Mobile video startup Qik, which was acquired by Skype earlier this year, has previously only offered a fully functional live streaming and chat app on Android via pre-loaded devices. Qik offered a simpler version of its mobile video service in the Android Market which allowed users to record video but this app lacked any chatting capabilities.
Now, Qik is bringing the full featured Qik app to the Android Marketplace, the company tells us exclusively. The app, which you can download here, allows you to live stream video and now conduct live video chats with contacts over 3G, 4G or WiFi. And you can chat between Android 2.1-2.33 phones and any iOS4 devices, including the iPad 2 and iPhone 4.
The Android app automatically integrates with your phone’s contact list to show you who is available to chat live, and allows you to video chat using back camera (show what is happening around you) and/or front camera (show your face).
If you cannot connect with your friends live, you can also send video mail via threaded video mail conversations and you can send video mails to anyone, including friends who don’t have Qik, via email or SMS. The Android app has also added a few social features, and allows you to connect via Facebook and will notify you when your friends share video on the app. You can play these videos within the app and comment on content. Videos can also be shared through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and other sites.
The addition of a live video sharing and recording app in the Android Market is a big development for the company’s technology, says co-founder Bhaskar Roy. Previously, Qik optimized over all experience for specific devices and carriers, but now these capabilities are being brought to all Android handsets. While Roy declined to comment on how Qik would be integrating its technology with Skype, he did say that the companies are currently working with OEMs to figure out how to integrate the streaming video technologies with the hardware to consume less CPU and battery power.
Qik is offering Video Connect Plus app for iPhone/iOS for free this week (It’s normally $2.99).
Other apps that allow for live streaming on Android phones include Justin.TV, Ustream and others. But Qik says that its apps have been updated with more social features, including the ability to conduct live video chats, and share live video with friends on social networks.
Qik was founded in 2006 to enable mobile phone users to share live video with their friends, family and communities on the web and on their phones. The first version of the Qik service was launched as a private alpha in January 2008 and then as public beta in August 2008. Since then the company has expanded its service to support millions of users in over 160 countries and on all the major smart phones (over 140 models)...