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Snapchat on Windows Phone?
197

Snapchat, Windows Phone and what you need to know

After getting our unofficial Instagram app for Windows Phone, people’s eyes turned the next big thing in social media: Snapchat (www.snapchat.com). For those who don’t know (and who are over 25), Snapchat is a new messaging service that’s super popular on iOS and Android.

It’s trick? Photos you send auto-delete themselves after a set amount of seconds.  And yes, it’s coming to Windows Phone--unofficially and officially.

Quick back story

Snapchat

Much like Instagram, Snapchat relies on private APIs that controlled by the developers of the service. In theory, they could open it up to third-party developers, but like Instagram they want to control the experience. Part of that experience is disabling screen-captures of expiring photos—after all, that defeats the whole purpose. Indeed on iOS and Android, if you screen-cap the pic, it will tell the other person that you did.

While iOS and Android both have official clients, Windows Phone is on the sidelines, again. But that's all about to change.

 

The Unofficial Version(s)

Swapchat for Windows Phone
First look: Swapchat for Windows Phone

We can tell you definitively that there are currently two groups of developers working on Snapchat for Windows Phone. How? Like Instagram, APIs can be cracked and it’s not exactly too hard to do so for such a simple service.

One of those in development is Swapchat, made by two developers under SRC Apps. The app is in private beta now and it works, basically, as advertised. You can register, add contacts and yes, send photos (if the other party is on iOS and Android, it will notify you that they screen cap’d the image, but not vice versa). Notifications don't yet work, but we'll chalk that up to being a beta.

We won’t review the app now for obvious reasons but in short, we’re impressed with it. It’s sharp, fast and Modern UI fans will love it. In other words, it has huge potential and it is the real deal.

The second project we can’t reveal too much about since the developer has not yet gone public. Though when they do, you’ll be familiar with the high-profile indie developer as he/she has been in our news a lot, lately. Needless to say, we'll give you the first look as soon as we can.

So that’s currently what we know. There are at least two indie Snapchat projects going on with and ETA within in the coming weeks. Which will be better? We're excited to find out.

 

The Official Version (aka now for the big guns)

Nokia Camera

We’ve heard from various sources that an official Snapchat app is due to land on Windows Phone around mid to late July, to coincide with another high-profile Nokia announcement (think of a certain phone we’ve talked about today).

We’re not sure if this will be a Nokia-exclusive or another case of Nokia working with the developers behind Snapchat to best optimize it, much like WhatsApp and Foursquare, but we’re told that this is a “10” on the scale of accuracy. Though we still need to give it a "9" on our rum'o'meter since we haven't seen it ourselves yet:

The revelation that Snapchat is coming probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as the company themselves confirmed two-months ago that they were meeting with Microsoft to make sure that Redmond  “can support our vision”.

It now appears that things worked out with the app is nearing completion. And if not? Windows Phone users will still have unofficial, highly polished versions available shortly.

Stay tuned.

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Reader comments

Snapchat, Windows Phone and what you need to know

197 Comments

Swapchat is a nice app so far. Can't wait to see how they (Snapchat x Nokia) do the official version when it hits. 

I'm liking the sound of Swapchat better than an official snapchat... (lack of screen cap notification)
 
If you know what i mean..... ;)

Still.... "then don't send those pics...."

This is cyberspace remember. There's a fine line between love and hate, and the short steps it takes to exact revenge using said services. I have spoken.

just before I looked at the paycheck that said $4045, I didnt believe ...that...my friend woz like actually bringing home money in there spare time on their apple labtop.. there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for under 9 months and resantly cleard the mortgage on there cottage and purchased a great new Renault 4. go to, QUE99.COMONLY

 

Snapchat has been busted on both Android and iOS. It's simply not a secure way to show friends pics you don't want them keeping.

of course. I find the whole concept stupid. What's stopping someone from taking a photo of the smartphone displaying the "secret" image. If your eyes can see it you can keep it and no security measure can prevent that

Exactly... the whole concept seems to be to give a false sense of security top young, gullible people so that they will send inappropriate pics of themselves (why else would you want a picture to "expire"?).  You cannot send those pics over the internet and have any sense of "security" about it that they will not leak... there are infinite ways to accomplish it.
 
Just pathetic.

