Telegram groups and bots for Singaporeans
Gone are the days when SMS ruled the day. These days, it’s common to have people telling you to “Tele” them. And for good reason too. Telegram allows you to create supergroups of up to 5000 members – that’s enough to make many of us give Whatsapp the blue tick.
Alas, the app’s increasing popularity also means that your refuge from the mainstream texting world is slowly eroding. Cue the sticker spam from boh liao group convos that keep sending you notifications every few seconds.
While you’ve secretly kept those groups on mute, here are 12 secret channels and bots that’ll help make your life easier – from sharing recipes to promo codes and bus timings.
Channels are used for broadcasting messages to an unlimited number of subscribers. They’re publicly available so anyone can join and cash in on the lobangs!
1. For Uber/Grab promo codes: @sgcabpromos
The next time you miss the bus, skip the frenzied scrolling through your email for that elusive Uber promo code. Simply open this Telegram chat and gain instant access to Uber/Grab lobang heaven.
The promo codes we tried from this group worked like a charm, so don’t worry about being handed invalid ones! They have limited redemptions though, so turn on notifs – and your kiasu mode – because it’s first come, first served.
2. For hardcore Pokemon hunters: @SGPokemapIV90
Level 30+ Pokemon go-ers, we know your secret. The game may not lure so many of us as it used to, but hey, this means lesser competition right?
For those who still spend their daily commute tossing Pokeballs, now’s the perfect time to whip out this secret weapon.
Here you’ll have live updates on where the rarest Pokemon are spawning. Time stamps are also listed, so you’ll know how long you’ve got until that Mareep disappears from the face of Tampines.
You’ll also get the mapped location of each Pokemon together with each update, so you can directly link yourself to Google Maps or Uber to get there as fast as Pikachu’s Lightning Bolt.
Bots are third-party applications that run within the Telegram app. You can interact with bots by sending them commands and they’ll reply with exactly what you need. Just like chatting with a knowledgeable friend.
3. All-in-one Shiok Bot: @ShiokBot
This is the Swiss Army knife of all bots. Traffic updates, Uber/Grab codes, news headlines and weather forecasts all in one bot. Shiok.
While the bot’s numerous capabilities already impressed us, exploring each feature up close won us over even more. Just look at that interface for their taxi location feature – accessible and aesthetically appealing.
If you’re someone who can’t stand having so many open chats, this’ll be the only bot you need.
4. For NTU students who always miss the bus: @NTU_BusArrivalBot
You’ll never have to endure that “I missed the bus even though I ran” walk of shame on campus again. NTU may have its fair share of bus arrival apps, but this bot lets you check bus timings without ever having to close the chatbox on your Tele-homies. Simply start the bot and you’ll instantly receive a map with segmented colours.
A huge plus point of this bot is that it knows exactly which buses go to which bus stop. All you have to do is select the right campus loop or bus number, and it’ll tell you its ETA – and a friendly reminder to “RUN NOW!”
5. For NUS students who are too busy to check their laundry: @collegelaundrybot
Lucky you if you’re in RC 4, ‘cause you’ve got one high tech laundry service. Started by a few NUS tech whizzes, this bot is perfect for those lazy days where you just wanna chill in your dorm. Your laundry status is just a click away.
The service is currently only available in RC 4, but fingers crossed that it gets rolled out in other residential colleges and halls soon!
6. For downloading music and YouTube videos into your phone: @GetMedia
Here’s the news we’ve been waiting for: a super bot for us to listen to music and watch YouTube videos. And turns out, it was hidden away in Telegram all along.
Enter @GetMedia, a nifty little Telegram bot that lets you download music clips from Soundcloud and videos from YouTube, all without leaving the comforts of your chatbox.
A quick tryout of the bot showed that while we were able to download full-length music videos, we could only download audio files in short clips. But still, it’s pretty neat if you’re craving a short listen of your favourite tunes without wasting too much data.
7. For travellers with a shaky internet connection who need to make calls: @CallCoin
Technology has been great in bridging distances and people – provided we’ve got a stable wifi connection. If you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a foreign land with a shaky internet connection, this bot will come in handy.
What makes this CallCoin different from your usual Whatsapp or Skype calls is that a stable internet connection is not needed throughout the call. International calls here are made through your traditional phone channels via callback, which means you’ll be redirected to your phone app. So even if you’ve got an unstable internet connection, your call won’t get cut off.
If you’re still not sure, the app gives you 0.50EUR for test calls so you can be assured that it’s legit.
8. For bus commuters who don’t want to exit Tele: @BusTimeBot
Just because you’re not in NTU doesn’t mean you don’t get a nifty bus bot to check your bus timings. After all, between texting and knowing when your bus is arriving, you shouldn’t have to choose.
What we like about this bot is that you don’t even need to know your exact bus number or bus stop name. Simply type in your area or nearest landmark, and you’ll get quite a few bus stops in the vicinity to choose from.
9. For YouTube addicts on the go: @utubebot
You’ve watched just one YouTube video, when suddenly, you receive that dreaded SMS saying you’ve exceeded your data budget – it happens to even the most careful of us. But add this bot to your Telegram and your data-sucking YouTube days will be over.
The great thing about this app is that you get to choose whether you’d like an mp3 or mp4 file of your video, which means you can effectively download songs for listening too. You’ll also be prompted to choose your video/sound quality while being shown the size of each file.
Tip: Spare yourself the hassle of being redirected to a separate download link and select a quality that keeps your file below 50MB. Voila, you can now watch your videos without even exiting the bot!
10. When you want to make gifs of Youtube videos: @GifTubeBot
There’s always those gold 5 seconds in a YouTube vid that you want on an endless replay. Instead of scouring through Internet forums in search of YouTube-to-GIF manuals, all you need is your trusty Telegram app and @GifTubeBot.
The app is easy game even for the most tech unsavvy. Simply paste the link and corresponding timestamps in. Since Telegram supports GIFs, you can also forward the GIF directly to friends!
Life hacks with Telegram
Telegram’s pretty much an all-in-one super app that solves a load of problems, with an insane selection of secret channels and bots that are incredibly useful. If you ever run out of memory space, Telegram is the only app you’ll need.
So venture away into the hidden hacks lurking in the app, and drop us a comment if you find any more!