Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope rolled out an update today that introduces support for broadcasting and watching streams while your mobile device is in landscape mode. While addressing a minor inconvenience which before saw users stuck watching video sideways at times (as Periscope only supported portrait mode), the new addition makes even more sense given Periscope’s upcoming Apple TV application.
As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine recently reported, the Periscope team had been secretly building a new app for Apple TV. Now that news is official.
Apple announced yesterday an upgraded Apple TV box that will now include an App Store, and Periscope will be one of the first to expand its iOS application to the big screen. The Periscope app itself made a brief appearance on stage at Apple’s press event in San Francisco as the company talked about the new Apple TV App Store.
Although the app wasn’t demoed like some of the others, it was front-and-center in the Apple TV’s App Store “Top Charts” section, which also included other well-known apps like Star Walk, Vimeo, Airbnb, Zillow, Crossy Road, Gilt and more.
— Vladislav Kuznetsov (@v1597psh) September 10, 2015
The Periscope TV app is likely going to be focused on letting viewers watch streams. Periscope already rolled out functionality in June that allow you to watch video on the web, so this would be a natural extension of its capabilities.
Landscape broadcasts don’t just make sense for the big screen, however. As the company explained via blog post today, “there are times where the scene you’re trying to capture is best expressed in landscape.” An accompanying image demonstrated how much better a shot of a beach scene looked when the phone was horizontal, for example.
Another notable feature arriving today is support for Facebook sharing. Now, Periscope users can post the link to a live broadcast or replay to Facebook, if they’ve logged in to their Facebook account from the iOS Settings app.
This could help Periscope better stake its ground in the live-streaming race, where competitors like Meerkat have already embraced the Facebook API, and even Facebook itself has begun testing the waters with live-streaming, initially with verified celebs.
In addition to the landscape support, the Periscope iOS app update includes a few other tweaks, including a new “share indication” (the update appears in your home feed when someone you follow shares a broadcast), which will now include info on who shared a stream; improved accessibility features including VoiceOver; plus an easier way to turn off and on chat and hearts during a live broadcast.
On Android, the company rolled out Mutual Follow to make private broadcasting easier. Now, when you start a private broadcast, you can choose from a list of mutual followers (people who follow each other.)
The updated iOS and Android apps are live on their respective app stores as of this morning.