All apps should steal this Telegram feature

Telegram for iPhone has gained the ability to set a custom sound for notifications so that your own audio plays when you receive a message.

Marketing image showcasing the ability to use custom notification sounds in Telegram for iPhone
Image credit: Telegram
  • The Telegram messaging app [App Store link] has gained the ability to create your own notification tones and have the app use them instead of default ones.
  • You can upload multiple audio files to add to your list of custom notification sounds, then easily set the one you’d like as your default in settings.
  • While Telegram isn’t the only iOS app to offer this option, too few apps actually bother to provide their users with the ability to use custom notification sounds.

Telegram for iPhone gains custom notification sounds

Really, why is it that almost none of the apps that send notifications let you set custom audio to play when the notification arrives instead of the default one?

It’s baffling that this area of customization has gone mostly ignored by makers of messaging apps even though Apple has supported custom alert tones in apps for many years. People like myself gave up hope, accepting that WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and the like ship with their own recognizable notification sounds that cannot be replaced. Read: How to manage and delete your Telegram account

But sometimes an app’s trademark notification sound is jarring or just plain annoying. Like with Telegram, for example, which thankfully lets me pick a different notification tone from the default library of sounds. And so I went in and choose “Pulse” because, to me, the pulsing sonar sound conveys urgency and secrecy. I immediately associate that sound with my secret chats on Telegram and the hope is I would know which app was nudging me without even looking at the screen.

Except that’s also the AirDrop tone so now every time I get a new message on Telegram I mistake it for an incoming AirDrop transfer. Not cool. See, and all because Telegram wouldn’t let me set my own sound for the incoming notification! Except in the latest update to the app, that’s exactly what developers have implemented.

From a post on the Telegram blog:

You can now turn any sound into a notification tone, creating custom alerts from your favorite music or even memes (and meows). Tap a short audio file or voice message in chat to instantly add it to your list of notification sounds, which you can assign to any chats.

Yup, it’s that easy to use your own audio for Telegram’s notification sound. Or you can go to the “Notification and Sounds” section of Telegram’s settings and pick a message type (Private Chats, Group Chats and Channels). Next, choose “Sound” from the list and on the next screen hit “Upload Sound.” Now navigate to the audio file you’ve downloaded to your iPhone to use as the Telegram notification sound.

Or, as the blog post mentions, you can just press and hold a short voice note or mp3 file in any chat and choose “Save for Notifications.” Once you’ve saved the sound, you can access it across all your devices in the Notifications and Sounds section.

According to Telegram, this feature currently supports audio files and voice messages under five seconds up to 300 KB in size. And that’s how easy it is to give Telegram some personality by having it play a custom audio file when the notification hits. Really, this should be supported in way more apps than it is today.

We should be swamped by the sheer number of apps that provide support for custom notification sounds, shouldn’t we? But we aren’t. Honestly, I don’t know why that’s the case (and it puzzles me as much as you). But I do know there are great, awesome sound packs freely available on the web that beg to be used for notifications. Could we have all apps steal this particular Telegram feature, please? Read: How to create a ringtone or text tone for free on your iPhone