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Meerkat for iOS review: An innovative effort eclipsed by the competition

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The Good Meerkat lets you publicly schedule your streams so your followers won't miss them.

The Bad The app doesn't save recent streams. There is nothing to browse when no live shows are taking place. There's no official version for Android.

The Bottom Line Meerkat brought live mobile-streaming video into the mainstream, but its lack of features makes it an easy target for its much better competition.

Free

6.2 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 5
  • Interface 5
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

Meerkat (free) lets you stream live video to anyone in the world who has the app. It's an innovative step forward in how we share our lives with others and Meerkat was the first to take off with users. Unfortunately, thanks to the release of a more fully-featured competitor from Twitter, called Periscope , there is little reason to choose Meerkat as your live-streaming app of choice.

Periscope gives you live streams to browse, has a much more polished interface, and saves recent streams in case you missed them when they were on. But one thing that gives Meerkat an advantage is the ability to schedule streams -- a feature Periscope doesn't have.

So while Meerkat was exciting at first, Periscope's launch illustrated all the things that Meerkat lacks. Without the addition of several features, the chance of Meerkat reclaiming its initial glory is slim.

Shooting live video

When you launch the app, you're greeted with Meerkat's main screen. It's very minimalist, with only a field to type in a title for your video, a schedule button, and a button to start streaming. There's not much more to it, but there is definitely a certain charm to this simplicity. You have the option to start streaming right away with no title, but if you want people to watch, you should think of a title that will get people's interest.

This is how easy it is to use: once you hit the Stream button, your video will be live and if your followers are curious, they will start entering your video session. When they do, you'll get their avatars across the top of your screen, which are great because you'll often recognize if your friends are watching too. As you shoot your video, you'll be able to see your audience comments and respond to questions live. It's important to note (and Meerkat points this out) that all comments are actual tweets being posted to the Twitter feed. In other words, if you say it on Meerkat, you're also saying it on Twitter.

Schedule your show

One of the biggest disappointments with Meerkat is that it doesn't save your show if your audience missed the live link. When a video shoot is over, you can save it to your camera roll, but as far as the app is concerned, your live stream is gone the second you stop shooting.

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