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Periscope arrives on Android


Video streaming battle starts in earnest as Periscope finally unleashes its Android app

Twitter’s video streaming service, Periscope, has finally arrived in the Android app store. Periscope lagged behind chief rival Meerkat with the launch of its Android app, having released its iOS app back in March. Now, with both apps on the two leading mobile platforms, it’s time to find out which is going to prove most popular users. 

The Periscope team say they took their time over the Android app because “we’ve been working really hard to craft an experience that feels special on Android, yet still unmistakably Periscope”. In truth, there’s very little difference between the company’s iOS and Android offerings. The Android app adopts elements of Android’s Material design, most notably the placement of a big, red recording button throughout the app instead of on a tab at the bottom, but otherwise it’s unremarkably similar stuff. 

Android users also get greater control over notifications, allowing them to choose which type of events they would like to be alerted to, such as when a Twitter contact records their first video. The app also has a resume button, allowing you to pick up where you left off if a stream is interrupted by a phone call or a connection drop out. 

The big challenge for Periscope over the next few days will be handling demand from the influx of Android users, which is by far and away the world’s most used mobile OS. The Periscope app is only compatible with devices running Android 4.4 (KitKat) and above, however, which will rule out many handsets that are more than a couple of years old. 

Periscope’s arrival on Android means it’s finally a straight fight to see which of the two leading video streaming apps will achieve dominance. Given that both apps rely on notifying users of live streams via social media, Periscope has the undeniable advantage of being owned and heavily promoted by Twitter. 

Social media tracking service, Keyhole, suggests Periscope already has a massive lead over Meerkat. Both services automatically add a #periscope or #meerkat hashtag when their users post video streams. Keyhole claims periscope has reached 17 million users in the past 24 hours, whilst Meerkat has reached only 6 million. 

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