young.
  • I use SMS when I text my son and he's not that old.
  • If you`re worried about windows phone loosing users in europe over whatsaap just wait until the lumia line loses the nokia branding...  
  • Disagree
  • They literally have to click a link and install an app. Not that hard. A lot more work for you to switch phones, that's for sure.
  • Same case happened, when people were migrated to Facebook from Orkut and myspace, but it eventually happened at the end. :D
  • Give up on WhatsApp? What does that mean? Isn't MS working on a fix right now?
  • Of course. And we'll keep waiting, and waiting and...
  • Mines still works and never had a problem.. Im never uninstalling.
  • My Lumia 920 screen developed yellow tint and I was planning to buy a wp again. What's app not showing any sings is making me look into buying droid again. I really love wp, but no what's app is a big deal for me.
  • Bye bye..RIP
  • WhatsApp was developing quickly and steadily. Doesn't make sense for them to exit the Windows Phone scene and give up on it - weird, they'd just stop updating but leave it up if they didn't care.
  • Its  time to Hate wats app not Windows Phone....  
  • Daniel 8.1 is not even officially out as an update, I'm quite confident that by the time it is WhatsApp will be up and running. In the meantime most people who want it already have it installed anyway, and its running perfectly ( at least in my case)
  • We`re windows phone users. We do nothing but wait and wait and wait and in the end get disapointed. Heck, that´s why we´re the "comming soon" OS!
  • There's so many messaging apps better than WhatsApp. I guess telegram is the fastest one. WhatsApp is just an old habit. TIME TO SWITCH! :)
  • Telegram is just a rebranded Whatsapp. Just saying.
  • I guess I'm old, me and everyone I communicate with use actual sms
  • You're not old it just happens that free SMS is a standard in your country unlike everywhere else in the planet
  • me too, I was thinking of asking what the point of whatsapp was, but I see from osamaadam98 that it's all about those countries where you pay for sms...
  • Actually, I'd say they're inspired by WhatsApp, for sure, but the core of encrypted communication is not something at the center of WhatsApp. So security is kind of a big deal for some.
  • Are you going to talk sensitive stuffs over Whatsapp? Even phone lines can be tapped. Who cares really???
  • Daniel pull some strings we all know you'll some how get news on whatsapp for Windows phone
  • Sure but the point is its more secure
  • Hmm, I use the same telegram account for my lap,my tab and my phone. Cant say the same for WA.
  • It's Switching Time!
  • I wont mind dumping WhatsApp for something else .... But how would I convince my Droid loving friends to switch.... Literally my friends laugh at me for sticking to Windows
  • +1520!
  • I have convinced friends to switch to Windows Phone... and I laugh at those who haven't.
  • My point here is switching from WhatsApp and not Android...i actually have made a friend dump android for windows he was skeptic at first but he just loves windows now
  • I tried to convince two friends into dumping their droids and come to WP, and then they saw who much of a crap whatsapp facebook instagram (nevermind the nonexistent top games) were on WP and put me in a fools asylum.
  • I bet those are having the laugh now as we WP users missing a very popular app on the market.... I wouldn't laugh @ the other platform users if I were you when our own platform apps are like crap.
  • Is NEVER about new or old. Is about how many of your friends are using whichever more popular messaging app out there. And not everyone is ready to switch app. My friends tried Line, but they are back to Whatsapp eventually as Whatsapp is still the bigger user base. I would say is time to SWITCH PLATFORM rather.
  • Is it available on Blackberry? Is it available for Asha? Is it even available for S60 based phones? WhatsApp does. And lot's of my contacts still use these kind of phones. Tell them to switch? That's like tell them to buy a new phone, which already done long time ago IF they can afford it. Sadly, they can't. :(
  • The sad truth is, as much as I'm with you, is that more people give up on WP, than WP users give up on whatsapp. Pretty sure it's safe to say, MSFT is more concerned with whatsapp working on WP, than whatsapp is concerned with working on WP
  • Indeed. Furthermore, even if other platforms get Telegrams, those versions of Telegrams will be much well polished than WP versions for sure. Just look at the current Whatsapp and Facebook apps on Windows Phone, designs are so bad. Whatsapp on Android uses different color bubble colors for different receipents, while Whatsapp on WP uses same colors for all people in a group chat. Even Facebook messager is so slow as compared to on Android. Not to mention that apps on Android are receiving updates much more frequent than WP versions, while our Instagram is still in BETA and Flipboard is still nowhere to be found.... Sometimes, I really had enough with Windows Phone.
