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Telegram encourages users to download the app directly with fewer restrictions

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Do you want to have your Telegram app more updated and with a greater number of features? Well then stop downloading it from the Google Play Store because Telegram has enabled a parallel path on its website so anyone can install the APK file with fewer restrictions.

It is a relatively open messaging platform that has multiple clients for web, desktop, and smartphone. However, on desktop systems, it offers separate versions. Interestingly, this move is now being applied to Android.

Telegram offers its own client with fewer restrictions

It is not the first company of some caliber that decides to explore parallel paths to the official app stores as there is Epic Games with its Fortnite. Even WhatsApp offers the latest versions of its software on Android through the platform’s website. And something similar is now being done by Telegram.

If we go to the official website we can download the latest APK of the application for Android. Telegram claims that the version it distributes from its website has fewer restrictions.

Telegram encourages users to download the app directly with "fewer restrictions"
Telegram encourages users to download the app directly with “fewer restrictions”

We do not know what this means specifically since, at the moment, Telegram does not need to assume limitations from Google Play because it does not offer services that may conflict with the developers’ terms of use. Analyzing the possible causes of the move, the following two come to mind:

  • Telegram could anticipate a limitation on channel content. The freedom available to users allows the creation of channels whose content could violate Google’s terms.
  • Telegram would be considering its own payment gateway to sell premium services without paying commissions to Google. This is the most plausible option since, as confirmed by the company itself, the company wants to monetize its services by offering Premium services for a fee. By distributing an app from outside Google Play Telegram could save all subscription fees.

Be that as it may, the fact is that having an official way to download the updated app from outside Google Play is good news. What does not seem so fair to us is that the company plans to update the parallel app more frequently than the one distributed through the Android store. Because they are different, even now.

The Google Play app and Telegram’s own app are different

Telegram encourages users to download the app directly with "fewer restrictions"
Right now there are 2 different versions of the app for smartphones.

The company makes it clear on its website, the app downloaded in APK is automatically updated from the company’s servers. On Google Play version 7.6 is available whereas Telegram distributes version 7.7 directly.

We have checked both versions and in the new version the icon is different and the options also vary minimally. This means that it is impossible to update the Google Play version with the direct APK, nor the other way around: both are installed as a standalone application.

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