Snapchat for Android to be Rebuilt With a Focus on Performance and Ease of Use
Even though Snapchat is one of the most widely used mobile-only social networks in the United States and many other parts of the world, they have always had a rather poorly built application for the most widely used mobile operating system, Android. The Snapchat app on Android, unlike its iOS counterpart, has severe issues with UI lag, camera quality, and resource consumption, even on higher-end flagship devices.
Poor developer practices, like staying on an old target API (API 22, Android 5.1), have further worsened things in general. Snap Inc. has never hidden the fact that iOS was their main priority for Snapchat because of their user share numbers, but times have changed since then and Android is growing at an uncontrollable pace.
Mere months ago, Snap announced that they were now committed to delivering a better user experience for the Android ecosystem, in hopes of attracting more Android users. And with significantly more Android users joining Snapchat in September than iOS users, it seems like they are getting ready for shifting their focus from Apple’s mobile OS to the Android platform. After several performance and quality improvements for their current Android application, Snap has officially announced that they will be building a new version of their Android app from the ground up.
This new Snapchat application will be heavily focused on improving performance, using everything the Snap team has learned regarding Android development during the past few years. The new application will also feature a redesign focusing on ease of use, which may or may not roll out to iOS as well.
“To attract more Android users, we are building a new version of our Android application from the ground up that we will launch in select markets before rolling it out widely. This new version of our application leverages everything we have learned about building for Android over the past five years, to provide a more performant product experience that we know our community will appreciate. This effort requires significant engineering resources across all of our engineering teams and will be a huge focus over the coming year. After seeing the results of increasing Android performance over the past few months, with significantly more Android users added than iOS users in September, we wish we had done this sooner.
One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use. There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application. We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business.”
Snapchat has not announced a timeline for releasing this new app, but they have made it clear that they were first going to roll it out in certain markets before rolling it out worldwide.
Source: Snap Inc. Investor Report