Apple’s ecosystem can sometimes feel like a black hole: easy to enter, extremely painful to exit. And iMessage is one of the primary reasons why that is so. The company has kept iMessage exclusive to Apple devices, making it an unpleasant and expensive experience when messaging non-Apple users.
Although several messaging apps offer a workaround for this, the Telegram app stands out. Its many features, accessibility, and ease of use make it an attractive alternative to iMessage. So the question we want to answer in this article is, is it good enough to replace iMessage? Is Telegram better than iMessage? Well, let’s find out.
What is Telegram?
In case you’re not the most tech-savvy Joe (or Jane) in the room, and you have no idea what Telegram is, here’s a brief description.
Telegram is a free messaging app that offers video and voice calling functions with photo and file-sharing capabilities across several platforms. It comes with the added benefit of encryption, screen-sharing capabilities, and an excellent image and video editing toolkit. Plus, it is ad-free and has millions of active users.
Those are good features that stack well against iMessage. There are several others, which are simply not available in iMessage.
Telegram vs. iMessage: 10 Reasons to Use Telegram Rather Than iMessage on Your iPhone
Now, to the business of the day. Let’s get into why we think it’s a great idea to ditch iMessage for Telegram.
1. Available on Multiple Platforms and Devices
One of the most convenient aspects of using iMessage is its seamless sync across your Macs, iPads, and even Apple Watch. This means you could quickly start a conversation on one of your Apple devices and effortlessly continue it on another.
Telegram, because it is available on several platforms, takes this feature a step further. It offers an excellent level of sync across all your devices. You can start a chat on your iPhone and flawlessly continue with it on your Windows device. You can also log in to your Telegram account from as many devices as you like, all at the same time. All you need is your phone number, and your chats will sync across all your phones, computers, and tablets.
2. Edit and Delete Sent Messages
Presently on iMessage, there’s no way to edit a text once it has been sent. Once you hit that send button, whatever error you made gets delivered unchanged. The only remedy is sending a new message with the correct term or assuming the other person would understand what you mean.
The Telegram app comes with a nifty edit feature that allows you to alter the sent text. You can instantly fix that typo and correct whatever error before the other person reads it, even after sending it. All the person sees there is a little indicator beneath the text that says “edited.” They never see the original message.
Telegram also allows you to delete any messages both on your device and on the receiver’s phone too. You can even clear the entire chat history on both ends without leaving a trace. These features are helpful, especially for those embarrassing moments when you mistakenly send the wrong things to the wrong individual.
3. Groups and Channels
Now, this is one feature where the difference between iMessage and Telegram is glaring. The former offers a group function, but it is restricted to only about 25 to 30 Apple users.
Telegram has Groups and Channels too (a kind of supergroup). With Groups, you can add up to 200,000 people, and there are no limits on the number of people for Channels. You can pin a particular message in both, run polls, edit messages and in Channels, and broadcast messages to as many subscribers as possible.
4. Free, Unlimited Cloud Storage
Unlike Apple, where you get a paltry 5GB of storage for keeping files for free, Telegram offers an unlimited cloud storage space. You can save a range of files, documents, messages, contacts, video files, audio files, all for free. The only limit is that each file shouldn’t be more than 2GB. They store all these in Telegram Cloud, meaning you can access these files on any device you are logged in on. This acts as a pretty neat backup system and a good way of freeing space on your device.
5. Bot Support
Telegram has support for bots, which are essentially automated programmable applications. You can design them to provide you with alerts, give regular weather forecasts, create stickers, and even play games. Bots can also provide instant translations, making it possible to have conversations with a different language speaker. You can also set up a bot to answer frequently asked questions in Groups and answer business queries for you at any time.
You can always disable a bot if it gets too annoying and restart it as you wish. iMessage has no support for bots.
6. Great Privacy Features
Knowing the importance of privacy in this period, Telegram offers an excellent level of customizable privacy options. It comes with a two-way opt-in option, meaning you first have to accept a contact before they can message you. Also, you can set it so only selected individuals can know when you are online.
It also allows you to hide your phone number and be only searchable via your username. If an unwanted message somehow gets through or someone gets unruly, Telegram makes it super easy to block such numbers. You can set a self-destruct timer to automatically erase your chats, especially if you are using a shared account. To boot, Telegram comes with a Secret Chat option, and all messages sent through this option use end-to-end encryption and are not stored on Telegram servers.
iMessage does have end-to-end encryption, so privacy is guaranteed in that aspect. Only the sender and receiver of the messages have access to their contents, including photos, videos, and other file attachments.
Apple also assures its users that iMessage apps are safe and secure from corporate prying eyes as well. iMessage apps, which allow you to share stickers, songs, and other content without leaving Messages, have no access to participants’ actual contact information or conversations. Each app on iPhone and iPad assigns a unique identifier to each participant, reset when the app is uninstalled.
7. Good Security and Encryption
Telegram uses the MTProto Protocol, a proprietary encryption method, to encrypt your data. Users can also set up two-factor authentication for their accounts as an extra layer of security.
Since Telegram supports multiple device logins, you have the option of checking which devices are logged on and closing the ones you wish to leave. It also has end-to-end encrypted voice call support, and you can lock your chats with a passcode.
One gripe, though, is you have to turn on the end-to-end encryption for all chats because Telegram doesn’t turn the feature on by default, while the iMessage does.
8. Customizable App Interface
Telegram also gives you the option of changing the app’s appearance. You can adjust the background color, change text size, and even the bubble colors. And if you like, you can also create a custom theme for your app, share themes, and download themes from others. You get the freedom to personalize the experience to your preference.
iMessage, on the other hand, allows no such creative freedom.
9. Optimized Multi-Platform Apps
Since it has support for different platforms, Telegram has different native apps for each. Each native app, be it iOS, Android, or Windows, is perfectly fine-tuned to work independently of the other even when used simultaneously.
This is possible because all messages are synced to the cloud and updated automatically. This feature can be helpful, especially in Groups where multiple people would need simultaneous access on various devices to one account.
10. Schedule Messages
This feature gives you the option of setting both the specific time and date you want a message delivered. Say you remember something late at night and want to inform a co-worker, you can send a message and set it to deliver in the morning. When you schedule a message, a clock icon will show in your chatbox. If you tap on it, you can edit, reschedule, or delete the message. You can also use this feature as a sort of reminder by sending a scheduled text to yourself.
The features we’ve listed in this article make Telegram the winner in the Telegram vs. iMessage debate. The former offers the least painful way out if you want to break free from Apple’s iMessage hold effectively. It is feature-packed and fares comparably well when compared to the iMessage. It doesn’t have that Apple integration touch, but the cross-platform access it brings makes up for that. So do you think the features in the Telegram app are good enough to replace the iMessage for you? Well, tell us your views in the comment section below.