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ChitChat: Snapchat For Your Vocal Cords

The Brand New App With The Age Old Concept

It seems like an idea as old as time: messages you can send to your contacts which self-destruct after one viewing. And since Snapchat was released way back in the black-and-white days of mid-2011, dozens of apps have tried to nab a slice or two of the pie.

Meet ChitChat: the newest app to attempt it. Released recently by Ideo, ChitChat allows users to send and receive voice recordings that disappear into ethereal nothingness after one use. An intriguing twist on the Snapchat formula, and one which certainly has the potential to become a mainstay on your smartphone – particularly as the app is completely free.

On first boot-up, ChitChat wastes no time in getting your number. With that, it combs through your contacts to automatically add anyone else who has the app. Once this initial process is complete, it works as you’d expect. Just flick through your mates and select the one you’d like to talk to. Hold their profile picture down to record, release to send. You can even dispatch your musings to multiple contacts at once, although this seems like a feature that won't be used too often.

Although Snapchat clones are nothing new, ChitChat seems like enough of a twist on the formula to thrive in its own right; instead of replacing Snapchat, ChitChat just wants to co-exist. This is because of the conversational nature of an audio recording making it far more personal than other apps of its ilk, meaning it’s more likely we’ll partake in one-on-one conversations than broadcast what we're thinking to our entire contacts list.

Instead of trying to muscle Snapchat off our home screens, the app serves as a replacement to your answerphone machine – and might even take on some of the responsibilities of the good old fashioned phone call.

If you lack the time for a long-winded talk - and a text seems too impersonal - ChitChat is a game-changer. It’s text messaging without the cold, emotionless writing; phone calls without the prerequisite for immediacy. At a time when dozens of applications are scrapping for your attention at once, the thought of having a conversation at your own pace seems glorious. Even better, ChitChat’s system does away with the data charges we’ve become accustomed to (assuming it's used with Wi-Fi, of course).

While the app is still very much in its infancy (it currently has just 25 ratings on Apple’s app store), the future looks promising. Currently boasting a rating of 5 stars, it doesn’t seem out of the question for ChitChat to one day become an essential download for anyone with a smartphone. At the time of writing, the app is only available for iPhone. This will soon be rectified though, as an Android version has been confirmed as in the works.

With any luck, development will go smoothly, and those of us with Android devices will be blessed with yet another fun tool to stay in contact with our friends.

Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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ChitChat: Snapchat For Your Vocal Cords Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Rating: 5
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