Apps of the week: stream live video, get addicted, or get fit

unnamedStre.am

Android, iOS Free

Stre.am is one of the players in the emerging live-streaming era of social media (move over, Vine). Like its iOS-exclusive rival Meerkat and the to-be-released Twitter-acquired Periscope app, Stre.am’s main purpose is to stream live video from your smartphone for the world to see and interact with.

When you first download the app, you’re prompted to create an account and get the option to do so by signing into an existing social media account like Twitter or Facebook. Once you’re in, you follow other users and receive feeds of their live streams and archived video reels.

Creating your own live stream is as simple as hitting the record button you’re presented with. You quickly toggle whether you want your location disclosed, your flash on, or your front-facing camera (a.k.a selfie mode) activated. People from around the world can see your live stream until you stop streaming, at which point the footage is lost forever. You also get the option to shoot a time-limited “reel” instead, which is viewable after you stop shooting. Like Meerkat, Stre.am lets you share links to your streams on other social networks.

Stre.am is almost a viable Android-friendly Meerkat alternative, but not quite. The thing about this app that puts me off is that you have to log into the Stre.am app to be able to view the video, and consequently you have to be on your phone to view the video. Meerkat streams can be viewed from any device as long as you can sign into Twitter, and that seems to be the key difference (for now).

Guess I’ll either have to wait for Meerkat to come to Android or Stre.am to come to desktop computer screens – may the better app win!

unnamed-1One More Line

Android, iOS Free

Hold on, just One More Line then I’ll review this app…

…Substitute “review this app” for whatever it is you do, and that’s basically going to be your life once you play this game. Until you get frustrated and throw your phone across the room, that is. One More Line revolves around a shooting… erm, pixel-y thing, that shoots in a straight line until you have to start dodging stuff, at which point you’re forced to latch onto nodes, orbit around them and strategically let go so you project forward and not into a wall.

It’s addictive in the same way that Flappy Bird was: you play quick rounds of the game that typically end three seconds later, after you crash, but the game still feels super

satisfying the 10 per cent of the time you get things right and rack up a high score.

Unlike Flappy Bird, there is a bit of skill involved in One More Line. The game is all about timing and hand-eye coordination. You have to eyeball the precise moment where you should let go of your orbit and have the fast reflexes to actually follow through.

If you have term papers due soon, I would finish those before you download this game.

unnamed-2Fun Fit

Android Free

Fun Fit isn’t fun.

You start out by signing into Facebook, entering some data about yourself (weight, height, stuff you’d expect a fitness app to need) and picking an animal avatar. Yay me.

Next, you’re presented with a customizable panel of widgets that will display info like the number of calories you’ve burned today, the number of steps you’ve taken, and the distance you’ve walked or run. That’s basically it – you track stats about yourself.

It’s a very easy app to cheat. I shook my phone up and down for a bit, firmly planted in my chair, and burned 387 calories over the course of 111 steps, according to Fun Fit.

Okay, I know the point is you’re not supposed to cheat the app. But it’s clearly just sensing motion from the phone’s motion sensors, which leads me to question the accuracy of the info it’s giving me.

In addition to widgets that track stats about you, there’s also a screen dedicated to comparing you to friends you’ve connected with. When you use the app for the first time, you’re given a friend called “Robot” so you don’t feel alone. Thanks, Fun Fit.

When you link up with your real friends on the app, don’t feel bad if you don’t quite stack up – the stats are most likely wrong and at least one of your friends probably just shook their phone instead of actually working out.