Telegram CEO Pavel Durov said that Apple has blocked the updates of the messaging app since April, when it was banned in Russia.
The blocked Telegram updates follow the app's temporary removal from the App Store in February for "inappropriate content," showing that there is a rocky relationship between Telegram and Apple.
Telegram iOS Update Blocked By Apple
In April, Russia banned Telegram and demanded for it to be removed from the App Store and Play Store. This was after the government was denied access to decryption keys for communications sent through Telegram.
The request was made because the Russian government believes that Telegram was used as the messaging app to plan the St. Petersburg suicide bombing in 2017 that killed 16 people. Even after a Russian court ordered the app to be blocked in the country, Telegram refused to give up the encryption keys to Russian security agencies.
According to Durov, Apple sided with Russia on the matter, which is why Telegram updates for the iOS version are being blocked.
Apple stopped approving Telegram for iOS updates globally 1,5 months ago after Russia ordered a block on Telegram. More here – https://t.co/yarcIrV2Bh — Pavel Durov (@durov) May 31, 2018
Durov noted that Russia only accounted for 7 percent of Telegram users, but Apple has prevented Telegram updates across the world.
Telegram iOS Update Issues
Due to the blocked iOS updates, certain Telegram features such as stickers are not working correctly with the launch of iOS 11.4. The Telegram team has made the necessary fixes, but because Apple is blocking the updates, users are not receiving them.
In addition, the blocked Telegram updates on iOS have also made the app unable to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation requirements of the European Union by the deadline of May 25. Users of Telegram on iOS may also be at risk, as the updates could contain security patches and bug fixes.
According to Durov, Telegram will continue its efforts to resolve the matter, and will provide necessary updates to users. However, it is unclear what Telegram needs to do to convince Apple to allow the app's updates, and how soon that can happen.
It is also unclear why Apple is blocking Telegram updates across the world, when the messaging service only has issues with the government of Russia.
Apple, which also recently rejected the iOS version of Valve's Steam Link app due to "business conflicts," has not responded regarding the matter when asked by several media outlets.