Zlango Messaging Review: Emoticons Taken to Extremes
Zlango Messaging is an application aimed squarely at teenagers, as it adds a plethora of custom icons to help make text messages "less dull."
Unlike WhatsApp Messenger, Zlango uses regular text messages and positions itself as a replacement for the stock Android Messaging app. When you text a contact who does not use Zlango, common emoticons (such as the smiley face) appear as emoticons, while more-elaborate symbols (like those for “restaurant” or “give”) show up as plain text with a link to download the Zlango app.
Zlango has icons not only for "restaurant" and “give,” but also for "genius," "new," and "today"--among many others. If you get tired of seeing the same old icons day after day, you’ll be happy to hear that the app comes with more than a thousand different icons across multiple themes. Inserting emoticons into text is simple: Compose your message using words, and when Zlango spots a word it has an icon for, it offers to insert that image. Some words have more than one icon, so you can pick the right one for the nuance you're looking to convey.
Zlango’s ZlangOut feature lets you compose Zlango-styled messages and share them via Android’s built-in sharing functionality. When I emailed myself a Zlango message, it appeared as a JPEG attachment in my inbox.
The app comes with 12 themes (or "Skinz," as Zlango calls them) that you can swap out at will. Unlike other applications that support themes (Go Launcher EX, ADW Launcher, and the like), Zlango has its themes built in, so they don't require an additional download. To select a theme, you simply tap the one you want, and it applies instantly.
Personally, I don’t see the appeal in using emoticons in text messages, but then again I am most likely not part of this app’s target audience. Regardless, Zlango feels thoughtfully built and responsive, but it may not be for everyone.
Note: We tested this application using a Samsung Galaxy S II running Android 2.3.7.
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