Or maybe he doesn't want to pay money for an app that he's not even sure if he'll use regularly. Or maybe he has 7.8, or maybe he knows that saying "Yes you can get Instagram on the phone" in a store is better than saying "Well there's no official Instagram app but you can buy a pretty good one called Instance for 1.49.

or maybe he didn't know wp 8 is to replace wp 7.8 so in 1 to 2 years time wp7.8 is totally outdated like andriod 1.7.
or maybe he didn't know instance is free also? not neccessary to buy at all?
or maybe he just like to say no instagram official app
or maybe i am just too free to be maybeing in this reply

What a stupid answer. Some people don't have upgrades yet and are stuck on 7.8
Instance is not free without ads, Instagram is.
Or maybe I own a Windows Phone and want it to do well.
Not to mention official apps are more stable and less likely to break if the APIs are patched or changed.
Are you that much of a fanboy?

Just not everyone, like iPhone users, know we have 3rd party Instagram apps, so they will be disappointed if it isn't "official". Instance is great though.

And in the same time , its sad how windows phone lacks the official apps for most of the popular apps

WP/Metro apps have such a high continuity from app to app that's unique all by it self.  Sure a lot of IOS apps look similar, but the text elements make Metro stand out

Didn't MS make the awesome looking YouTube app (the recent update that is)?  You know, the one that Google got all in a tizzy about? :P

even though they are good but apps are all about brand names , if the store lacks the original official brand name on its apps then its not even a store

thats not an excuse , it should be the other way around , it should be like 
its has low marketshare because  it doesnt have enough official and popular apps 

thats how we should put it.

Colbert interviewed these guys on his show a few months back, and he made them look like idiots(well, they made themselves look like idiots)
This is a dumb app. Why would I want to see a pic for a sec and then have it be deleted.
Maybe I'm getting old, bit this doesn't make any sense at all.
It's just a dumb gimic, totally unworthy of any Windows phone.

Because someone might want to send you a picture of some melons. They might not want you keeping that picture of their melons on your phone. 

If this app existed for feature phones a decade ago, I wouldn't have some of my most memorable cell phone pics. LoL

It's really difficult to make the screemshot over it, you guys obviously have not try it. It is not just sexting, but joking in between friends. What you can easilly do is make a picture of your phone when the picture appears. Not that I would use it for sexting but you got a be dumb to believe you can use it for that without risk.
And one of the funniest parts of Colvert Report are the interviews thus 90% or more of the people looks dumb.
 

People can just be silly with it. I think people get too hung over how it is like sexting. Of course it will be like sexting if its already done with regular texting. But the vast majority of people I know use it to just send random photos or have "stupid pic" wars. Soooooo people need to chill out its just a fun way to kill time when ur bored.

That interview was great and this app sounds dumb. If you want to send naked pics then the receiver should be able to keep them.

"Get off of my lawn, ya dang kids!" "Turn down that rock n roll music, it's the devil's music!" "I don't get these new fangled apps, I bought a smartphone not an app phone!"
Lol, but seriously you sound VERY old and out of touch with what reality is now.

Ha, I'm 33 and and you're very far from the truth. I just happen to know that this is a completely useless app. Thanks for the comment ;)

The problem with " young people" is that everyone under a certain age believes that everyone over a certain age was never once a part of their group. While I am by no means old I remember being a teen and the people around me. Most people are using snapchat to send pics of their junk otherwise they wouldn't tout the privacy aspect of it.

Not sure I like that "over twenty five" comment.. I'm 36 and I know what snap chat is.... So, Boooyaa!!. Lol!!

i read swapchat can't send videos though due to wp API restrictions so will the official snapchat be able to do that ?

WP doesn't have an API to access the video library. The only way to do it would be to record the video within the app instead of sharing a video you created before

That's how Snapchat works. You can't send pics or videos that you've taken before. That's the point..they are "in the moment" so it doesn't matter if WP doesn't provide that access.

Any news on when the new whatsapp gonna be available for update?. The current one is just terrible cant live with it any longer and I use Whatsapp extensively.

Hi Daniel great story on snap chat. I have been trying to reach you and have emailed replied and tweeted you about if you could possibly do a story on how we are seriously missing a SIRIUSXM app for windows phone, I myself am in quite a predicament as I can no longer listen to Howard at work because even the 3rd party apps are broken.

best wishes!

It's been looked into and the encryption is just too difficult to crack. So chances of an unofficial app? Unlikely, sorry.

