Back in November of last year, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel announced that a new Android app was being built from the ground up. It's been almost a year since then, but we're finally seeing some movement. In fact, the new Snapchat Alpha can actually be enabled right now, so long as your device has root access.
Snapchat's new faster Android UI is underway. It's generally smoother than the old one. Emoji brush is coming to the new UI for Android too! pic.twitter.com/wjGhM52Wmg
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 17, 2018
The new interface makes a couple of visual tweaks, but its primary focus is to address Snapchat on Android's number-one complaint: performance. The current one is rather choppy and can cause things to slow to a crawl, but those who've used the new Alpha version say that it's improved noticeably in terms of speed. An emoji brush, which allows you to draw things with a selection of emoji, has been added (Update: This is apparently not new).
Screenshots courtesy of XDA.
However, not all is well. Snaps appear to still be screenshots of your camera's viewfinder, as saved photos are of the same resolution as phones' screens. Additionally, since this is still unfinished, there are quite a few issues. Crashes are frequent, and you can't send chats. On top of that, the map, the all-important trophies, and Snapcodes are missing.
As stated previously, enabling Snapchat Alpha does require root. If you use Snapchat regularly, you might want to skip this given the amount of things that are still broken, but if you're set on checking it out, XDA has a handy little guide on how to enable it. Note that you will need access to a PC with ADB. Given our poll from earlier today, it looks like about a third of you still root, so this won't be too difficult. The other two-thirds of us will have to patiently wait for Snapchat to fix things up and make the redesign official.