Snapchat on Android downgrading itself automatically, losing prominent features

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It seems like Snapchat has decided to standardize its Alpha redesign on all devices running Google’s Android OS. In a recent update, the app now allows Android users to experience a newer and much smoother interface than ever before. There hasn’t been any official announcement from team Snapchat yet in this regard, which seems to be odd considering how big of a change this is.

Now for those of you who have no idea what I’m on about, pay attention. Snapchat wasn’t the best on Android. It was originally intended for Apple’s iOS and was exclusively available on it till it made its debut on Android in 2013. Even after adopting the new platform, it was always considered to be better on iOS and got updates and features much faster on it.

That doesn’t certainly mean that iOS is better than Android. It’s just that since there are so many different Android devices out there, it is difficult for developers to optimize the app for each individually. iOS, on the other hand, only has a handful of devices in comparison, which made it easier for developers to fine-tune the app on that platform.

Snapchat Alpha

However, all hope wasn’t lost as Snapchat launched an optional, faster version of its app on Android devices in September 2018. Back then, it was only in the developmental phase and did not have all the features the normal app had. Regardless, the performance was excellent, even on par with its iOS counterpart, on some high-end devices.

Back then, you had the option to use it according to your liking by activating it from Settings. However, with its recent update to v.10.52.3 on Android, the new version has completely taken over. You can no longer choose between which Snapchat you want to use, which may be worrying for some.

The main reason being that the new Snapchat still lacks some features that were available before. Namely, Shazam and Trophies feature. The list used to be longer and included SnapCodeCustom Stickers, and Voice/Video Calling. However, all these were added over time so it’s expected that the remaining 2 will be as well in future updates.

Left: Old Version; Right: Snapchat Alpha

Another thing that may disappoint you is the fact that there have been no improvements in the picture and video quality of snaps. The reason for the poor quality of snaps made on Android devices is that instead of taking an actual picture or recording a video, the app just takes a snapshot of/records the viewfinder. The only exceptions to this are the Google Pixel phones and devices running on iOS.

Taking everything into consideration, I believe the new Snapchat is a massive step forward for Android users. It may still be lacking some gizmos but they will surely be added back in time. The new app is fast, responsive, smooth and for the first time, hasn’t crashed once one the devices I’ve tested it on. Here’s to hoping Snapchat maintains this level of quality for Android in years to come.

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