After months being completely missing from the biggest smartphone platform there is, Twitter is ready to release a version of its Periscope app and service for Android users. Twitter acquired and launched the live video streaming app earlier this year exclusively for iPhone users, saying in early April that an Android version was in development. Hopefully making up for the lost time, Twitter has included a few features in Periscope for Android that you won’t yet find on iOS.
Engadget says that the Android version of the live video streaming app including more granular controls for notifications — something iOS users requested at the height of Periscope’s popularity. Android users will also enjoy a button for returning to a broadcast from other apps if you need to respond to an alert like a phone call outside of Periscope during a stream. This works without missing a beat as the stream will start back where it left off.
Periscope’s biggest competitor Meerkat, which launched ahead of Twitter’s version on iOS earlier this year before largely losing attention to Twitter’s own version, managed to also ship an Android version of its live video streaming app first. Meerkat on Android first appeared as an invite-based beta, then an open beta before being available to all Android users a few weeks ago.
Both services rely in part on connecting to Twitter, though, and since Periscope is owned by the social network, it enjoys tighter integration where Meerkat has had to battle restrictions to Twitter’s platform.
In my own personal use, Meerkat has all but disappeared while Periscope has moved past the honeymoon phase of novelty. The live broadcasting service’s expansion to Android, though, should supply another bump in activity as so many more people will now have access to the app.
Periscope for Android will be available on KitKat 4.4 and above with Material Design elements that fit in with Android 5.0 Lollipop. The app should be available on the Play Store later today.
Update: Link is live now!
Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Going live will instantly notify your followers, who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen.
Other features: • REPLAY: When your broadcast is over, you can make it available for replay so viewers can watch later. Viewers can replay your broadcast with comments and hearts to relive the full experience. Replays currently last 24 hours. You can delete your replay at any time. • PRIVATE: If you want to broadcast to specific people, press the lock icon before going live and choose who you want to invite to your broadcast. • TWITTER: You can choose to share your Periscope broadcasts on Twitter by tapping the bird icon before you start broadcasting. When you go live, you’ll tweet a link so that your Twitter followers can watch on the web (or in the app) • MANAGE NOTIFICATIONS: Periscope will suggest people for you to follow based on your Twitter network. You can always follow new people, or unfollow them if you don’t want to be notified when they go live. You can also adjust notification preferences in Periscope Settings (in Profile) • HEARTS: Periscope keeps track of how many hearts you get from your viewers. The more hearts, the higher you get in the “Most Loved” list.