Apple Holding Telegram’s latest update over emoji

Telegram launched a new update on Friday, just one day after Telegram CEO and founder Pavel Durov said the update had been in Apple’s app review for two weeks without explanation. The update is packed with emoji-related features, but one is missing because Apple specifically requested its removal, according to Durov.

“After extensive media coverage of my previous post,” Durov wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday, “Apple got back to us with a demand to water down our pending Telegram update by removing Telemoji — higher quality vector-animated versions of the standard emoji.” “This is a perplexing move by Apple, because Telemoji would have added a whole new dimension to its static low-resolution emoji and significantly enriched their ecosystem.”

The Telemoji can be seen in a short video included with Durov’s post (and I’ve created a GIF of the video he shared). Personally, I think the Telemoji are a lot of fun — I like how they bring some life to the static emoji faces I’ve grown accustomed to. However, I believe Apple took issue with another company modifying its designs in this way, which might be why it asked Telegram to remove Telemoji from the update. Apple and Telegram didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

However, the update includes a slew of new emoji enhancements. Users who subscribe to Telegram’s recently launched $4.99 Premium service will be able to upload and use custom emoji in chats with friends, and Telegram is starting with 10 custom packs containing over 500 emoji. Free users will be able to see and use any of the animated emoji in their saved messages.

Telegram has also updated the sticker panel on iOS by separating stickers, GIFs, and emoji into separate tabs, similar to what you might be used to seeing in Telegram on Android, desktop, or the web. The full list of updates can be found on Telegram’s blog.

More enhancements are on the way. Telegram will allow users add any custom emoji as a message reaction.