Twitter, two months after launching its live video streaming app Periscope on iOS, has finally brought the app to the Android platform. The app is similar to its iOS counterpart but comes with minor Android-specific changes. With the move, the company also catches up with rival live-broadcast app, Meerkat.
The major difference between the iOS and Android versions of Periscope is the broadcasting method. While iOS users broadcast a video using the central tab, the Android users can do the same using a floating button at the bottom right, which also goes in line with the Google's Material Design mantra.
The app also includes some Android-specific features. Android users would have more control over the Periscope as they can now control push notifications whenever a followed user broadcasts for the first time, shares a broadcast, or when a user follows them. However, these notification controls will affect all followers, and cannot be tuned for individual followers. Also, the app lets users return to a broadcast via a banner in the notification drawer in case they wander away to another app in between. Periscope also notes that on the Android version, replays are saved without requiring the broadcaster to upload a file - helping save time time and mobile data.
Speaking of the Android launch and the reasons for the delay, the Periscope team said on a blog post, "As a small startup, our initial launch was limited to just iOS, but we've been working really hard to craft an experience that feels special on Android, yet still unmistakably Periscope." Interestingly, this statement was made despite the clout of the Twitter behind the firm, which acquired the startup back in January. Periscope earlier in May also made it possible to sign-up without a Twitter account, allowing users to utilise their phone numbers instead.
Periscope, available to download from Google Play, weighs 8.1MB and is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and later versions. It is worth noting that Periscope's rival app, Meerkat, which also debuted on iOS first, reached Android on April 15, more than a month before. The app earlier this month left its public beta version on Android and was updated to version 1.0.
Twitter launched the Periscope live video streaming app taking on Meerkat. The almost overnight rise of Meerkat led to Twitter users flooding the social network with live video broadcasts. Twitter however along with the launch of Periscope blocked Meerkat's access to its social graph, making it difficult for users to find and notify their followers. The move is thought to have given Periscope a chance to grow its network of users rapidly. Meerkat bypassed the issue with addresss book integration, and at the same time, also introduced what may be the most important differentiator - the ability for users to post live and upcoming streams onto their Facebook Pages. This is coupled with the ability to sign in with Facebook Connect to view Meerkat live streams.