Mirrativ: Live Stream Any Game is a quick and simple way to share your Android gaming - like a mobile centric version of Twitch. Under a clean social network interface, Mirrativ allows you to stream everything happening onscreen, as well as sharing voice and video from your devices mic and camera. It works well – providing you have a powerful device running Android 5.0, a decent connection, and don’t mind the services limited number of users.
Starting Mirrativ you are introduced to a clean social network that allows you to see just what is streaming. Users of Android 4.1 or higher can then view these streams and take part in the stream's chat. A quick visit to the settings tab in the top left corner lets you set your name, add a profile, and edit a limited number of settings - including the ability to sync with Twitter.
Viewing is separated into three tabs – Following, Discover, and Random – although at the time of testing these tabs all showed the same limited handful of options. Tapping one of these takes you to the related stream, allowing you to watch the action, listen to the player, and (if they have an active camera) see the player in a tiny picture-in-picture.
The chat interface is well designed, but obviously the keyboard covers the action. Fortunately, with a 50 character limit on messages this shouldn’t but up for long before your comment is entered and can return to the transparent chat feed.
The viewing experience is not flawless. Image quality has to overcome the streamers connection and yours – basically adding a second point of failure – though when both were working well the image is nice and crisp. Also, while images are lifted directly from the screen, audio is captured from the mic. This records the app, voice, and any background noise - far from perfect for those who want to focus on the game being played.
But, for me, it is the streaming and not the viewing that provid the draw – and provided you have a device running Android 5.0 this is a simple process. Tapping on the + icon in the bottom left lets you begin. A few options then let you give your stream a title, mark it as private, or tag it to help people find you. One more button press and Mirrativ starts pushing out everything happening on your screen to the world.
You can show anything on your Android device - not just games - as it is your screen that is streamed and not just a selected app. Be careful though, as this can include sensitive data like passwords if you don't take care.
An overlay allows you to control Mirrativ’s functions while in-game. If your camera is on you can drag your image around the screen to the desired possition. A simple tap of your viewer count in the top left of the screen opens the chat, allowing you to join the conversation. You can also juggle settings on the fly by hitting the X button in the top right, allowing you to switch camera, alter audio, and stop the stream with ease.
Its a great way to stream from Android, but it is not without flaws. On the simplest level, Mirrativ's options can get in the way of the actual game at times. But for budding streamers this is not going the most troublesome issue, that will be how quiet the service is currently. At least during daylight hours in Europe, we found very few people watching – perhaps because of the reletive high system specs required to use all of the app's features. So, with no way of recording streams for later play back, this could mean that your efforts are wasted.
Mirrativ is a great start, and as it grows it could become a great option for Android gamers looking for easier ways to share their gaming. Increase the number of users, add a way to save streams, create desktop viewer to go alongside the apps itself, and I would find myself using this regularly – even with audio issues.