Do you have an old ios or android phone or mp3 player? If so, just use that. I have a galaxy player 4" that I usually bring along for situations like that. It may suck to have to carry around two devices, but most people do that anyway with a tablet and phone. It's my stop gap until WP gets just a few more apps I want.

Thanks. I was hoping you would have some info . Its a shame that i can't recommend any of my friends to switch coz they see how terrible the whatsapp is on WP8 when i am using it. Hopefully it will get fixed soon :)

The story on iOS isn't much better.
Whatsapp UI on iOS is far far worse than its Windows Phone counterpart. I think it's slightly more responsive though.
 
Whatsapp on Android is really good though.

Finally, there will be no more obstacles to convince my friends and family that Windows Phone is superior.  With all of the major apps catching up, I think it will be taken to very kindly.  Snapchat and Instagram are a huge step forward for the device, even if you're not a fan of either!

And to be clear, there are uses OTHER than sexting for snapchat. My siblings used it to send funny moments during the day to each other.

Daniel (the Rubino one): in another article, in the comments, you said that at least one app of the list that someone made was coming to WP... Was Snapchat??
And, in other comment you also said that 2 big apps will be released together with 2 phone releases, one in the middle of June and other at the beginning of July. Is Hisptamatic (in June, with the Lumia 925) and Snapchat (in July, with the EOS)??

I don't have the obligation to change my device every month
You have a WP8 device? Great. But I don't. And you're not upper because of it

It was just a question. Sorry I asked. I'm going to go drown myself now.. I'm sorry I was ever born!!

I just read the other day how these pictures can be recovered with Jailbroken phones. Here's an interesting quote from the article I read: 

Orem-based firm Decipher Forensics said it has derived a method to extract the supposedly no-longer-viewable images and pass them on to parents, lawyers and law enforcement.
"The actual app is even saving the picture," said Richard Hickman, a digital forensics examiner. "They claim that it's deleted, and it's not even deleted. It's actually saved on the phone." On average, he said, it takes about six hours, but most of the time is spent simply imaging the phone's data.

I know that's not referring to Windows Phones, but the very idea that these pictures are deleted off the phone may not be accurate, and that's a little worrisome. They've already made a website made up entirely of leaked photos.

That's how it is for all flash memory. The data isn't actually wiped from storage, it's simply made unavilable from the file system. With specialized data retrieval software it's possible to recover this "deleted" information considering it was fairly recent and hasn't been overwritten.
The reason for this is that flash memory has a finite amount of times that it can be written onto, so instead of writing over the file with blank memory to delete it, by design to use less writes it leaves the data there but marks it as free space to be overwritten as you continue to save things. This essentially cuts the amount of times you write onto the memory in half, and thus increasing the life of the flash drive.
All files you delete will technically still be on your phone for a good while after deleting them, whether it be an audio file, camera photo, or Snapchat video. It's just the media trying to put a spin on something that's been norm since the beginning to make it sound like something bad.

Well the main issue the article discussed was Snapchat's claim that snaps "disappear forever" in the app description, which was also the focus of the EPIC's complaint to the FTC. It may be media "spin," but I'm guessing most users of Snapchat don't know how drives manage data, so consumer awareness is also important here. 

The fact of the matter is that the files are "deleted" forever just like any other file, per se. Snapchat has no control over how flash drive manufacturors design their hardware.
Snapchat would actually be safer on WP since we have absolutely no access to its file system so it'd take some major hacking to even to begin to try getting the files back. Whereas with an SD card it'd be fairly easy to find moderately priced software and see if your data is still there by connecting it to the PC and doing a scan. Even with the other platforms they're saying it'd take the use of specialized forensic software costing thousands per use and only investigation agencies have access to.
To put it simple, and to reiterate what Snapchat has said: yes, the data is technicially still there after it disappears, but one would have to go way out of their way in order to get it back. I can say with certainty that no one I know has the ability to do this, but I'd start to worry if someone were sending their nudes to some random person they met over the internet on a hacker forum.

It's complicated. I believe MS has a rough app ready to go, but there is no agreement in place with Instagram for a release. That could of course change and MS releases something, but as of right now I'm hearing "nothing is planned".

This sounds great! Idk really what snapchat is (I'm 19) but I'll click on the link and find out. I do know it's popular, though.

