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Facebook Messenger’s Genius Inputs

Ah, Facebook! You’ve been at the center of so much controversy about privacy, callousness towards users and crappy advertising strategies. But if there’s one thing you do well, it’s the ability to slip in some gems of code into your apps and platforms. The latest one, I discovered recently, is the variety and innovation of inputs in your iOS Messenger app. Chatting is something that comes naturally to people. The quick and painless flow of information (hey, gossip is information) is vital to relationships and of late, we’ve been doing a lot of that on mobile phones. iOS, in it’s standardizing tone, has set up the following method of sending information to others – fire up an app, type something you want to send and hit Enter. If you want to send a photo, press a dedicated button to select a few images or take one and send it. If you want to send emoji, press a dedicated button, select the emoji and it’ll be added to your text input. All of this is fine, except the photo sharing part. Recently, I was looking at how redundant that is. The entire process of selecting photos to send (and many apps only allow one photo at a time) and the process of using a single Camera UI to decide if you want to upload old pics or take a new one, is restrictive and kludgy. In comes Facebook Messenger, with the following UI –

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  Notice how there’s a dedicated button for the Camera and a dedicated button for Image selection? When you click the camera button, it loads up fast, it takes only half the screen and lets you still keep a check on the chat while posing for a selfie. The camera starts in front-cam mode, which is fine for narcissists and really good for Facebook, because they get more images of your face. A small button takes you to the back camera –

Back it up...

  Taking a photo and sending it is one step away. You press send and a photo gets taken and uploaded in a jiffy. The app assumes you’re posing just fine but does it really matter? If you’ve taken the pains to open the messenger app, you’re talking to someone you trust/care for and sending an impromptu photo is absolutely fine. Now, you must be thinking, “So what? Why is he going gaga over such a small feature?” It’s because small features like this are what bring big change. This is an innovative approach to sending photos to friends. Instead of clicking a pic, checking it out, selecting it for upload, approving the upload and finally sending it, as is the norm in iOS right now, this app takes a photo and uploads it. It’s that simple. I’ve been using it to send photos to my friends when I’m in the market or some place I’d like to show to them and this rapid fire photo upload feature is really working out for me. I hope it does for you too and I hope more app developers look towards this and think, “Huh, neat!”