Photo messaging apps are at the forefront of the current social network revolution. The ability to quickly send pictures to friends and social networks, usually for free, is a critical ability all phones and devices must have. There are thousands of apps also competing to be the one app you use to share photos among family and friends, all offering diverse features, and all built around the idea of making it as easy as possible to send and receive images.
Swapatask does things a bit differently, as its core idea is to make receiving and viewing images more difficult. Now, this may sound like a strange idea, but the app is here to introduce a bit of fun to the mundane world of photo sharing, and it performs this task very well.
When you first start the app up, there is a short ‘how to’ tutorial, then you must create an account using your mobile phone number, much like you have to do in WhatsApp. Once this is done, you are into the main app, which allows you to view your inbox with any messages received, both complete and incomplete, an information/settings screen and your outbox. To start a photo task for someone to complete, you simply snap a new picture or choose one from your photo gallery, set the timer for how long they get to finish the task to unlock the picture, and the difficulty of the task.
When they receive the image, they must complete a sliding puzzle, set at the difficulty level you requested and within the time you specified. Once they have completed this, they then have complete access to the photo. In real use, it turns out to be a pretty fun way of doing things, the little puzzle adds an intriguing element to proceedings, and I can see a lot of people findings interesting uses for this functionality.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
Swapatask is an easy, fun and entertaining photo messaging task application. Using the app, users can take photos, add messages and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs are converted into “Tasks”. In order for your friend to see the photo and message they must solve the task. Swapatask puts the FUN back into photo sharing.
The app does what it is supposed to do, but there are some areas where it could improve. I am not convinced that having the ‘invite friends’ option hidden away in the info screen is ideal – this is a crucial part of the app and it really needs to be front and centre, and should also be integrated into the ‘choose contact’ screen when you are sending a photo. I would also like more options for adding friends, with proper Facebook integration an essential future ingredient. As it stands, the app works well for inviting one or two other people, but any more is too much of a chore.
The second thing that I feel the app needs is more variety to the games and puzzles needed to unlock each picture. With these few things fixed, Swapatask would see its score rise significantly, even though the score below is pretty solid.
Overall, this is a very clever little photo app/puzzle game combination that works well and provides some additional fun to photo sharing. With a few design tweaks and extra puzzles, this could be excellent.