Telegram, the messaging app that has seen enormous growth in recent years, announced a premium tier for users who want a little extra and also as a way to help the platform generate a little money and remain free to use. Unlike Twitter’s Blue subscription, Telegram is adding features you might want to pay for.
Things like bigger file uploads, faster download speeds, double the amount of folders and channels you can access, voice-to-text transcriptions, unique stickers, badges, and premium app icons have all been announced. You get the feeling that this is only the beginning, though. If you are a big time Telegram user (not just a casual chat guy), subscribing might be worth it.
Here’s everything included in Telegram Premium.
- 4GB file uploads: Telegram is doubling the file size you can share from 2GB to 4GB. On the flip side of this, know that all free users will be able to download (or receive) those 4GB files from a Premium user.
- Faster downloads: Premium subscribers will be able to download “as fast as your network can keep up” with no limits on speeds. For everyone else, things could be slower at times.
- Double chats, folders, channels and more: For Premium, Telegram is doubling a number of items like groups and channels (500 to 1000), pinned chats (5 to 10), public links (10 to 20), saved GIFs (200 to 400), 20 chat folders with up to 200 chats each, and up to 10 favorite stickers. You’ll also be able to add a fourth Telegram account and write more in your Bio, with the option to add a link.
- Voice-to-text transcriptions: When voice messages come through, Premium users will see a button that will attempt to transcribe them into text, should you be in a situation where you can’t listen.
- Unique stickers: Telegram continues to push its dozens of full-screen animation stickers that are available for Premium users, but that will show animations to all users.
- Unique reactions: Premium users will get more reaction emoji, with over 10 options to choose from.
- Chat management: Premium subscribers can better manage their chat setup, with an option to choose a default folder or have the app always open to a custom folder, like unread messages instead of all messages.
- Animated profile pictures: Want a livelier profile picture? Premium users can add a profile video that then acts as an animated profile image for all users to see.
- Premium badge: If you pay for Premium, you’ll get a special badge to show off.
- Premium app icons: Paying for Premium also means you’ll get premium icons to chose from for your home screen.
- No ads: In some countries and in some public channels, there are ads or “Sponsored Messages” – Premium makes those go away.
Quite the list, right? A lot of the new Premium features are only going to be beneficial to Telegram power users with massive lists of contacts or group chats or channel subscriptions, or who send lots of large files. However, things like voice-to-text of audio messages, more reactions, animated profile pictures, all of the cool new chat management stuff, and faster downloads would probably be useful for most of us.
So how much is Telegram Premium? The price varies depending on region, but it looks like Telegram will charge $4.99/mo here in the US.
Telegram is rolling out the Premium subscription, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for an update depending on your platform of choice.
Google Play Link: Telegram
How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?
The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.
To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.
We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.
After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.
What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.
There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.
To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:
- PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
- PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW
Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.
To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.
The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).
Pixel 7 network bands
Pixel 7 Pro network bands
There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.
If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.
Verizon’s Visible Added a Sweet New Visible+ Plan
From the day it launched back in 2018, Verizon’s Visible has had a single plan that costs just $40/mo. Visible has continued to update and upgrade the plan over the years, but that price has always stuck and it remained the only plan option for those looking at Verizon’s “all-digital wireless carrier.” Today, Visible is making a big move – we now have 2 plans.
Visible announced today that they offer two plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible is a similar offering to the old Visible plan, only now it costs $30/mo instead of $40. For Visible+, a couple of additional features and upgrades will cost you $45/mo.
So what are the differences between Visible and Visible+? I have the visual breakdown for you below, but the basics are that the regular Visible plan is going to be for those who don’t need a super speedy 5G experience and who don’t travel outside of the US much. The only network access you get is on 5G nationwide and LTE, where your connection could be slowed if in heavy trafficked areas. It still has talk and text to Mexico and Canada.
The Visible+ plan adds unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, roaming use when in those two countries, calling from the US to 30+ other countries, texting to 200+ countries, and premium 5G connections. The “Premium Network Experience” from Visible+ means access to 5G Ultra Wideband (both mmW and C-Band) from Verizon’s network in an unlimited capacity. When on the 5G Nationwide of LTE networks, you’ll get 50GB of data to use before possibly being slowed.
Both plans also offer unlimited mobile hotspot with a 5Mbps speed cap and Spam Protection.
Visible vs. Visible+ Plans
Taxes and fees are included in both prices on these plans, so you’ll pay $30 or $45 each month. Both plans are also live right away, in case you want to sign-up. Visible supports eSIM now as well, so if you were interested in trying them, you can do so without a physical SIM card.
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