Telegram apps return to the Apple App Store

UPDATED: Secure messaging apps are now back in the iOS app store.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Video: Encryption faces a quantum leap

Secure messaging app Telegram has now returned to the Apple App Store, after being temporarily removed by Apple.

The apps were taken down by Apple at midnight CET (11pm GMT), and Telegram CEO Pavel Durov confirmed on Twitter that the Telegram and Telegram X apps had been removed.

"We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store," he tweeted. Durov did not go into further detail about the inappropriate content or the protections needed.

Telegram X is a recently-released alternative Telegram client built in Swift, with higher-speed, slicker animations, themes, and more efficient battery use. The Android version of the Telegram app -- which has over 100 million downloads -- remained available to download from Google's Play app store, as did Telegram X.

Image: Twitter

In a second tweet at 4pm GMT, Durov said both Telegram and Telegram X have now reappeared in the Apple App Store.

"Telegram is back in the AppStore after being absent there since midnight CET. Every day 500,000+ users download Telegram for Android and another ~100,000 download Telegram for iOS," he said.

Image: Twitter

Telegram markets itself as more secure than mass-market messaging systems like WhatsApp -- for example, Telegram's secret chats use end-to-end encryption, leave no trace on the company's servers, support self-destructing messages, and don't allow forwarding. In addition, secret chats are not part of the Telegram cloud and can only be accessed on their devices of origin. Messages in Secret Chats use client-client encryption, while Cloud Chats use client-server/server-client encryption, and are stored encrypted in the Telegram Cloud.

However, the app has attracted criticism from politicians, most recently from UK prime minister Theresa May, for allowing criminals and terrorists to communicate. Telegram said it does block terrorist bots and channels (such as those related to Isis), but it will not block anybody who peacefully expresses "alternative opinions".

Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Related coverage

Easy WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram access now built into Opera browser

Opera's new Reborn browser wants to make it easier to chat and surf simultaneously with a new quick-launch option on the sidebar.

Flaw in web versions of WhatsApp, Telegram put accounts at risk

Researchers say the vulnerability can expose data, contacts, and more.

Iran reportedly blocks Telegram, Instagram amid protests (CNET)

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov says it's unclear if the ban on the messaging app is permanent or temporary.

Editorial standards