A few weeks back, mobile video streaming wizard Qik announced an alpha version of its software for Android devices. The app allows you to capture live video images and stream them on the Qik website, as well as recording and sharing clips via Twitter and Facebook.
I’m embarrassed that I only got around to testing Qik today because, while it’s still obviously not quite a ‘final’ product yet, this is exactly the sort of application that reminds me just how fun mobile software can be.
Once you’ve installed the app and set up a Qik account, you’re ready to go. Qik uses your normal camera view with a handful of overlays and buttons for controlling streaming and recording. There are two key controls: Online/Offline (indicating whether you’re simply recording a clip or recording and streaming live at the same time) and the main stop/start button for controlling recording. There are additional options for sharing, location, title and making your videos public or private.
While streaming live to the Qik website, we noticed an obvious lag (confirmed by the lag monitor displayed on screen). This seemed to get worse as the battery on my HTC Magic (MyTouch 3G) – and believe me, the battery ran down pretty quickly. I haven’t had time to do a test from full charge to nothing but I suspect you’d find it difficult to stream for much more than 20 minutes continuously without connecting a charger. Which is actually not too bad at all, when you think about it.
Another tiny gripe is the lack of a microphone volume control, making it apparently impossible to stream silently. Maybe this option will be included in the future.
S60 and Windows Mobile users have had a while to get used to the marvelous opportunities offered by Qik’s live streaming video service and I’ve no doubt that Android device owners will soon join them by embracing this cool, fun piece of software.Get Qik from the Android Market, or by signing up and receiving an SMS with a download link. Version tested: v0.0.7