The worst thing about Spectacles is how closely tied they are to Snapchat. The proprietary circular photo and video format looks great inside Snapchat where you can tip your phone around but always stay full screen, but gets reduced to small circle with a big white border when you export it to your phone for sharing elsewhere.
Luckily, Snapchat has started beta testing new export formats for Spectacles through the Android beta version of its app. This lets you choose a black border instead of a white one, but importantly, also a horizontal 16:9 rectangular format that would fit well on YouTube and other traditional video players. The test was first spotted by Eric Johnson, and when asked, a Snapchat spokesperson told TechCrunch “I can confirm we’re testing it, yes.”
Making Spectacles more compatible with other services could make the v2 of its $150 photo and video-recording sunglasses much more convenient and popular. I actually ran into the Snapchat Spectacles team this weekend at the FORM Arcosanti music festival in Arizona where they were testing out the new Specs and looking for ideas for their next camera. I suggested open sourcing the circular format so other app could show it natively with the swivel effect, but now it looks like they’re approaching compatability by just letting you ditch the proprietary format.