Mobile live video streaming service Qik has just launched a new desktop app – but it doesn’t do what you think it might.
Yes, there’s no live webcam streaming here – instead this Adobe Air-based app is designed to help you keep up to date with the videos your friends are streaming from their Qik accounts.
Qik-in-Touch can be thought of as a ‘browser’ for Qik. Friends’ new videos appear within the app in real time and you can take a look at the latest video streams from around the world too. If you minimise the app it will alert you when there’s something new to watch.
The app is currently in private beta but you can sign up to try it at http://qik.com/qntbeta. Each beta user gets ten invites, so it shouldn’t take too long to get on board if you’re desperate.
The question is, how useful will this be for most people? Many users of Qik use it infrequently as a way sharing a fun or interesting event. As a result, many users could install Qik-in-Touch and have to wait days or weeks between new videos. If you are friends with lots of heavy Qik users, this could be just the app to keep tabs on them with.
Qik isn’t the only mobile app to make the leap to the desktop. ‘Instant podcasting’ service AudioBoo recently made such a jump with its browser record function. While it might have seemed logical for Qik to have included webcam live streaming in its desktop app, there are plenty of other services such as Justin.tv and Ustream already offering this service.
Incidentally, Ustream was recently the first service to successfully launch a live streaming app on the iPhone. We were frustrated with the first version of Qik’s own iPhone app which didn’t offer true live video. Following Ustream’s success, Qik has reportedly submitted a live-enabled version of its app.