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App Review - Peach

Digital Trends
How far can the 'messenger app' format really be refined? I mean, once you get all the basic functionality working and factor in all the options that have become commonplace (text, image, video, GIFs, the dancing monkey emoji), it's really just a matter of picking the one all your friends are using, right? Well yes, but many people split their time across multiple apps and the one which gets the most attention doesn't necessarily keep its butt on the throne constantly. Things change, updates shift preferences and every now and again a new one drops and shuffles the board.

That's likely what Vine founder Dom Hoffman was hoping to do with Peach, the latest addition to the messenger app pantheon. The key difference? This messaging app doesn't actually let you message people. Peach kind of behaves like the bastard child of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr, as it's primarily built around sharing updates. The options for what you can share are pretty broad, from text posts to images to GIFs to location shares to drawings to how far you've walked so far today. If you're stuck for ideas, the app can also ask you questions, and you can share the answer you give.

You can't message people directly, either privately or otherwise (although you can blow them kisses, which acts as a slightly less aggressive version of that 'poking' thing Facebook was doing back during the reign of the Ming dynasty). None of this is new, or unique, but it manages to combine all the silliness offered fractionally by other services and put it in one place.

What's really impressive about Peach is its interface. At a glance, it seems worryingly sparse, with the home screen only displaying a feed of yours and your friends' activity, the text bar at the bottom, and icons for photos (a camera) and questions (a lightbulb) just beneath that. All the other options for posting are found using an elegantly simple word recognition system. If you write 'GIF', the preset menu for them comes up, if you write 'Draw' the type screen becomes a canvas and if you write 'Song' you get the option to share whatever you might be listening to.

Clearly it's striking a chord with a lot of people. When the app went live last Friday, the massive influx of activity actually caused it to crash. Whether or not this popularity surge will actually last is another matter, but evidently something about the way the app is designed turned a lot of heads. For my part, it's still nowhere near on the same level as Snapchat, but it's nice to see an app of this kind that, at least for the moment, makes camp on the silly side of the social media sharing map, rather than trying to straddle between that and news sharing, or claiming to be the only way to keep in touch with your long lost school friends. Provided you've got at least a few familiar faces to use it with, it's certainly worth checking out.

Overall, we give Peach a Songbird rating of 3/5 stars!






Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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App Review - Peach Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 Rating: 5

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