There can be no bigger testament to the popularity of an app than its continued success despite competition from a tech giant like Facebook. Many doomsayers weren’t too optimistic about the future of Snapchat when Poke was launched, but recent data has shown that the service has been going along smooth as ever. If anything, its user base has increased in recent months, like it always has. Having said that, not all is bright and rosy for the chat messenger specializing in self-destructing media sharing. Latest reports suggest that iOS 7 breaks the app’s ability to detect screenshot captures on an iPhone. Maybe the glitch will be fixed before this fall, but as soon as the next iOS gets jailbroken, more solutions are likely to pop up again for those who just don’t think that 10 seconds is enough time to view a photo or video. Even for iOS 6, there is a Cydia tweak by the name of Phantom that lets you discreetly export received photos and videos from Snapchat to the camera roll. Not only that, Phantom also adds a slew of other useful options to Snapchat, making it a messenger that has almost everything you can ever want.
Phantom is available in the Cydia store as a free download, but some of its features have to be unlocked by making a donation of $2. The tweak doesn’t add a menu of its own to the Settings app, and operates completely from the settings located inside Snapchat. Using these options, you can choose to automatically save every snap you are sending to your friends, or view videos cached by Snapchat for a short period of time. Users are not generally supposed to see this cache, but that’s just one more limitation overcome by Phantom.
If you want to save every image you receive automatically to the camera roll, the ‘Auto Save’ option has to be enabled, which is only available for people who have donated to the dev. If you don’t want to dish out any cash, however, there is a way around this. While viewing a received photo in Snapchat, you will notice two new buttons in the bottom bar. Even if the sender has programmed the image to be deleted after 3 seconds, Phantom makes sure that it stays on screen until you manually dismiss it. The button in the bottom-left corner dismisses the photo and initiates the timer, while the one opposite it saves the image to the camera roll. Before you activate the timer, screenshot detection remains disabled as well.
When it comes to sending media from Snapchat, Phantom users get plenty of options for that as well. Invoke the tweak’s menu by hitting the new button added to the camera screen. For photos, the available options let you add extra text, crop images, choose photos from the camera roll or use images directly from the web. The web search option lets you switch between Google, Yahoo! and other services as your image search engine. To use an image found in the search, just triple-tap it.
For videos, you have to shoot a normal Snapchat video and then access the Phantom menu to record one longer than 10 seconds. During our test run though, only the first 10 seconds of the video got played on the receiving device, despite the fact that the 20 second video was sent without any error. It could be that receiving device also needs the tweak to be installed for this to work properly.
Phantom is a free tweak, and as it offers an amazing array of options, it’s worth making a donation to the developer. Head to the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store to get your hands on the tweak, but make sure you have Snapchat installed on your device before downloading Phantom.