Although it doesn’t seem quite ready for download yet, multiple US sites are reporting that Periscope – the Twitter-owned live streaming app that launched against Meerkat earlier this year on iOS devices – is finally ready to go.
It’s been two months since the app launched on iOS, and in that time the call for the app to make the leap to Android has been growing louder and louder. In its delivered form, the app is said to support KitKat (Android 4.4) devices and above, which helps the developers to take advantage of video APIs provided in the platform.
Periscope allows you to broadcast a live stream of whatever you’re doing. The stream can be private (user-to-selected-users), or you can make it public (share the link on Twitter, for example). Viewers can send comments to broadcasters, along with “hearts” to indicate appreciation (or anything else that a heart might signify).
A less meek Meerkat
At a high level, Periscope is fairly similar to Meerkat – another live-streaming app that made the jump from iOS to Android and made it to general release just a couple of weeks ago. Twitter famously revoked Meerkat’s access to its social graph, meaning Meerkat users can’t follow their friends from Twitter easily. Periscope of course has no such trouble.
Despite a surge in use earlier in the year, much of the excitement around Meerkat has been subdued by Periscope’s release. It’s a slicker app, and offers users the ability to save the video after a broadcast finishes – so you could live stream an event and then upload it to YouTube (for example).
Despite this, Meerkat is still seeing a fairly healthy amount of usage. It’ll be interesting to see where the users go now that Periscope is available on both platforms (and don’t forget YouTube live streaming of course, too!).
Users sign in with a Twitter account (thus transferring their Twitter identify over to Periscope, and ensuring Periscope can send out tweets on the correct account when your stream goes live), and Periscope can find friends from Twitter who are also using the service.
The main interface for the app is divided into three tabs – a list of events that are currently live (or recently concluded and available for replay) from people you follow, a more global list of live events (think of Twitter’s “Explore”) function, and a friends list. There’s some Material Design at work in the Android UI as well, with Floating Action Buttons for search and starting a broadcast.
Curiously, while a lot of US sites are reporting the release simultaneously, nobody’s linked back to the Play store yet and Periscope’s site hasn’t yet updated with any mention of the Android version of the app. It’s possible everyone’s worked under embargo with similar screenshots, and the app hasn’t actually made it out yet. We’ll update with a download link it’s available.
Update: It’s live now in Google Play.
Also missing? Some kind of tie-in with HTC’s RE Camera. Come on guys, you need to make the periscope-shaped camera work with Periscope!
We’ll be looking to try out Periscope as soon as we can. Look out for exciting live streams like “What’s Jason reading on the train?” and “Where is Chris riding to today?”. Oh, and hopefully we’ll be able to get Dan to Periscope his Google I/O registration experience on Friday morning!
Will you be live-streaming your day tomorrow? What will your first Periscope broadcast be? Tell us in the comments!