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Business News/ News / Business Of Life/  Live-stream your view
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Live-stream your view

Want your followers and friends to see what you are seeing? Here are some apps for your smartphone

Illustration by Yatish Asthana/MintPremium
Illustration by Yatish Asthana/Mint


At a music event and want to show friends who couldn’t attend what’s happening on stage? Or travelling to a new place and want to share the sights with your spouse? Or just want to capture different experiences live as you talk to friends?

Whatever your need, new apps make it easy to stream live with smartphones. A few higher-end models of Sony, HTC and Samsung even let you stream directly from their camera app to YouTube Live (1080p quality at 60 frames per second). Others can download apps that let you live-stream just about anything—what you see in your phone or what you see from your phone. Get online, then, and show the world what you’re up to.

PERISCOPE; free on iTunes and Google Play

Can’t get enough of Twitter? Then download Periscope, the Twitter app which can feed live video to your followers. You can broadcast immediately, in real time. As soon as you go live, Periscope creates an auto-tweet for your followers on the broadcast so they can join, comment and send you hearts while the video is running. Once the broadcast ends, it’s available for replay to your viewers. The best part of the app is that it doesn’t require your phone number to register and lets you broadcast to specific people using its Private option. It makes discovering easy too, with a map-based search for streams and suggestions tuned to your taste. The app comes in 32 languages in Android, 29 on iOS and 37 on the Web.

UNICORNS; free for Mac and iOS

Now here’s a unique experiment that is meant for a niche segment. Would you want complete strangers to watch what you’re doing on your phone, in real time? Unicorns lets you do just that. Play a game, text, swipe through Tinder, and all the while, all your mundane, tiny moments are being seen by strangers, unfiltered, raw and unedited. Launched in May, Unicorns broadcasts your phone screen and lets you connect to others, friends or random strangers, and chat. It was started as a hack by Swedish start-up Lookback. Once you connect your Mac (you will require the desktop for this) to your iPhone and click stream, you get a unique URL which you can share either publicly or privately. Viewers visiting the URL can watch live while chatting with text and emojis. The only drawback is that so far, users can watch only on the Mac, not on their phones.

YOUTUBE GAMING; free on iTunes and Google Play

In August, YouTube released a dedicated app for gamers who want to live-stream their play and earn off it as well, and viewers who are addicted to other people’s gameplays. YouTube has collated a whopping 25,000 game pages and channels that connect with each other.

As a viewer, you get personalized gaming recommendations based on the games, live-streams of other gamers, as well as their older gameplays. As a gamer, you get a dedicated page for every game as well as gamer channels, reviews, even notifications of the latest updates of your favourite game or a gaming event.

INSTALIVELY; free on Google Play. The iOS app will release soon

Want to live-stream but don’t have high-speed Internet? Or want to put a vintage filter on your live-stream?

Developed by two Indians, InstaLively is a live-stream app which lets you do both. A single swipe lets you start a stream and share it instantly over Facebook or Twitter, as a link on WhatsApp, or via SMS and email. Since it uploads on YouTube, the videos you record can be replayed on your YouTube channel and monetized by you as well.

It was launched in May, and the app creators are already working on new features. “We want users to be able to write or draw on live-streams, which is what’s next," says New Delhi-based Prakhar Khanduja, co-founder, InstaLively.

YAHOO! LIVETEXT; free on iTunes and Google Play

Want to try out live-stream in a chat? Yahoo!’s Livetext app lets you chat with others through live video texts. Soundless videos, that is. You type as you chat, streaming your expressions. Launched in August in India, with lower bandwidth settings, the app aims at aiding texting with videos. Soundless videos let you chat unobtrusively and stream even if you are in a noisy place. “Whether you are sitting as a passenger in rush-hour traffic, a local train, or at the bus stop, you can connect and have a spontaneous, real-life conversation without disturbing others," says Arjun Sethi, senior director, product management, Yahoo! India. Livetext works on 3G and above; the experience is better on 4G.

STRE.AM; free on iTunes and Google Play

Worried about trolls on a public live-stream? You can actively block or mute people bothering you using The app lets you create and watch live video on the phone, find friends, get notified when they go live, and share your streams with friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. You can even save the video on your device while you’re streaming it. It gives you the ability to stitch together all the short videos you’ve captured in the last 36 hours and keep them offline. If you have an iOS device, you can also control your streams with your Apple Watch. Forthcoming features include stronger privacy controls and video encoding to enable 720p and HD broadcasts. The app was launched in July 2014.

BROADCAST ME; $0.99 (around 65) on iTunes, and free on Google Play

Want to broadcast directly on your Facebook page or your website? Then download Broadcast Me, an app created by Agilio, a Transylvanian team that specializes in video streaming.

“The app offers innovative features like Adaptive Bit-Rate, which adapts the image quality and other settings so that the delay in streaming is as low as possible," says Vlad Mircea Neste, managing partner, Agilio. You can also apply filters and special effects like the fish eye and stream it in HTML5, so it can be embedded anywhere on the Web.

MIRRATIV; free on Google Play. The iOS app will release soon

Meant for sharers, Mirrativ lets you stream any content that’s on your smartphone screen with a shot of you in whatever you’re streaming so that viewers can see what you’re doing. You get comments, you chat, you interact with the audience through text and stickers. The possibilities are endless. The game you’re playing, the app you’re using, what you’re shopping, anything. You can stream easily and freely and share your gaming screen with friends, all the while talking to them. You can also do a private broadcast or make it public, follow your favourite people and get notifications.

MEERKAT; free on iTunes and Google Play

Want to live-stream over Twitter or Facebook? Head to Meerkat. The app lets you stream live video instantly to your followers. They get notifications in your stream, get to watch what you’re seeing live, comment, interact and retweet it to their followers. All you need to do is press Stream and you’re on. Last updated in September, the app has seen more than 100,000 downloads.

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Published: 17 Nov 2015, 08:03 PM IST
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