Latest Tech: Snapchat Replaces Camera Icon on Homescreen With Scan Shortcut to Enhance AR Experiences
Snapchat has brought its next-generation Scan to the homescreen to let people easily access augmented reality (AR) based utility to identify dogs, food, and plants and can use their camera to solve math equations. The Scan feature last received an update in 2019 to let users experience its AR advancements. Snapchat parent Snap also partnered with companies including Shazam and Photomath to bring new scanning capabilities to the built-in feature. Snap has revealed that it is bringing the Scan button to the homescreen during the Snap Partner Summit in May this year.
On Thursday, Snap announced that the Scan feature on the homescreen would begin rolling out globally to all iOS users. It will also be available to all Android users over the next few weeks, the company said in a press statement.
You may need to download the latest Snapchat app on your phone to experience the changes. Once you get the update, you’ll notice that the existing Snapchat Camera icon will be replaced with the Scan feature to let you quickly access AR-based filters and lenses to discover and understand your surroundings. It will sit at the front and centre of the social multimedia app — alongside the existing Snap Map, Chat, Stories, and Spotlight icons.
By replacing the original Snapchat Camera icon with Scan, Snap will offer suggestions including Camera Shortcuts and new shopping capabilities to users directly from the home screen of the Snapchat app. Users were earlier required to open Lenses and then hit the Scan button to access the same set of AR capabilities.
The original Camera icon will, however, still appear when you move from the homescreen to elements including Snap Map, Chat, Stories, and Spotlight.
In 2019, Snap announced its partnerships with Shazam and Photomath to make Scan useful for Snapchat users around the world. Those tie-ups enabled Snapchat to let users look for the song that’s playing back through Shazam using the Scan feature or solve math equations by scanning notes using Photomath.
In addition to scanning music and solving math equations, Snapchat’s Scan comes with a dog scanner to let users identify over 400 breeds of dogs. There is also a dedicated plant scanner option that is claimed to help discover and learn about 90 percent of all known plants and trees. Further, the feature is capable of discovering the make, model, price, and reviews of nearly 450 cars and scan up to a million food products to get nutrition ratings on the basis of their ingredient quality.
You just need to point the camera of your phone after switching the Scan feature on Snapchat to do all of these discoveries. It is a significant upgrade over the original scanning functionality that is meant to let you scan QR codes (known as Snapcodes) of other users on the app.
“Snap will be continually adding new categories of intelligence to Scan, and over the next few months, people will see the Snap camera increasingly get smarter by adding more capabilities and a handful of new partner experiences,” the company said in the statement.
Alongside making the Scan feature useful for mobile users, Snap mentioned that it was in plans to bring new and helpful experiences through its next-generation AR glasses Spectacles.