Telegram adds support for video calling, prepares Android 11’s chat bubbles

Telegram has been built up as one of the better messaging apps available today, and with its latest updates, the app is getting two solid upgrades. Alongside the overdue arrival of video calling, Telegram is also supporting Android 11’s best messaging feature.

Announced on its blog this week, Telegram has confirmed that video calling is now available in alpha to all users on Android and iOS. The video calling feature works through a user’s contact page and every call is protected by end-to-end encryption. To verify that encryption, Telegram uses a string of four random emoji on each caller’s display. If they match, the call is fully secure.

For now, Telegram’s video calling isn’t fully finished. It only works on mobile apps and only supports two-person calls at the moment. “In the coming months,” group calls will be added to the app.

All video calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. To confirm your connection, compare the four emoji shown on-screen for you and your chat partner – if they match, your call is 100% secured by time-tested encryption also used in Telegram’s Secret Chats and Voice Calls.

Video calls will receive more features and improvements in future versions, as we work toward launching group video calls in the coming months. But for this midyear milestone, you can now enjoy a little one-on-one time with those closest to you, whether they’re in the other room or on another continent.

Beyond that, Telegram is also adding support for the chat bubbles on Android 11. This new feature brings the “Chat Heads” popularized by Facebook Messenger to more messaging apps as a native Android feature. Right now, though, it’s only available on a select few apps. Telegram has been working on this functionality for a while, but in Telegram v7, some Android 11 beta users are seeing the functionality pop up on their devices as Android Police noted and shared screenshots of.

However, this functionality isn’t ready for its full debut just yet. The feature is still marked as unstable, and the users who are seeing it live have found their experiences line up with that. Presumably, this is showing up in error right now.

If you want to try it for yourself and it’s not showing up automatically, head to Telegram’s settings, scroll to the bottom, long-press the version number twice, then tap “Enable Chat Bubbles” in the debug menu that appears.

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