Now I can stop being a loser stealing my moms iPad all the time to use snapchat. Honestly though this is the last app I have been waiting for on WP, so glad I took a leap of faith and switched from my iPhone in December

Hey guys, thanks a lot for mentioning Swapchat :) Hope you guys'll like it.
To answer a few questions :

  • The app will be available for WP7.5+
  • Video upload is on the roadmap, just not for the first version. You can play the ones you get though
  • We're not taking anymore beta testers unfortunately

If you're afraid of your photos being saved, unfortunately there's not much you can do except not using any of these apps :-) Their security is very weak, and there are exploits available on all platforms, especially on the official apps, to save the images without notifying the senders.
Anyway, don't hesitate if you have any question :-) 

Thanks for the comment!  It's exciting seeing devs getting involved with the community.  Is there any way you can give us an ETA where we can expect to see this available?

I read an article somewhere,can't remember where, but snapchat DOESN'T DELETE pictures after a certain amount of time,,,it stores them in a folder and can be accessed later if you know how to do it.

I read the same article, it can be found on MSN Now, and it sources another website. They made a website that compiled a bunch of NSFW leaked photos. 

I wouldn't get my hopes up until it comes to android first, wp is hardly above android in priority for most devs

Never heard of it ! My mind went to Snap Mode when I read the title as in the split screen multitasking :/

Just to put something fresh in the air, will we ever see Jetpack joyride or Temple run 2 or perhaps candy crush? ;)

Hahaha... Love Daniel's comment "For those who don't know (and are over 25)..." Exactly. I want this for the benefit/growth of the OS but I have no use for it.

Say, that's a nice phone pictured there.  I think you should do a review on it.
 
OK, that's the last time I mention it.

Man, Daniel Gary can't release a snapchat client before instance for wp7.x or I'll...I'll...sigh heavily and be really disappointed!

So if I take a screen shot it notifies the sender? I'd want to take a screen shot just to freak them out.

Nice. Now when can I expect to get VINE & PATH apps in WP? Official or unofficial. Indonesians are path-addicts, and I always felt left out whenever there's a new meme coming out from path.

Path has said that the aren't planning anything for windows phone. I want that I miss path a lot. Vine haven't reached out but I will. You should too. @twitter

Cool, now Vine, Keek, instagram, & an update for Twitter to fix bugs and add missing features. Rowi till then

I am in love with the UI of the swapchat! I'm one of those people who will use an app entirely based on its UI. Like tumblr I wouldn't have an account if the tumblr app for wp8 didn't look so good, so keep the beautiful games coming!. One more example is Harshquad the game which is just eye candy

I hope people know that Snapchat isn't as secure as they say they are.  People have been able to "screenshot" the text/photos and other workarounds. Remember that anything that goes on the internet can be recovered.  Man i feel like a parent.

Wow I am kinda shoked by the interest in this app, just look at the amount of comments that exist in this article.. is humanity really that sexed up??? I'm sure more cases in the news are going to be reported of bulying because some girl trusted the guy she was sending the pics of herself to and he saved them and started spreading the pictures. What really shocks me is that the victim will always get bullied and people will start calling her names like slag etc, yet all the bulliers are hypocrites who actually do exactly the same stuff but they didn't get caught... and the guy who spreads them is branded as the hero. I don't have anything against the app, if used responsibly it's fine, but it's teenagers who use it without knowledge of the damages and sucumb to peer pressure.
And then we get shoked by the news of girls who take their own lives at a young age and we brand the adults to be bad parents..
And don't get me started on the app that exists purely as a beacon that you would do her, and if she says she would do you, you get hooked to meet up purely for you know what...

Sure, I just graduated out of teenage years and I know what you mean. But I also have two sisters who I really care about and would not want anything like this to harm them. I'm sure you can put yourself in this position, be it a dad who cares for his daughters or any family member who you dearly love. 
I do my best to inform them of the dangers of the internet and bullying etc and always speak openly to them about it so that they actually can make decisions on what is bad and good and raise their awarness so that they too can openly talk about it without thinking that they are going to get punished or think that they are not allowed to speak about it, but there are parents out their who give their kids iPhones and smartphones with all these capabilities without thinking of the consequenses. Of course they are allowed to txt and use facebook etc, but they have to know the limits, and if they did something wrong the biggest mistake would be if they think they cannot approach their parents about it, because they don't listen to their kids or they alienate them to speak of their concerns. 
lol i know this is just a tech site for phones, but how else can someone who is concerned of what we adults create for our pleasure, without thinking of the consequences and effects they have on children and teenagers, raise some awareness.

