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Snapchat releases rebuilt Android app

The Verge logo The Verge 4/9/2019 Chaim Gartenberg
a close up of a mans face © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Snap has finally released its new, rebuilt Snapchat Android app, which the company has been rewriting from the ground up since the beginning of 2018 to bring performance for the Android version up to par with the iOS app.

While there are virtually no changes to the actual UI or navigation for Snapchat, the new app should be faster, less laggy, and less buggy than the old version.

As Android Authority relates in an interview with members of Snapchat’s development team, the rewrite has been in the works for a while. Snap first tried to simply patch its way out of the issues with the old app, but eventually realized that it would have to rewrite the Android version from scratch to achieve the results the company wanted.

The new app is designed to factor in things like the huge Android ecosystem, with its wide breadth of hardware — particularly for cameras and processors, that means that different phones can have widely differing capabilities.

The good news is that now that the major rewrite is done, future updates for Snapchat on Android should be easier and faster going forward, with new features coming at the same pace as the company’s iOS counterpart. Or, as Snap’s VP of product Jacob Andreou put it, “With this new foundation I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually see things starting to come to Android even before iOS sometimes.”

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