BCast Gives Ustream A Run For Its Money

bcast

Price: Free
Rating:
BCast
iPhone App Review by TheiPhoneAppReview.com

Review by Adam Itkoff

Review by Adam Itkoff

Yes, you have Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. But why not one more Social Media profile focused on live video streams, just to round it all out?

You might share your live streams via Ustream.tv, and you might share your finished videos via YouTube, but how do you broadcast your live streams from mobile to mobile?

How about TV to mobile, or countless other combinations of seamless, cloud-communicated broadcast?

BCast, from FullCircle GeoSocial Network, Inc., allows for the sharing of live streams (“Instacasts”) by launching an “open live mobile broadcasting platform”, enabling users to connect in real time and navigate a huge, living world of live streams via their smartphone.

Features:

The app itself requires an authenticated login, so you’ll need to download, create an account, authorize via email, and then login (again) to the app in order to get started. The lack of “guest” option, and the 5 minute wait for the email authorization kills the buzz created by a successful download, but eventually you get in and start to poke around the app itself.

On the plus side, as long as you don’t specifically log out you don’t have to log in again the next time you open the app.

OK, now you’re into the app, you’d like to connect with someone and follow them. Unfortunately while you can search for the name of any BCast video, you can’t search for all members. If you’re using the app and you try to find someone under “Member Channels” by scrolling down, you can only see a subset of all the channels, in alphabetical order, although you can search for a channel if you know the user’s name.

BCast iPhone App Review

BCast iPhone App Review

The app is divided into a few central components: “Categories”, “BCasts”, “Live BCast”, “My Profile” and “Channels”. Navigation is easy enough, and you can link into somebody’s live stream at any time. The app opens you up to assorted videos (BCasts) and users (Channels), and definitely has a growing community thus far.

The videos are generally of decent quality although many of the videos display at some pixelation. Since you can’t control how folks are connecting, many are outdoors and probably using relatively slow connections, this is to be expected.

The UI could use some cleaning up. If you want to follow someone using the iPhone app you have find one of their videos in the BCast category and then select “share” once you are playing a video. We’d like to see a long-press or swipe right to reveal all options so you don’t have to dig for it.

Also, we’d like to see additional categories and the ability to create a channels besides the one default one you get.

After you create a BCast it takes a bit before it shows up, which is fine, but there is no indication that anything is happening. Some feedback that the video is being processed would be nice. Then when you do see the video you just made in your profile under ‘Broadcasts’ (why not ‘BCasts’?) there’s no way to delete it from the app, you can only delete videos if you use a browser to access the service.

You can also do an “Instacast”, which is actually a key differentiator for this app.  The Instacast feature is an option when you start a broadcast. Standing for “instant broadcast”  it allows you to instantly live stream with one click with notification to your followers.(Like Twitter).

With an app that covers so much ground it’s good to see a “help” section, but when you select that you don’t see a tutorial or any info, just an email form so you can ask a question.

There’s no doubt the developers have done all the heavy lifting to get this app to its current capabilities. However, to really make it fly they need to do more work on improving the quality of the videos and the UI so new users can easily see what’s going on and find what they’re looking for.

Concept and Functionality:

I wasn’t blown away by any of the videos I found, but we can hardly fault the developers for that. I found videos labeled “apartment” that let me watch snow melt, and I found a video named “LOL” that I still haven’t figured out.

Like any social network, as the user community grows it will become more compelling and the variety, and quality, of the BCasts are sure to improve.

We love the concept and we believe that this app lays the groundwork for an amazing live broadcasting service. It’s not quite all there yet but with some additional clever video compression and design work this app will be a force to be reckoned with.

Overall Value:

Remember when “Chatroulette” was popular, before the mainstream broke away and left the medium for Snapchat and less inherently perverse forms of communication?

Well, we hope that won’t happen to “BCast”, but it will need a few tweaks to break into the five-star category. A smoother aesthetic layout, more feedback to users to know what’s going on, better search capability, including a way to find only ongoing live streams, and a guest login option would punch the app up and deliver a more satisfying experience.

Still, for a recent advent, the app is going strong and will be a fan favorite for Ustreamers and video fanatics alike. We look forward to seeing the creativity this app is sure to unleash.

The app is also available on Android.

BQRBCast requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this article.

TheiPhoneAppReview’s rating:

Find your next iPhone app at TheiPhoneAppReview.com

 

What do YOU think? We’d love to hear your comments, try it and let us know!

 

Find more from Adam at @adamitkoff and adamisaacitkoff.com.

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