Periscope finally up for Android users

The live streaming app Periscope, the one that stole a Meerkat’s thunder, has finally made it’s way to Android after 2 months of an iOS-only existence.

After Twitter debuted it’s shiny new Periscope app acquisition on March 26th, there was instant hype about it revolutionising this and that and bringing live streaming to the masses. Though just as quickly as it garnered column inches it drew criticism from the most most obvious of questions for millions of potential users – “What about Android?”. Well, that question has now been answered (exactly 2 months later). It’s now available on the Google Play store.

So what is it?

If you don’t know by now I’d be surprised but it’s an app. In the words of the company’s own Alex – “Periscope is the easiest way to broadcast live video from your phone, enabling you to share what’s happening around you — with the whole world or just a few friends — as it happens.” Think of it as a good old fashioned webcam, but on your phone.

Why the wait?

Well, this is most likely the same reason that so many apps appear on Apple’s platform first – Developers.

In a nutshell, and for many probably painfully technical reasons, it’s easier and cleaner to code apps for iOS. There’s less of a legacy, no reams of different versions of the operating system to worry about for compatibility. Usage of the Android OS is incredibly fragmented between the old versions and the latest updates. Not to mention a small universe of different handsets with different screen sizes, OS skins and capabilities. With Apple, you have the iPhone to build for and that’s it.

How do I get it?

If you’re on iOS or Android just download the app from your app store, sign or log in with a Twitter account and away you go.

You’ll find the iOS version here and the shiny new Android version here.

What do I stream?

Well, that’s entirely up to you. You can just lurk and watch what other people are broadcasting, either through your friends list or by browsing the global list of streams happening right now.

If you feel like broadcasting yourself, just tap the button and go. Though bear in mind you will be live to the world, they’ll see whatever you do and there’s a reasonable chance they’ll ask to see what’s in your fridge. That or they’ll make inappropriate suggestions, such is the internet. If you’re broadcasting, other users can leave you comments that will pop up on your screen for you to respond to if you wish and they can also tap some fluttering hearts to show how much they love you, these love hearts are Periscope’s social currency beyond follower numbers. Think of them as the equivalent of a Like.

That’s it!

Whether or not Periscope will become a revolutionary platform remains to be seen, as does its value for the casual everyday user who spends most of their time at their desk followed by their sofa. They might not broadcast but they can certainly consume if given a compelling reason to do so.

Real-time streams of events or breaking news stories from the scene could prove powerful. Just don’t live broadcast any big boxing matches or Game Of Thrones episodes, the lawyers are waiting…

Happy streaming!

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