Financial Tribune- A long-awaited updated for popular messaging application Telegram has been released and the app is now available in Persian.
In October 2017 Telegram’s team added five new languages to its options — namely French, Indonesian, Malay, Russian and Ukrainian — and along with Persian it now supports 14 languages.
For switching the app’s interface to Persian users should go to the settings menu and choose Languages and on the drop-down list tap on Persian.
On Telegram’s appearance settings one can also change the font size in which messages are displayed. The section includes a mockup dialogue in Persian: “Ah you kids today with techno music! Enjoy the classics, like maestro Shajarian!”
Furthermore, users who do not like how a specific element in Telegram’s interface is translated in their language (including Persian) can use the ‘Localization Platform’ on Telegram’s website to suggest an alternative word or phrase.
Everyone can suggest translations and vote for them, making Telegram ‘localization’ a community-driven effort. Several Iranian users have contributed to Telegram localization scheme. For a time participating in it and discussions over possible translations became trendy amongst Iranian users on Twitter and other social media networks.
An estimated 40 million Iranians use the app. Furthermore, Telegram Channels are vastly popular with locals as tools for broadcasting public messages to large audiences.
According to Iran’s National Center for Cyberspace, which monitors local users’ activities on Telegram, there are 264,000 active Persian channels and every day an estimated 3.2 million posts are published on them. Each post is viewed some 1,500 times by different users. As of Feb. 1 there were about 767,000 Persian channels on Telegram.
Many Iranian users (mostly the elderly) prefer a Persian interface. Before the introduction of the new update, they relied on modified versions of the app better known as “forks” developed by local programmers. Some of the forks are Telegram Farsi, Mobogram, Irangram and Telegraph. Seemingly, the modified versions are riddled with ‘backdoors’ which can easily be exploited by hackers.
The company has had a hectic week. On Jan 31 it released a new app named Telegram X. In a blog post, the new app for Android and iOS was introduced with the company describing it as an app “written from scratch” that “may or may not eventually replace the existing official app”.
In the blog post, it is stated that “the goal of Telegram X is to reinvent Telegram and explore new frontiers in speed, ease of use, quality of animations and all other aspects.”
Reportedly the X for Android is faster and more battery-efficient than the original app. The iOS version is written entirely in Swift and is significantly lighter, faster and more battery-efficient than the original app, built with Objective C.
After installing the new app and signing in using a phone number, all chats conducted through Telegram’s original app will be transferred to Telegram X. The apps instantly get synced which means if one of your contacts messages you, the missive will be delivered via both apps and you will receive notifications from both. This can be annoying and if you are inclined to install the new app and keep the older version as well, it is recommended to turn off the notifications on one of them.
Shortly after Telegram X was launched, Apple removed both Telegram’s apps from its iOS App Store. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov says, “We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back in the App Store.”
It was not clear what inappropriate content was found on the messaging service. TechCrunch reports that Apple’s iOS guidelines make it clear there must be filters for objectionable material, mechanisms to report it, and the ability to block users from the service. It is possible that some content was making it through the filters in place.
The apps were back in the App Store on Feb. 1 and Durov later tweeted confirmation of the return.