Unigram is an unofficial desktop client for Telegram that supports Secret Chat, Location sharing and more
Telegram has a Windows version that is quite good. But it's not the only one that you can use, and I'm not talking about the web-based apps that you may run but a dedicated program.
Unigram is an unofficial desktop client for Telegram. It's open source, and its interface is nearly identical to the official program, but there are a few features that make it worth using.
There are multiple ways to sign in, you can use your phone number, or scan the QR code that is displayed on the screen. The latter requires you to open the Telegram app on your phone, navigate to Settings > Devices > Scan QR Code. It supports multiple accounts, just like the original program.
Unigram will prompt you to grant access to your contacts to sync the data across your devices. The GUI has a nice background with a gradient color, you may change it from the Menu > Settings > Chat settings > Chat Background. The program has a better Emoji panel which includes a search function. It supports animated emojis in chats. Speaking of emojis, there are 10 sets to choose from unlike the official client which only has 4.
You can change the text size and the border of the chat from Unigram's settings. Toggle the full-screen gallery mode, and the spell checker from the options. The application supports sticker sets, animated GIFs, etc. just like the original program.
Telegram's video player is superb, it allows you to adjust the volume, view the content in a pop-out window (PiP), full screen mode. Unigram lacks the playback speed controller and full screen view mode, but adds a couple of extra options. You may use it to cast the media on another device wirelessly, or open it in a third-party video player of your choice.
The GIF viewer has a play/pause button, that's because the program uses the built-in media player for animated GIFs.
The music player in the program has a shuffle button in addition to the playback and volume controls, and loop button.
You can mark a message as read or reply to it from a notification pop-up. The official client can do this too, but takes an extra click to bring the reply option. The message compose menus are identical in both programs. Unigram does not support double-click for selecting a message in the chat, while the official program does. The select option in the right-click menu toggles a checkbox mode next to each message in the conversation, which makes it somewhat simpler to select multiple messages.
Access your Saved Messages, Chats, Contacts, Settings from the menu's side-bar. There is one option in the menu that stands apart from the official client, Unigram supports secret chats, aka end-to-end encrypted conversations. In addition to providing a secure conversation, this mode has an optional self-destruct timer that you can set (1 second to 15 seconds), and the program will delete the messages after the recipient has viewed it. Impressively, the program's window cannot be screenshotted in secret chat mode.
Telegram Desktop has a share button that you can use to send files, images and videos to your contact. Unigram can do that and more, it allows you to share your location, either from your device or anonymously, by selecting the location from the map. You can also share contact cards with the participant in the chat.
Unigram's features are good, but in terms of performance it's not impressive. The UWP app uses about 300MB of memory, while the official client only uses about 150MB. I noticed a minor lag sometimes, especially when switching between conversations, it's just not fluid as the official client. Maybe that's because of the animations. But the thing that really surprised me was the lack of a tray icon, which according to the GitHub issues page, was removed from the program due to some bugs. This caused a few problems for me. I constantly kept closing the app, because I'm used to hitting the X button on Telegram Desktop to minimize it to the tray. I prefer checking the tray icon for the unread notification badge, but with Unigram I had to rely on the taskbar badge.