Testing Qik for Android

Testing Qik for Android
For those of you who don´t know about Qik

This is an app that allows you to broadcast live video footage using your cell phone. Live stream gets directly published onto your Qik account and can be later shared on facebook, twitter, YouTube, Blogger, Wordpress, livestream, 12seconds, seesmic and tumblr. The app is compatible with variety of cell phones, running Symbian, Windows Mobile, JAVA and as of recently, Android. You can find a list of all supported devices here. The necessary source code to place the Live channel on your own website (showing live stream or the last captured video) can be obtained from your personal account, plus you are permitted to hide, delete or share videos with the other services we mentioned above.

Qik allows to broadacast video streams live
Qik allows to broadacast video streams live


Qik + Android

The Android version of the app is an early alpha and can be downloaded completely free of charge from Android Market. To make good use of all its functions, you need to run it on v1.5 of the operating system, because otherwise you won´t be able to capture videos. In our tests we used the T-Mobile G1 and Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet. Developers of the app explicitly warn that you better get an unlimited data plan if  Wi-Fi is not available, because sharing video content on the Internet entails multi-megabyte traffic.

Qik features an extremely simplified interface
Qik features an extremely simplified interface
Qik features an extremely simplified interface
Qik features an extremely simplified interface


Sharing with users, groups and networks
The first time you start the application, you will be prompted to either create a new account (this took us about 30 seconds) or log into your existing one if you are already registered with the service. The app features an extremely simplified interface that allows you to enter video title, description and sharing location, with the latter option being available when you have finished shooting. You have access to facebook, YouTube and twitter directly from you cell phone (you get a message that a new video clip has been posted and link to open it), but you will first need to set up the corresponding service accounts on the Qik webpage. Again directly from your handset, videos can be set as either private, i.e. only visible to you, or accessible by anyone. Going for the latter option means you can later log into your website account and share content with select users, groups of people on Qik, social networks and the services we mentioned at the beginning.

Do keep in mind that video is captured in landscape only and try not to twiddle the phone too much, so as not to make people who will watch it seasick. Videos are stored in .3gp and G1 allows shooting with CIF resolution (352x288 pixels). Qik also seems to decrease the number of frames per second based on your internet connection speed.

Quality and conclusion


Qik is really an extremely easy and pleasing app that allows people to broadcast live video streams and experience what it is to be a reporter by using just their own cell phones. During our tests we found out that the delay between the exact time of video capture and the precise moment content appeared online was less than 10 seconds and image quality was slightly worse than what we got with the camera directly on the phone. Basically, this means that video quality is rather low on the overall, because the G1 is not exactly famous for its stunning video capabilities. Our major gripe is that recorded sound is not loud enough and we couldn´t really make out what people were saying and now our plans for live interview feeds lie in ruins. Having seen Qik videos uploaded by other users has convinced us that much better results are obtainable by using other cell phones. Let´s hope that other Android devices capture content with better quality and that increased resolution is supported by Qik if available on the particular cell phone.

Despite the low quality that we found out is due to the G1 itself (primarily, sound quality), we do need to give credit where credit is due and tell that the application itself is great. It allows you to go live and share interesting moments with friends and relatives that happen to be away. And, isn´t this what the Internet is all about? Bringing people together, no matter the physical distance. We do recommend that you have a go at this, it´s tons of fun.

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