Telegram has become the most popular alternative to WhatsApp, the most widely used messaging service globally. Year after year, the platform created by Pável Dúrov continues to gain users due to the limitations of the Facebook messaging service and the many exciting functions provided by the paper plane app. If you also want to leave WhatsApp behind, in this guide, we explain step by step how to download and install Telegram on Android, PC, and tablet, in addition to keeping the app updated to the latest version.
Unlike WhatsApp, Telegram does not offer a beta version of its app through Google Play. Therefore, if all you want is to install Telegram on your Android mobile, all you have to do is download the application officially from the Google Play Store.
Telegram also gives us the possibility to download the official APK file of the application and even use alternatives to the original app. But there is much more. We will tell you everything below.
How to Download Telegram for Free on Android in 2021
First, it is necessary to consider that Telegram is a free and open-source application. Therefore, you should always avoid falling into the trap of web pages or platforms that promise you paid “Premium” versions of Telegram, as it is most likely some scam.
Taking this into account, the most recommended thing is to download Telegram from one of the official sources:
Download Telegram on Google Play
As we said initially, the easiest way to download Telegram is to do it through the Google Play Store. To download Telegram from Google Play, you have to access the store from the link below these lines and tap on Install. If you choose to do so, the app will be updated automatically, and you will be able to enjoy the latest news from the app. It is possible to carry out this process on Android phones and tablets.
Download and install the Telegram APK file from the official website
But if you have a mobile or tablet without access to Google Play, or you prefer not to use the Google app store for some reason, you can always download and install the Telegram APK. This is available on the platform website and is updated frequently.
Install the app is simple: download the file corresponding to the Android version, and run it to install Telegram on your mobile or tablet.
How to download Telegram for PC
One of the many advantages of Telegram over other messaging applications is that it is an excellent cross-platform service. This means that, unlike WhatsApp, it is possible to use Telegram on two devices simultaneously.
To do this, the company offers versions of Telegram for different devices, and thus it is possible to download and use WhatsApp on the computer. How? Very easy:
- Go to the official website of Telegram
- In the “Desktop Apps” section, choose the platform on which you want to use Telegram
- Download and install the app
- Once installed, log in with your account
On the other hand, you should know that if you use a computer with macOS, you can download a native version of Telegram written in the Swift programming language, which offers improved performance and deeper integration with the operating system’s functions like notifications.
How to use Telegram without installing the application
But those two are not all the ways that exist to use Telegram. If you wish, you don’t even have to install the app to use the messaging service, since a web version of Telegram from which you can chat and use most of the functions offered by the platform.
Although this version is mainly intended to be used on computers and tablets, it is possible to use it on any device as long as you have access to a web browser. To do so, follow these steps:
- Enter the official Telegram website from the browser
- In the “Web apps” section, choose the version you want to use (classic web version, Chrome app, or React version)
- Sign in to your account
And that’s it. It is also necessary to mention that in Telegram, it is not required to keep the mobile connected to the Internet to use the web or desktop version. Still, it works as an independent instance, and it is possible to access all the chats, images, and documents received or sent using any of the app’s variants.
Extra: how to update Telegram on Android
Telegram is updated frequently. We report on the latest news coming to the messaging app from time to time. Some of the most recent include the option to chat with people close to us, the programming of messages, or the so-called silent letters.
Being updated to the latest version of Telegram at all times is easy. If you have installed the app through Google Play, you only need to follow these steps to ensure that the app will update automatically:
- On your Android mobile or tablet, open Google Play and go to the Telegram page
- Tap the three dots icon in the top right
- Activate the option “Automatic updates.”
Thus, every time an update is released from Telegram, it will be automatically installed on your mobile or tablet. And once installed, when you open the app, you will receive a Telegram message that reflects all the changes and new features introduced by that specific version.
Extra 2: tricks for Telegram
Beyond the endless functions and valuable tools that the app offers, Telegram also hides some other tricks to get even more out of the messaging service. At the time, we have already prepared a complete guide with more than 30 tricks for Telegram, and here we recall some of the most interesting:
Use Telegram as a personal cloud with unlimited storage
Telegram offers a personal cloud with unlimited storage to all users to save texts, images, videos, music, and files of all kinds, as long as they do not exceed 1.5 GB in weight. To use this function, you have to enter the app and access the “Saved Messages,” Only you will have access.
Organize messages using hashtags
Telegram conversations support hashtags, which can help organize messages according to topics or categories. To do so, you have to write a letter, and then the category’s name followed by the “#” symbol. To find messages of the same type, you have to enter the hashtag in the search engine integrated into the app.
Make Telegram your music streaming service
One of the best features of Telegram is the channels, some advanced chats in which the administrator can send messages to a large number of subscribed people.
Of course, you can also create a private Telegram channel, which you can use as your personal Spotify. At the time, we had already explained the process to take advantage of this trick, which consists of creating channels with song files so that it is possible to use the messaging app as streaming from any device.
Play the received videos without having to download them
By default, Telegram uploads a preview of the images and videos received, so you can see their content without downloading them. In the case of videos, you can also video by streaming by clicking on the “play” icon on its thumbnail.
Extra 3: alternatives to the official Telegram app
Because Telegram is open-source, anyone can access the source code of the application, download it and make changes to it; there are many alternatives to the official application, which offer a different experience than the original through new features. These alternative apps are commonly known as Telegram clients, and some of the most popular are these:
This is the official alternative client developed by Telegram. The differences concerning the original Telegram app are many since it is an experimental app frequently updated to introduce new functions. It is based on the TDLib development platform, so the app’s performance and battery consumption should be better than the original utility.
Another famous Telegram client, in this case unofficial, is Plus Messenger. As its name suggests, it is an app aimed at users who want to get even more out of the messaging service because, among other things, it offers the possibility of organizing inbox chats according to their type –bots, channels, groups, people, supergroups or favorites–
Suppose you’re familiar with group communication like Slack or Discord. In that case, you’ll probably like Telefuel, a new Telegram client that draws inspiration from these types of applications to facilitate collaboration between people. Although it is only available for desktop platforms, its creators assure that there will be a mobile version soon. Among other things, Telefuel offers the organization of chats in different “Environments,” a most powerful search engine and keyboard shortcuts to speed up the use of the app, among many other functions that are yet to come.
It should be noted that unlike what happens in WhatsApp, using third-party Telegram clients is allowed, and the company will not block our account if we use an alternative app like the ones mentioned above.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.