SwapChat has been around on Windows Phone for a little while, but as a paid app. You’ll now be able to download SwapChat for your Nokia Lumia for free, letting you share timed photographs with friends and family.
SwapChat is a client that lets you log in and use Snapchat – a photo-happy social networking site with a difference. Once the timer on your shared photographs counts down to zero, the snaps disappear, making the app fun, unusual and strangely addictive.
Registering on SwapChat is a simple case of entering your email address, choosing a password and verifying that you’re over 13 years old.
Once the app starts, you’re immediately taken to the camera screen. Tap the display to take a photo, and then you can add a caption. There’s also a small timer icon, which lets you change how long the photograph is viewable for.
Before you can send photographs, you’ll need to add your friends. So once you’ve started the app, click the settings button and then swipe across to ‘Friends’.
If your friend has registered already, enter their username and a friend request will automatically be sent. They’ll also be added straight to your Friends list. If they haven’t registered yet, get them to sign up.
When you’ve added them, the next time you take a photograph and click the small button at the bottom right, you’ll be able to pick names from the friends list and send them your creation.
There’s an icon at the bottom left of the screen that takes you back to your messages, and when you’re in messages it changes to a camera icon, letting you easily switch between the two modes.
The message hub shows both your sent and received messages. Unread messages get a pink icon by the side of them, so it’s easy to notice the latest additions to your inbox.
Tapping and holding the message makes it fill the screen – let go and it disappears again. The bit that makes Snapchat and SwapChat special is the fact that your photographs are timed, and after a short period they’ll disappear altogether.
Overall, SwapChat is a lot of fun, reminding us of something out of Mission Impossible. It’s light-hearted and a great way for sharing images with your friends. It’s also a particularly easy app to use, it looks great and it’s now free. What’s not to like?