Despite the release of Facebook Poke a few months back, Snapchat continues being the most popular app of its kind. The idea of sending photos and messages that self-destruct after a fixed period of time has a certain charm that keeps people coming back to Snapchat. The app is currently available for Android and iOS, while its concept has been implemented by various third-party web services as well. Recently, rumors started circulating around the web that Snapchat is looking to expand its reach, and will soon be arriving on Windows Phone. There are also a few third-party Snapchat clients in the works, but Snapchat (Unofficial) has beaten everyone in the race to the WP Store. This app might not be as good-looking as the official Snapchat variant on iOS, but it gets the job done and lets you share messages and media with Snapchat users even if they are on a different smartphone platform.
Snapchat (Unofficial) might not be much to look at, but it offers almost all features that users of the service are ever likely to need. You can even sign up for a new Snapchat account right from within the app, while existing users get a simple login screen. The app refuses to log users in at times, but killing the app (by repeatedly hitting the back button) and then re-launching solved the problem for us.
The people already added to your account as friends show up in the Snapchat (Unofficial) contacts list. You can add a friend by entering their username in the top field. To initiate a chat session, head to the app’s camera view and snap a photo. The app supports capturing photos using both front and rear cams.
Snapchat (Unofficial) does have a moveable field that can be used to enter captions for the captured photo, but a lot of users have complained that it doesn’t work. We were able to make the keyboard pop up by repeatedly tapping the middle of the text area, but the results were not reproducible later on. If you are good at finger-painting though, the lack of text input might not be too big of an issue since the app offers the ability to sketch anything over the base image, and that too using various colors. When you are satisfied with your work, you can set the time after which the message self-destructs before pressing the ‘Send’ button.
Received messages can be accessed by heading to the ‘Snaps’ section of the app from the bottom bar. Each thread displays the time duration for which you can view the received picture, and users have to long-press the title to load it up.
Snapchat (Unofficial) has several shortcomings, but you have to appreciate the developer’s effort of making the app Snapchat’s first Windows Phone client, and keeping it free. Give it a go if you have are a user of the service and own a WP8 device.