Snapchat Alpha is fast and smooth: here's how to get it

The heat that Facebook and Twitter are getting over various issues have put social networks under a microscope. It is also giving their rivals a chance to spin the narrative in their favor. Snapchat, who also recently received a lot of flak for its hugely unpopular UI redesign, is one that definitely needs such a positive spin. And this fledgling Snapchat Alpha hidden deep in the Android app could be the image, not to mention performance, boost it sorely needs.

If you consider how much the likes of Facebook tries to copy Snapchat features, you'd think Snapchat is the social network to beat. In fact, there are numbers that suggest that Snapchat is where the hip kids still go. It almost lost that prestige, however, when it rolled out a redesign that incited an angry mob of Snapchatters.

This, however, is a different kind of redesign, one that was promised almost a year ago and one that is actually much desired, especially by Android users. CEO Evan Spiegel promised to rebuild the Android app from scratch to address the biggest performance complaints. That version, codenamed Snapchat Alpha, is apparently already hidden inside the beta version of the original app in very early form. And even this early, it already looks promising.

Since Alpha is already embedded in the Snapchat app, it's technically possible to enable it. The one big catch is that it requires root access and all that it entails in terms of security and clearing your user data. Even after getting rooted, installing the latest Snapchat version (if you don't have it yet) and then enabling the feature is a pretty involved process. Fortunately, XDA does have a handy guide both in text form and in a video version below.

At this point, all but the most zealous Snapchat fan on Android will probably undertake the process. There's still a lot of work to be done but this hopefully gives users a sign that Snapchat hasn't forgotten its Android users entirely.