Periscope Releases Updated iOS App, Including iPad Support and New Features
Periscope has today released version 1.7 of their iOS app, adding in several new, interesting features to enhance the live-streaming experience.
The first addition, which we've reported previously, is a new feature Periscope's dev team have labelled "Who's in the House?" The new display option shows Periscope broadcasters who, of the people they follow, is watching their Periscope stream, with tiny avatars appearing at the bottom of the broadcast window for each new viewer.
You can see, too, that when those viewers are sending the broadcaster hearts, a tiny beating heart icon also shows up, overlaid on their avatar image (you can see it on the first avatar as the yellow hearts appear). This makes the broadcast process more social, adding an additional layer of connection.
At present, the new viewer display is only shown to the broadcaster, but Periscope says that they're looking at bringing the option to viewers also in future. "Who's in the House" is also available on Android.
The second new feature is a new option to send Periscope hearts in iMessage, enabling you to "heart" content outside of Periscope.
So, if you really like the Periscope hearts, you can now connect up your iMessage account to Periscope and use the app to attach the animated images - Periscope's included all the standard heart variations, as well as a range of custom hearts like the rainbow "pride" version and their Comicon "pow" icon.
The new version of Periscope also uses universal binary, which means that it will now render natively on iPad for a full viewing experience - as opposed to the previous version which was the mobile display on an iPad screen. This gives users a whole new way to watch Periscope content, and with more than 308 million iPads in circulation, the functionality will no doubt be welcomed.
Periscope's also added some additional functionality to their feed listings to improve content discovery. Now, users will have the option to filter between suggested, similar content, as identified by Periscope's system, and live content happening right now. The same is available in the map view, users can now switch between all the Periscope streams available and live broadcasts only.
Periscope's also working on an improved web version - right now, you can watch Periscope streams via desktop by going to specific profiles (e.g. https://www.periscope.tv/periscopeco), but the content still displays in mobile mode. On the accompanying Periscope stream, the desktop team showed a full-screen version in operation, noting that they have something "really big" coming up.
The new updates help refine and improve the Periscope experience, which is important, considering the emphasis Twitter is putting on live-streaming as they work to reinvigorate the platform. The upcoming NFL broadcast deal will be the first big test on this front, and it'll be interesting to see how viewers respond and whether Twitter's new live platform can bring new audiences to the network.
There are also rumors circulating that Periscope is in talks with Apple to develop a new version of Periscope's Apple TV app which would enable viewers to watch specific live streams on their TV in high quality. Such a move would be significant - while online content is on the rise, our homes are still constructed around the TV being the central entertainment source. If live-streaming is to truly go mainstream, there needs to be a way to hook into that source in an integrated manner.
The new iOS version of Periscope is live from today, with some of the new updates also available on Android.
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter