If you’re over Snapchat because of the countless redesigns and re-redesigns but Instagram’s filters don’t tickle your fancy, there’s a Korean app called Snow that takes all of the beloved features and combines them into a super cute camera app. Snow has been around for a while, but the latest update gives it even more features, including its own take on Apple’s adorable Animoji, real-time beauty effects, and a new mirror mode.
The new AR emoji feature lets you overlay your face with animated characters, including a puppy dog and an old man. Once selected, the camera detects your face, masks it with the sticker, and mimics your expressions. The major difference between this and Animoji is that you can still (kind of) see your body. While the feature is cool, it doesn’t work quite as well or as smoothly as the iPhone X’s Animoji. When I blinked, the app registered that as me winking instead, and there was a lag between when I opened my mouth and when the app followed the motion. The other qualm I had was that the overlay is huge compared to the size of my actual head.
I also used a cartoon pig over my face, but the movements were again muted and laggy. I have an iPhone 6 Plus (an ancient phone, in other words), which doesn’t have Animoji, so this app is nifty. It’s also available on Android, so even more people can try it out.
From the camera screen, you also have options to toggle through several beauty filters and countless downloadable AR effects that do everything from adding bunny ears to sparkle effects (like the popular KiraKira app) to overlaying your photos with moving macarons. There are a lot of options to choose from, and that forms the strength of the app — it allows you to be creative, but it still maintains its cute aesthetic.
There are plenty of filters to apply to your photos, both in real time and in post-processing.
There’s also a music video option and Boomerang, like the Instagram version, which creates short, looping videos. Snow is a cool alternative if you want something a little different, and the large variety of filters and AR effects means you won’t get too bored when jazzing up your photos. The app has added plenty of new features over the past few years, and it’s well worth revisiting if you haven’t used it in a while. Snow is available now on iOS and Android.