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One of the most addictive apps of the year just got better



Rooms, a free iOS app that lets users create and swipe through interactive 3D rooms, has done some remodeling.

“The first version of Rooms was proof of concept,” says Jason Toff, founder of Rooms. ”It was like, ‘What will happen if we give people these easy 3D creation tools?” The new version, out today, moves Rooms from a proof of concept to a full-fledged platform.

Some rooms feature mazes and puzzles, but others aren’t as complex. Part of the fun is clicking around to see what parts of the room are interactive, like making a virtual cat meow, or knocking on a door that someone answers.

The updated Rooms 2.0 has a navigation bar and an explore page that improves on the app’s search function, and it’s been redesigned for discovery. “Previously you could do some basic search,” Toff says. “Even calling it ‘search’ was a bit of a stretch, to be honest. It was more like auto-complete.”

Rather than just a vertical scroll to discover rooms, a new “honeycomb” view gives users a more dynamic way to scroll and find a room they want to drop into. And an algorithmic feed makes it easier to find rooms by category, including games, miniature, fantasy, tribute, or nature.

[Image: Things, Inc.]

Underpinning these improvements is a faster-render speed, which the company says are in some cases up to 20 times faster. People using Rooms on older devices often would find that the app required too much compute to work efficiently. “We’d get reports, like, ‘I love your app, but like my phone melts,‘’ Toff says.

Since Rooms launched last year, a quarter-of-a-million users have made rooms, Toff says. One in eight users spends more than two hours editing their spaces.



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