A new chat app – Squawk – exploded onto the scene earlier this week. The app is currently only for iOS, and is already getting lots of buzz for its ability to make pictures wild. Combining instant messaging with pictures isn’t new, thanks to apps such as Snapchat. However, Squawk targets a younger audience with the ability to attach memes, drawings, filters, animations, and emoji to any message. Whether you’ve stumbled upon the app or are a curious poser, we’ll show you how to get the best out of Squawk.
Setting up friends
Squawk doesn’t connect via any other services, so you’ll need to create a new account. There is the option to auto-populate your friends list via your phone number. If you already know people using Squawk this is a great option. Enter your phone number and Squawk will send you an SMS text message. Enter the PIN number you receive in the text. If any of your friends from your address book use Squawk, a request will be sent to them.
Maybe you don’t want to wait around for your friends to confirm or you don’t know who uses Squawk. Hit the “friends” button in the lower left to enter the friends menu. Here you can search for new friends, invite friends via email and SMS, and even start up group chats. You can also see friends of friends (or friends of strangers if you go down the rabbit hole) and send them friend requests. When a friend confirms your request or adds you, the friends button the front page will have a large red star next to it.
Chatting and images
When you’re ready to interact and chat, hit the middle “squawk” button the main menu. This will bring up a list of friends that you can start chats with. You can write simple messages that don’t seem to have character limit (or the limit is high enough that we have yet to reach it).
The real fun of Squawk is adding images, stickers, and other funny features. First hit the “plus” icon on the lower left to show a menu with the options: “Selfie”, “Choose Photo”, “Voice”, and “Stickers”. Start by selecting a picture. Selfie will allow you to take a picture of yourself using your forward camera, while choosing a photo will let you pick one from your camera roll.
After you select a picture, you have four options to spice it up: “Effects”, “Stickers”, “Meme”, and “Drawing”. Effects are filters that will adjust the overall look of your picture, giving an appearance similar to Instagram pictures. Stickers will let you select from props such as hats, ties, and pipes. Simply drag and drop them on to your picture to place them where you want. You can also pinch to rotate and scale the size of the stickers.
The meme option will allow you to place text on the top and bottom on the image, though you have no control of font size or color. Note that there isa character limit for your top and bottom memes, so your text can get cut off if it’s too long. Last, the drawing tool will allow you to paint over your image. You can select both the brush size at the top and the color in the bottom, and can even zoom in for more precise drawing.
Going back to the other chat options, you can also add emoji stickers (not to be confused with the stickers in the photo section) and record voice. The emojis are separated by characters, including the mascots Squawk and Cuber. You can also select “Surprise” to get a random emoji, though you can cancel out if you don’t like what it picks. For voice recording hold the record button to start. You only have one take and if you don’t like how it turns out, you’ll have to delete and restart.
A fun little chat
That’s about all the features of Squawk. While it isn’t a very complex chat app, it is very fun to turn pictures of yourself and friends into hilarious memes. The app hasn’t been out for very long and there currently isn’t an Android version, but we look forward to what cool and amusing features are added later.
Download Squawk Messenger for iOS here.