Review Snowball Beta
A little cartoony furball to store all of your messages
Author: Kevin Vadala
Date: 23 Oct 2014, tested on Samsung GT-I9500 Galaxy S4
Not useful, not "there" yet
Snowball Beta for Android is a messaging app that acts more like a notification panel. The little snowball creature hides on the side of your phone and can be pulled out through swiping on him. From there you can see your previous messages and then tap the message to go to it.
Snowball claims that it makes messaging easier because you can see all of your messages in one place. Initially, I thought it was going to be something like an app that collects all your messages into one app that you can actually use to send messages out and look at them. If I wanted to send a Skype message, I could just pull up snowball, or with another app to send another message. Not so. Really, the only thing Snowball does is collect all of your message notifications into one spot. Whats the point of that?
If I get a notification on Skype, it’ll pop up in my notifications panel, and the same for the rest of my apps. Except this way, I don't have any annoying little furball on the side of my screen that never fully goes away (you might think he is cute). Snowball does make the text notifications easy to read within it’s interface, but it doesn’t seem that useful or cool to me. If anything, I feel like I got tricked into thinking the app would be something it wasn’t. The only time I’ve ever gotten a message through snowball was from a text. Skype didn’t even connect through it yet. Perhaps that’s Beta for you.
Snowball is a tricky little app. In some ways it tries to be something it clearly isn’t, and in other ways it simply struggles to be useful at all. The idea seems to fall flat, as the little guy sticking out on the corner of my screen never failed to bother me and not get in the way of me using my phone.