Yes. True.  Even good girls/boys get in trouble when someone they like is egging them on.  It's not going away, we just teach and hope they don't learn a bad lesson along the way.  The only women in my life are my mom, my wife and her mom. And they're old enough to know the consequences. 

It's a matter of principle people, ha.. If I ever sent anything I really didn't want to risk exposing it would probably be via email (NOT TO A GMAIL ACCOUNT) or nothing at all.

Happy to hear about another official app on the way. As a teenager I hear about it all the time and people say I should download it and I say its not possible.
And i wouldnt mind using Swapchat instead of the official. Ill take a great 3rd party app any day of the weak if well made. Hey, its the official companies losing out by not making theyre apps on a rising platform. (Instagram!)

Daniel Rubino, good to hear about SnapChat.. All I'm asking (including my WP8 friends) is FLIPBOARD & PULSE Apps. I mean it's long overdue for a proper news aggregator on WP8. The experience is very different from the others. Any news on those? Nice work you are doing keeping us informed. Thanks!

There used to be Pulse in WP7, but the app got pulled out long ago for some reason. Seems strange that they haven't developed a new one since the Pulse devs partnered with MS to build a webapp for IE10 in W8

The are many credible clients on Windows Phone, such as Pinspiration and Pinsation. I think we'll just have to take what we can get. I too, prefer the official app, but sometimes we just have to take what we can get

????? There is an app called literaly pinterest. And it looks a lot like the one on IOS. I can't promise you is official I wondered a lot, but it really looks like it was.
It would be nice to know who is behind it.

Im 100% positive the 2nd guy is daniel gary. I remember him and jay talking about the possibility of a snapchat app weeks ago and daniel gary said he already looked into it and it is indeed possible. :)

Finally! Seriously though, I appreciate all the developers for doing this, but they're about a year late. Can't we just assume that the WP version won't be released as soon as the app becomes popular, and start work on a third party client while it's still new? So we don't have to wait a year and until the craze is over?

while you guys cointinue to talk about sexting for some reason, I am wondering if there is a way to get this link to download the closed beta for swapchat :D

I can just see people be taken advantage of with this. "Yeah snapchat your nude pics to me, they'll disappear after a few minutes so it's safe!"  The other person says "OK! Sounds legit!"  Sends pics while the recipient just screen shots one after another.  I mean that's how I see it going down.  If a hot chick exposes herself to me and I know it's going to self destruct, you're damn right I'm going to get a screenshot of it! :P
 
Anyhow, I get the importance of having popular apps and hats off to the devs for getting these bad boys out and into our hands.  That app in particular just sounds like trouble waiting to happen. :-o
 
And I just saw this: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=25106057  So, yeah.  Instagram is as hip as I'll ever get.  :)

As someone stayed over, why so much anymosity against the app? Yes people Rock and Roll is the Devil, Get off of my lawn, ya dang kids, Those apps are porno you all.
You all think that kids are all them dumb, and yes a lot of them might be, but this app can be pretty funny to send silly stuff to your friends during the day and get a laught or two, and I'm not talking about sex content pics, actually you get surprise of how creative your friends can be with this thing.
The ones that say y6ou can capture the image, get the last IOS version in somebdoies phone and try it, if you try it 100 times you might get 1 or 2.

Said this what you really can do is using a camera and make a picture of the screen thus that is way faster than the capture setings on phones. So yes it's not safe.

Then as every toy if you are dumb you will put yourself in risk, but let me tell you folks,  Before snapchat dumb kids and dumb not kids were sexting on line so no much difference on there.  And for the rest at list give it a try, for funny use, you might get surprised.
 

By the way, Does anybody know if Citibank is ever going to release a dam app for WP? it gets me a bit pissed because they have no app and the webapp does not work.
Same for Southwest and Je Blue, what the ..., Right now almost any airline has an app except for them.

Yesss! I love snapchat and i had to get the Nexus 4 just because WP didn't have it... Will be switching to the Lumia 925 once they release both the device and snapchat ;P

There might be quite some legal issues involved with these inofficial clients (as they access the undocumented SnapChat API without permission). Also, API changes will easily break the clients. Another question is whether how SnapChat will react to the fact that the unofficial client is a paid app (contrary to the official clients on Android and iOS which are free of charge).

so much for an official app in mid to late july....this was a 9 too on the rumormeter...it's late september now...