Linux users love Telegram — and I know that because I’m one of them!

Telegram is a cross-platform messaging service analogous to WhatsApp, but with a much broader set of features. You can have public channels and groups, for instance, and run bots.

Telegram has official apps for pretty much every major operating system out there, including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows and Linux.

Now the popular chat service has announced a new tool that that will make it even easier for third-party developers to make new Telegram apps for mobile, web and desktop.

TDLib — a free, open source Telegram library

Screenshot of Telegram CLI on the Ubuntu desktop
Telegram CLI (right) is a popular third-party app

As well as providing official apps Telegram also has a decent free API for developers to use. A stack of third-party apps (including the popular Telegram CLI app) use this API to create apps that hook in to Telegram.

Interestingly, though these third-party apps compete with the official Telegram apps, and even though some of them are super popular, Telegram doesn’t mind a bit.

In fact, it wants to make it even easier for developers to make new Telegram apps.

‘TDLib’ is new cross-platform, open source library that provides developers with more opportunity to make even better unofficial Telegram apps.

TDLib (which stands for ‘Telegram Database Library‘) handles all of the heavy stuff, like account authentication, network connections, data encryption, messaging sync, and so on.

Telegram says this means “developers can dedicate more time to design, responsive interfaces and beautiful animations.”

TDLib supports all of Telegrams existing features, including annoying stickers, gifs, and voice calls, and the library can be used to create apps on any platform and works with pretty much any language.

good set of documentation is already online about the new library, and the source code is available on GitHub.

If you want to see what this new library is capable of then you should check out the new (official) Telegram X Android app, which was announced alongside TDLib, and already uses it.

Telegram X on Google Play

The important bit of this news is not simply that there’s a new library for developers to play with,  but that the new tool is better; it helps keep communication secure, encrypted and, importantly for folks like us, accessible across platforms.

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