Telegram is well known for its privacy features, bots, and community building. However, its user interface leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, there are plenty of Telegram desktop client apps you can use instead.
In this article we list the best Telegram desktop client apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. All of which are solid Telegram alternatives.
Bettergram is one of the most popular third-party Telegram desktop clients. It is easy to see why, too. First up, you can use Bettergram on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The cross-platform option is handy when so many Telegram desktop client alternatives focus on a single platform. Telegram’s cross-platform compatability is just one of the reasons Telegram is the only messaging app you need.
Bettergram addresses some of the major issues holding the official Telegram app back. Namely:
- Pin up to 50 chats, rather than Telegram’s five.
- Sort your messages by category.
- Favorite your important conversations to keep track of them more easily.
Bettergram is open source and available on GitHub, meaning you can check out the code to make sure it is secure. However, this leads to the major downside of Bettergram: development stopped in 2018.
The pinned message on the official Bettergram Telegram channel states, “We have paused the development for all platforms at the moment. We will write here when we resume it.” Hopefully development will resume soon, including the now-defunct Android and iOS apps.
Next up is the Windows 10-only Telegram desktop client alternative, Unigram.
Unigram introduces a few quality-of-life options that make it easier for Telegram users. For instance, you can use the F1 to F5 keys to display different chat groups. Selecting F1 switches to All Chats, F2 switches to User Chats, F3 switches to Bots, and so on. F6 shows your unread chats. It also offers multi-account support.
Unigram integrates nicely with Windows 10, including the Windows 10 People desktop integration. Windows 10 People allows you to add a personal contact to your taskbar and chat to them from there, rather than opening the full application.
The chat switching options are handy, and the Windows 10 integrations are useful. But Unigram doesn’t add heaps of additional functionality to Telegram.
Download: Unigram for Windows 10 (Free)
Ferdi is a different take on Telegram desktop client alternatives. Instead of a single Telegram replacement, Ferdi is a messaging browser application. You can concentrate all of your messaging applications in a single messaging browser, instead of having numerous taskbar and system tray icons.
One of Ferdi’s best features is separated workspaces. You can use the workspaces feature to group together personal, business, and other workspaces across multiple messengers.
For instance, if you have a bunch of cryptocurrency-focused Telegram and Slack channels, bunch them up into a specific workspace. Family and friend chats? Do the same. It is easy to add additional messenger services, too, including Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, Gmail, and more.
That said, for all of Ferdi’s additional messenger functionality, it doesn’t necessarily extend the functionality of the Telegram desktop client. That isn’t a slight on Ferdi, just a fact.
Ferdi is open source and available on GitHub as a hard fork of the now-defunct Franz messaging browser. It is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, but there are no mobile apps. It’s handy bringing all of your communications into one app, so here are some more multi-messenger apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Webogram isn’t strictly a Telegram desktop client alternative. It is the regular Telegram client accessed through your browser.
The app itself doesn’t offer any extension on the base Telegram client options. It is, however, a handy extra option for accessing Telegram on the go. Using Webogram allows you a standard Telegram experience no matter the host operating system.
Your final third-party Telegram client for consideration is Station, another combination messenger app. Like Ferdi, Station brings your messenger applications all under one roof, including Telegram. Station also includes a host of productivity, search, and account management tools.
For example, you can use Station’s Quick-Switch to search through your documents and chats rapidly. It has a Smart Dock to keep track of your frequent chats and tabs, and we really like the single Do Not Disturb button that makes the entire app silent with a single click. Station also has integrations for over 650 apps so that you can tailor the workspace to your requirements.
Station doesn’t extend Telegram’s functionality specifically. Overall, Station is a slick multi-messenger application with bundles of options. In that, it doesn’t necessarily matter that Telegram isn’t the sole focus of its productivity and search tools, because they integrate well regardless.
Why Use a Third-Party Telegram Client App?
One of the biggest reasons to use a third-party is to add additional functionality missing from Telegram. Some third-party Telegram apps expand the base options to turn Telegram into a more rounded chat client.
For many Telegram users, the simple addition of more chat pins would make a massive amount of difference, hence why Bettergram remains so popular despite development ceasing in late-2018.
Multi-messenger applications such as Ferdi and Station provide an extra option for Telegram users. Combining multiple chat applications into a single app isn’t new (think Pidgin or Trillian), but both of these options come with a range of extra tools. In particular, Station’s search and productivity tools give Telegram users a lot of new options.
It isn’t all clean sailing, though. The Telegram client is secure. Using a third-party Telegram client adds another potential security vulnerability, as you are relying on the third-party client developer to maintain security and privacy features. If they fail, your privacy could disappear with it.
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