Telegram app brings its secure calls feature to Australia

Alternative messaging service Telegram has officially rolled out support for secure internet-based phone calls in Australia with its latest version (3.18) of the app.

The voice-call feature was introduced to Europe a little over a week ago, with the company promising the same feature for the rest of world “very soon”. Now it’s delivered on that promise with the feature unlocking for Australian users of its apps overnight.

Telegram’s Calls feature is apparently built using the same custom end-to-end encryption that is found in its Secret Chats (an approach which has been criticised by some in the security industry), although voice-chat will use a simplified verification system. Instead of a key-style verification seen in the service’s chats, both the caller and the recipient of the call will be presented with four emojis on-screen that they can verbally compare. If they all match, the call is secure.

The service will prioritise peer-to-peer connections for your calls, allowing for higher clarity audio signals, or will use  the company’s own server infrastructure if the apps are unable to establish a priority connection. Telegram is also hoping to use integrated AI to optimise this feature based on each individual user’s usage (and the company promises this’ll happen without collecting anything sensitive), such as improving the quality of calls on your specific network.

Telegram is available across most platforms for free, with mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, as well as desktop clients for Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.