  • Exactly! from those 500 millions whatsapp users (give or take some) how many are using a WP?! Zuckerberg isn`t losing any sleep over that, that´s for sure.
  • How to give it up when most of my friends who are on Android / iOS are still having strong support from Whatsapp, while only Windows Phone users are suffering? I think is time to give up Windows Phone rather if Whatsapp is not coming back for good.... Same goes for the crappy Facebook app.
  • Totally true and I came from Android, imagine how I feel...
  • Give up WP because of an app or two? Really? There's so many messaging apps and ways to message, its nothing to die for.
  • Except that whatsapp is the one everyone uses. Without whatsapp I dont have access to my friends group conversation, sport club chat, etc. Without whatsapp, WP is gone for (in a matter of years).
  • Everyone uses google apps, the sports bar, strip club, doctors etc, wp is a goner, ( in years). Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • WP is doomed then. I guess I'll have to consider the Apple iPhone in the near future.
  • On a serious note, if Whatsapp doesnt return then I would seriously consider Apple. I prefer WP but it would no longer be a viable option for me.
  • The key different between those apps and Whatsapp is that Whatsapp is a social platform. The apps you describe are for personal use. You can decide on your own to use alternatives. Besides there are unofficial versions of those apps on WP. Unlike Whatsapp. There are no alternative versions and you cant decide on your own to stop using it if your sport club, friends, project group, etc continues to use it.
  • Why can't you understand that people on other platforms mostly use WhatsApp and very few of them adopt these new messaging apps?
  • No need to explain these ignorant fan boys..We also love WP but without apps a smartphone is nothing..Facebook,whatsapp,skype,instagram all sucks on WP. Even on asha they are better.So what's the use of using a WP? Even many popular games are also not available,but still they will give an excuse its only 3 years...
  • Then leave. Boom...problem solved.
  • A lot of people I know already have.
  • Don't play devil's advocate with people who actually clearly enjoy the platform... You'll just wind up the only one here. Windows Phone NEEDS Whatsapp - simple. Without it, this platform dies.
  • This is the typical reply of a fan boy..... But not everyone can leave as easily as you claim. We are all on contracts. Getting a new phone / paltform will be costly. Said is easier than done dude.
  • Totally!!! I'm not a fan of any platform. I just wanna use the platform I'm comfortable with. But if WP cannot give me that level of comfort, sorry then. I will move to another one which offers the better options than WP.
  • Apps make or break the experience on smartphones for most people. So yeah..
  • WP is practically useless, at least to me, if it is not coming back or receiving anymore updates as compared to other platforms. Is not just about an app or two, is about how I can utilize a platform. If this is were to happen on Android / iOS, I bet those users will have similar reactions too. Other messaging? But none of my other friends use alternative apps because Whatsapp is working like a breeze on their platforms! I will rather give up on a platform in order to stay connected with friends. I'm not a shareholder of MS after all.
  • Yea about time to give up. Fundamental apps will suck forever on windows phone, and even wp8.1 is a buggy mess.
  • Now I think it's time for Microsoft to make Skype working the same way like Whatsapp, and this way quit all these problems.
  • Yeah...good luck with that...  
  • are you using it much more than WhatsApp? i'm trying to get more ppl to transition to it myself
  • Have to admit this is driving me to give up on WP after 2.5 years, lost my phone this weekend so now whatsappless, all my friends use it, plus new people I meet often do, I cant persuade most of Europe to move ;)
  • +620.
    Time to try something new.
  • Is telegram better?
  • Try it and find out. It's only an app.
  • You likely won't be able to find out because you'll have next to no people on the service to chat to. I have 1 contact - whereas Whatsapp has >100.
  • Rudy Huyn should make a WhatsApp app
  • ^^this^^ or as soon as BBM gets released in June (I think) they might have a chance of taking over WhatsApp I have always preferred BBM anyway.
  • WhatsApp doesn't allow 3rd party developers to develop their app.
