Bambuser, the European mobile video streaming startup attempting to de-throne Silicon Valley’s Qik, has today launched its Android application on the Android market. That brings their mobile live video service to Symbian s60, Windows Mobile and the iPhone (jailbroken only), as well as through regular webcams.
Bambuser’s main claim is that it has the lowest latency out of all the mobile video streaming services. In order to keep the video stream as close to real-time as possible, the Bambuser app drops a few frames here and there, while at the same time storing locally on the handset any dropped frames or audio that can’t get through during the live broadcast. What data doesn’t make it through during the live stream is then sent immediately afterwards when the handset doesn’t have the pressure of having to live stream and display video at the same time.
To be honest, conditions vary so much between these players it’s often hard to tell, especially over 3G. However, having tried it myself I can vouch for Bambuser’s stability, although it’s quite clear that by being first to the game with mobile streaming Qik got a huge march on any new competitors and will be very hard to beat. And Qik’s direct link to the SIM card is also a great security feature designed to stop someone else – like a thief – streaming from your handset with the SIM removed.
Bambuser for Android v. 1.0 comes with support for all currently available Android phones running Android 1.5 (including Cupcake), incoming chat messages; broadcast in public or in private; Geotag broadcasts using gps.
Of course the iPhone remains cut off from these live streaming applications for now and Apple still won’t approve the unofficial Qik app which many top bloggers have been using for some time.