Telegram is a free instant messaging app which works on all your devices: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Linux, Windows Phone, and there's a web version to cover everything else.

You can have the app running simultaneously, everywhere, if you like-- Telegram automatically keeps everything in sync.

Chats can be simple, just you and one or two friends. Add some stickers, use the animated GIF search, or share some pictures of your own. There's even a capable photo editor to make sure your images are looking their best.

But that's just the start. You could also work with groups of up to 5,000 people, and share an unlimited number of photos, videos, archives, or any other file type up to a maximum of 1.5 GB each. And if there's not enough space on your device, no problem-- keep it in the cloud. (It's still free.)

Powerful privacy features include "Secret Chats", a special type of encrypted message which can be set to self-destruct in a set time after it's been read.

An open API enables developers to extend the app with smart bots and custom Telegram clients.

And all this is based on a network of servers distributed around the world, delivering excellent performance wherever you are.

What's new in 1.0.0 (see changelog for more)?

- Fabulous new material-style design and animations.
- Support for custom themes! Check out some themes here: @TelegramThemes.
- Convenient tools for building your own themes coming soon.
- Delete messages for everyone. When you delete your messages in groups and one-on-one chats, you can now choose to delete them for everyone in the chat, not just yourself. This works only for recently sent messages (same as editing).
- Pin important chats to the top of the list so that you never miss a new message (right click on a chat, then choose ‘Pin to top’).
- Groups in common. A new option in your contacts' profiles that shows a list of all groups you share with that person.

Verdict

Fast and crammed with features, there's a lot to like about Telegram. That might not help much if everyone you know is on WhatsApp instead, but we'd say try it anyway.