  • Me too
  • it not back and no one knows when it coming back 
  • I still have never had one person ask me for my What App user name (of course, i don't have one). Not even sure why i would need the service.
  • That's because that's not how it works. It simply looks up your phone number. You don't need to add anyone or vice versa, it just happens. If you have a contact that is on WhatsApp suddenly, you'll see them in WhatsApp. As to why, because you can do much more with this app than just messages. It's also more secure, if you're concerned with the whole NSA thing (you probably should, watch Frontline).
  • ^ Exactly!! We want WhatsApp back!
  • Oh ok, cool. Thanks for the tip. I had no idea, thought it was just a thing the teens were doing.   The first time i heard of it, this Russian lady was wanting me to make a website for her. She wanted to base it on the WhatsApp name because everybody was using it. I had no clue and in her heavy Russian accent she kept saying 'what app' and I just thought she was asking about an app. I'm like "what app?" she says "yes WhatsApp" I say, "what app are you talking about?". Needless to say it was very confusing for a few minutes.  anyway, I'm not an Iranian arms dealer, so the NSA can spy on me all they want :), I just won't be happy about it. And it is concerning that we have no sense of privacy, but I'm skeptical that WhatsApp can actually stop them. 
  • I've got nothing to hide...they will be reading mostly reading messages of "ok", "thanks", and "coming!" from me.
  • WhatsApp does not require a username; it finds contacts based on their phone number. If a contact in your address book uses WhatsApp, they will appear in WhatsApp list. EDIT: Too slow in the draw, Daniel beat me to it lol :)
  • You need friends, for starters. Then those friends with WhatsApp.
  • Well, here in India at least, everyone is in WhatsApp
  • And in most Latin American countries too.
  • Yep. India has a love affair of sorts with WhatsApp. There isn't a single Indian who isn't on it.
  • what's that first part?   FRIENDS?   ah, now I see the reason why I don't give a sh*t about WhatsApp.   I'm first to old for that, and second don't even SMS now that my relationship with my girlfriend went "tits up". got it....
  • How old are you? I'm 35 and have a social life so use it a lot to organise with groups of friends
  • I wonder why... You seem to be such a social easy going guy.
  • To some extent I'm joking, but it also has an aspect of truth.   I'm fifty three and have moved several times in the last few years.   On most things I am really easy going, but I've had enough philosophy classes to be able to note how people rationalize to themselves and so even though I am pretty left politically, I'm not a party line thinker and do no hesitate to call bullshit on the Democrats when I find that appropriate, and some people find that disturbing....   ah, such is life... Once I get a job and find myself an appropriate girlfriend, I'll be good as gold. Speaking of which I am really interested in what Goldfinger is going to be like.   Daniel is pretty impressed by what he's heard.  It sounds like that might be my next phone???
  • Nobody will ask your username for WhatsApp bro.. If they have your cell numbers, they will know if you are using WhatsApp or not..
  • For some reason WhatsApp is stuck syncing new contacts since day before on my l520....its totally useless now...
  • Haha - silly comment :). You don't need a username....that's the whole point ;). A simple, effective SMS replacement.
  • still cant add photos from the camara roll you have to add tem from inside the app,
  • It's a Beta. Take it easy on developers. They're working hard to make your Windows Phone better, not worse.
  • Like WhatsApp did? ;)
  • Haha!
  • Well, I have been plenty patient for WhatsApp, often rooting for them and always covering their updates. But yeah, it gets harder as time goes on.
  • Same here. I've been actively recommending people to Whatsapp in expectation of the much vaunted update being released. It would seem they have just gone full circle on us and pulled the app entirely.
    Given your position as a 1,000lb Gorilla in the world of Windows Phone journalism, do you have direct access to anyone high up in Microsoft? They must be able to give us some insight into what's up (or is that what'sapp?)... If they just gave us any kind of confirmation that Whatsapp would return, it would douse these flames of dissent amongt the WP faithful. We all want the platform to succeed after all....but this Whatsapp situation is making that difficult.
  • Cool! Looking forward to try it! Hopefully alot of my friends will be there toi!
  • 13 friends only .. Compared to 75 friends on whatsapp! I guess I'm good with whatsapp *ohgodwhy* *wpSometimesSucks*
  • My friend list is empty on Telegram, Be happy.
  • Mine too...
  • Mine three... Nada