Lo and behold! App developers are listening to the cries of the people! Long have we wanted our favorite messaging apps on our personal computers and long have we waited in vain. Until now! We recently wrote about WhatsApp and its web version and we’re excited to now bring you all you need to know about downloading Telegram for your PC.
Look, we enjoy our Bluestacks and Andyroid emulators as much as the next tech blog, but we sure are glad to know that developers recognize the demand for messaging apps on PCs. No more need for an emulator if you are an avid Telegram user. You can easily download Telegram to your PC, whether Mac or Windows. Read on for all the details.
A man never feels more important than when he receives a telegram containing more than ten words. — George Ade
You may have seen us barely mention Telegram in a recent article about great Skype alternatives, but we regretfully haven’t written too much more about Telegram. That stops now! Telegram is a great messaging app that not only touts the outrageously low price of FREE but also is really proud of its security and speed. We like Telegram because you can use it on all of your devices all at once, like the glutton that you are.
Seriously though, Telegram syncs with all your connected devices, and y’all know what a fan we are of being able to choose. So here’s the scoop on Telegram. Telegram is the brainchild of Russian brothers, entrepreneur Pavel Durov and mathematician Nikolai Durov, although Telegram’s Headquarters is located in Berlin and Pavel is more of a global citizen. Pavel Durov had come from building what was essentially Russian Facebook (it was even more popular than Facebook) but his wit and snark and free market thinking got him into trouble in Russia so he sold his portion of that company and got the heck out of there.
Telegram launched in August 2013 with an iPhone only version. Android followed shortly thereafter in October. 2014 was a great year for Telegram because its biggest competitor WhatsApp was bought by Facebook which really turned some people off; what’s more, WhatsApp crashed in 2014, leaving people worried about the security of their sensitive information. In swoops Telegram for the win. Although WhatsApp still boasts more than 4 times as many users (WhatsApp is approaching 1 billion users, What?! that’s cray; while Telegram is holding steady at over 200 million), Telegram is almost like the little messaging app that could. Aren’t they all, though? Aren’t we all?
Telegram looks a lot like WhatsApp at first glance, but as the old adage goes, “You can’t judge an app by throwing two birds with one rolling stone never collecting moss where’s my hat?” That’s what my crazy Uncle Mack always used to say anyways. What a guy. Anywho, here are some really great features of Telegram:
- Telegram is FREE! And promises no ads ever. AND they promise never to steal your wife or enslave your children. Seriously, it’s right there on their FAQ page.
- Telegram is a cloud-based messenger. This has seriously great repercussions like unlimited photo sharing, bigger video and file sharing, and cross-device usage.
- Telegram has an open API. For all the tech wizards out there, Telegram not only lets you develop within the app, but welcomes it. They want you to develop new Telegram apps. You can even create Telegram bots.
- The app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. AND has web versions and desktop apps! Which is why you’re here. If you’re that anxious, skip to the next section. We’re still laying out the goods for the newbies over here.
- Aside from all the technical coolness Telegram oozes, the app and its owners just seem like alright people who possess a great sense of humor and even humour; ya know, wit and snark.
- Also, Telegram’s website is pretty sleek, über-informative, AND the graphics are kick ass.
- Above all, Telegram believes in privacy. Allow me to quote from the website: “At Telegram we think the two most important components of internet privacy should be…1. Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc. 2. Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc.” And they take it seriously.
- In keeping with the privacy, Telegram offers Secret Chats. Literally only the sender and the receiver can see the message because it’s encrypted from client to client, without the server. Secret Chats are not cloud-based and there are options to delete or to set a self-destruct, even, for messages, pics, videos, files, etc.
- Telegram even offered $300,000.00 to any hacker who could crack their code on the Secret Chat. No one won.
Download Telegram for PC Windows
Recently, Telegram has released their own Desktop port of their popular and secure messaging app. They’d previously gone semi-public with a developer’s version of the same, and have been tweaking it over the past few months, but just a couple weeks ago they went live with their first stable version of Telegram Desktop. This is available for both OS X and Windows, and for most users, the link I just gave you will be all you need in order to use Telegram on your PC. However, as I said earlier, this is the first stable version. It’s still not even being released as Version 1, but rather Version 0.9.13. Depending on your own history with software and upgrades, you may have been scared away from early adoption. Let those other guys out there do the early adoption, have all the problems, report those problems (lather, rinse, repeat), until you have a later generation version that is much more reliable and user friendly.
I get it, and sympathize. It’s pretty much the number one reason why you’re seeing a lot of pushback these days against the idea of ordering pre-release video games. Also, maybe you just prefer the UI of the mobile version. There are many reasons why someone might choose to emulate a mobile app even after the desktop version begins to be available, so whatever reasons you have, I trust that they’re good ones.
So without any further ado, here’s what you will need in order to run Telegram on your PC:
- An Android emulator. We’ve covered some of the main ones that are out there before, and there may be even more and better ones out there since we wrote that (let us know in the comments if that’s the case), but for the purposes of this demonstration, we’re going to go with anydroid. Andyroid is a tight little emulator and it’s available for free at the Andyroid website.
- A Google Play account. If you are already an Android user, of course you already have a Google Play account set up and synced to your phone or tablet. However, if you are not an Android user, say if you use Apple or (gasp) Windows devices for all your mobile needs, all is not lost. You can sign up for a free Google Play account on the Google Play website.
- Confirmation on your Google Play account. This part gets a little trickier, because while just anyone can sign up for Google Play (whether they’re an Android user or no), most of the functions of Android apps (particularly those that require constant online connectivity, like messengers) will only work with a confirmed account. Confirming an account is pretty simple, and like above, if you’re already an Android user, this will already be done. But if you’re not, you need to sign into your Google Play account from an Android device. That’s it. Fortunately, since this is one of the largest mobile platforms, you most likely have some friends in the Androidosphere who will be glad to let you use their phone (especially if they can be smug about the insufficiency of your iPhone the entire time). You’d just need to sign them out of their Google Play accounts, sign into yours, and then sign out again. That’s it. As soon as you’ve signed into your account from an Android device, you account is confirmed.
- The Telegram .apk file. .apk is the extension for Android apps, and unlike iOS apps, Android makes their .apk files pretty easily downloadable. You can do so from Telegram’s Google Play website on your PC.
Once you have all of these things, it’s pretty simple:
- Install Andyroid. When you start it up, you’ll be given an option about what kind of device you want to emulate. I like to use one of the tablets, so the screen size and shape is pretty close to what I’m going to be using on my monitor. That way, there’s a lot less wasted space and pixellated zooming.
- From the new virtual Android device, sign into your (confirmed) Google play account.
- Assuming that you put the Telegram .apk file somewhere you can find it (like the desktop), simply upload this to your virtual Android. This will install Telegram to your virtual Android device.
Assuming your account is in order and you have set up Andyroid correctly, you should be Telegramming away just like a young Thomas Alva Edison! (He got his start as a telegrapher…)
What about you? What are your experiences with Telegram and Android emulation? Have you been using Telegram? If so, do you favor the mobile app, or have you given the new desktop version a try?
How do you feel Telegram rates versus other apps like WhatsApp or Snapchat? Feel free to say your peace in the comments; I’m really interested in seeing how this up and coming app can fare in a clearly over-saturated digital market of messaging apps.