Thursday, 1 May 2014

Snapchat 5.0 update review

Snapchat has been updated to 5.0 and the world has gone crazy. With this update it brings some drastic UI changes and some new features. I will be talking about both of them.

UI changes.
It starts from the icon. Though it might look the same at first but if you look closely the yellow is more bright and also the cut edges of the icon are very fine. Next thing you notice after opening the app is the camera app shutter button, new snap button, new stories butting and camera switch button have changed. The major one being the shutter button with a solid white ring around it.
When you switch right to stories and friends, everything is purple. Except that not much has changed. The settings button when you click on someone’s name is tweaked. And if you swipe more right, you see more purple. And the add button and the tick mark button are tweaked too.
When you click a snap and are about to send it, you see some more icons have been polished and changed. When you click next to send it, the other change you observe is, when you select one of your ‘best friends’ as a recipient it shows a yellow icon with a star instead of the normal blue tick.
Switching back left to your snaps screen, there is a new search button. A welcome addition and an updated ‘snapchat’ text on top left corner.  You don’t  see sent or delivered there but it’s visible when you click on someone’s name. Then there is the blue icon, let’s talk about  that in features. That’s all in the UI changes, which is quite a lot.

New Features.
Message chat and Live video chatting.

Swipe right on any person’s name to start a chat with them. The biggest difference between other messaging app and this is that, your chats disappear when you leave it. The only way to save chats is to either take a screen shot or tap on a particular message to save it. This does continue the snapchat tradition and also the basic concept of the app, in a way. Also, you can send images from gallery to the person in the private chat.

When you are on the chat screen, an icon on the right bottom corner, which is usually yellow, turns blue to notify you that the other user is online and reading your chats. And, then clicking the blue button starts a video call. For the call to take place you have to hold on the screen. Depending on if you are holding bottom half or top half, the front and the back camera are operating for the chat. If the other person is not doing the same you don’t see anything from them.  To make this feature more usable the app notifies you when the other person is typing by sending a notification so you can jump right in if you want to start a video chat.

Though the app was a bit buggy when it was updated at first to 5.0, it has been updated to 5.0.5 bringing in some bug fixes.  Overall, the update is really good and features are sometimes useful, though I prefer other apps for chats. I don’t much like so much purple in the app but the one feature I am missing the most is double to tap to reply. It was very convenient and useful, hope they bring it back.

Here is a link to the updated 5.0.5 apk.

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