If your smartphone is your primary means of communicating with the world, there’s every chance that you’ve got more messaging apps than you have fingers and toes. Thankfully we came across Snowball and as its name suggests, it’ll roll all of these experiences into one.
Following Microsoft’s Windows 10 preview event, we got to thinking. News of Skype integration directly into Windows 10’s main messaging experience on mobile made perfect sense and Facebook Messenger has always been just a toggle away on Windows Phone too. Whilst Snowball doesn’t quite distil the messaging experience into a single thread per contact design, it does a great job of pointing you in the right direction with just a couple of taps.
The nature of Snowball, whilst it’s still in beta at least, means that for the time being it’s an Android exclusive, but with the improved cross-app support Apple is granting to iOS developers, there’s a chance iPhone users might see their own version down the line too.
By default Snowball remains hidden when not in use. Once downloaded from the App Store, all it does is sit and wait. Aside from having to allow notifications as a one-time action from your phone’s Settings menu, you won’t see Snowball, until you receive a message at least. The app supports all of the mainstream services you’re likely to use. Here’s the current list, but expect that to grow soon enough: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, Slack, Telegram, Viber and Skype.
Part of the reason Snowball is such an appealing proposition is that you don’t have to re-login to your accounts from within the app, it automatically detects which apps you’re currently signed into on your device and siphons off any notifications relevant to those messaging apps, including SMS. In this manner it’s much safer than using a separate messaging client as no login information changes hands with Snowball’s creators.
As well as appearing in the notifications bar, Snowball relays lockscreen notifications (if you allow them) and features a Facebook Chat Head-style widget which can be set to appear whenever a new message comes in or hover permanently on your homescreen for quick access to previous messages.
The icon itself is Snowball’s own smiling yeti (presumably called, ‘Snowball’), but when more than a single message arrives, it’ll switch to a counter, letting you know just how popular you are.
It’s an interesting way of simplifying the messaging experience (one tap on a Snowball notification takes you to the native app it originated from) and something only the structure of Android can currently accommodate. But if you consider yourself a social butterfly, we’d strongly recommend that you take Snowball for a spin. It’s very cool. #SorryNotSorry
Here’s the official Snowball promo video and click the source link to download the app: