Too many messaging apps? New app aims to combine messages in one inbox

Too many messaging apps? New app aims to combine messages in one inbox
A new app called Snowball aims to unify the plethora of messaging clients such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, and Slack, into a single inbox.

SMS. WhatsApp. Viber. Hangouts. Facebook Messenger. Snapchat. Line. WeChat. Twitter.

Unless you happen to be a caveman, chances are that you probably will have at least three of such apps on your smartphone, and the number is set to increase.

Since they all serve a common purpose - communicate - why make life more complicated than it already is, with multiple apps serving the same function? Not to mention, it can be a chore to constantly switch between different apps.

Fortunately, help is at hand.

A new app called Snowball aims to solve the problem of multiple messaging apps by unifying the plethora of messaging clients into a single inbox.

Anish Acharya, one of Snowball's founders, illustrated the present day dilemma perfectly in a post on Medium: "My fiance only uses SMS and my co-founder uses WhatsApp. My sisters are into Facebook Messenger and I'm pretty sure our office dog Luna prefers Line, though I haven't yet found a way to confirm."

Snowball though, is not another messaging client; it aims to make all the existing apps function in a simpler manner.

Incoming messages that get consolidated on Snowball appear as a floating circular 'pop up' anywhere on your phone, allowing for 'one-tap' access, which makes it similar to Facebook Messenger.

Messages are organised by person, instead of by app. The latest unread messages will be displayed at the top of Snowball inbox.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Snowball takes advantage of Android's open architecture to pull notifications directly, circumventing the problems posed by authentication mechanisms on individual messaging apps.

While this ingenious method allows Snowball to integrate seamlessly with a host of messaging apps on Android, iPhone users will still have to contend with the barrage of messaging apps for a simple reason: the guarded and inflexible nature of iOS.

Snowball appears to be available only in certain countries (Singapore is not one of them), although the founders have launched a Beta version to fix that.

While Snowball is a great way to provide a common channel for all messaging clients, the idea itself is not novel. Blackberry has its proprietary Blackberry Hub for all messages to appear neatly in one inbox, and it even includes emails.

The number of messaging apps that Snowball currently supports is set to grow, and so are the number of users. Reviews on Google Play have been generally positive so far, but some users have echoed for more integration with other communications tools such as emails, and customisation options.

Click through the gallery below to see more features of Snowball. You can also download Snowball here.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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