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Apple held up Telegram’s latest update due to emoji

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Telegram released another update on Frida just a day after Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov said the update had been in Apple’s app review for two weeks without explanation. The update is packed with emoji-related features, but one is missing because Apple specifically requested its removal, Durov said.

“After extensive media coverage of my previous post, Apple got back to us asking us to tone down our pending Telegram update by removing Telemoji – higher quality vector-animated versions of the default emoji,” Durov wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday. “This is a puzzling move on behalf of Apple, as Telemoji would have added a whole new dimension to its static low-resolution emoji and significantly enriched their ecosystem.”

You can see the Telemoji in a short video at Durov’s post (and I made a GIF of the video he shared). Personally, I really like the look of the Telemoji – I love how they add some life to static emoji faces that I’m pretty familiar with. But I suspect Apple disagreed with another company that modified its designs in this way, which may be why it asked Telegram to remove Telemoji from the update. Apple and Telegram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Now I wish Apple would animate the default emoji.
Video from Pavel Durovwhich I turned into a GIF

However, the update is packed with other new emoji improvements. Users who subscribe to Telegram’s recently launched $4.99 Premium service can upload custom emoji and use it in chats with friends, and Telegram offers 10 custom packs with over 500 emoji to get started. Free users can see and use all animated emoji in their saved messages.

Telegram has also updated the stickers panel on iOS by creating separate tabs for stickers, GIFs, and emoji, as you may know in Telegram on Android, desktop, or the web. You can read the full list of updates in Telegram’s blog post.

More improvements are on the way. In “a few weeks,” Telegram will let users add any custom emoji in response to a message, Durov says, although this will be a Premium feature to begin with. I believe that emoji responses are actually good – the more ways to use emoji, the better.

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