Snapchat's Android app has long been a source of much woe for its users; the app is bloated,the UI is janky, and far less optimized in stark contrast with its iOS counterpart. That was all set to change, however, with a ground-up reworking of the app announced by the company back in November.
That change is now available for Android users running the alpha variant of Snapchat, but you're going to require root access to enable it.
Per multiple users who've gotten their hands on the update, the performance improvements are considerable, especially when compared directly with what it was like prior to the hidden update. From an aesthetic standpoint, however, the tweaks aren't quite what one would call drastic, but are still noticeable for longtime users.
Unfortunately - given the photos taken are still the same resolution as the device's screen, the app continues to not actually capture photos, choosing instead to take a screenshot of the viewfinder, leading to poor quality images. Moreover, there's a very good reason the update is hidden: it's incomplete. Crashes are commonplace, the maps, trophies, and Snapcodes are missing, and one can't send chats at all.
If you're still eager to give the alpha a shot, you can find XDA's guide to enable it right here. You're going to require root and access to a PC with ADB drivers installed. That being said, the hidden update is worth it only if you're more curious about the app itself than about using Snapchat as a service.
Source: Jane Manchun Wong (Twitter), XDA-developers (1), (2)
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