Qik, the popular mobile video streaming service, has excited BlackBerry users by releasing a client for the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Pearl. Having Qik on your mobile phone turns your phone into a mobile video streaming device.
Qik users can employ the service to show videos from conferences and events, as well as to reach out to friends and colleagues. Qik, with the new alpha release, is supporting the BlackBerry Pearl 8120, BlackBerry Pearl 8130 and BlackBerry Bold, running BlackBerry OS version 4.5.
How does Qik stream live video from your handset to the Internet? By wisely using a cellular handset's camera and mobile data connection, the software streams a live video feed to a user's individual page on Qik.com.
With the release, the BlackBerry platform joins the Symbian mobile operating system, Windows Mobile and Java-based devices in support for the software. The company is making a shift away from only supporting "smartphones" and is trying to release Qik clients for more mainstream camera phones -- thus, the Java version. However, an obvious absence in Qik's supported handset lineup is the Apple iPhone. A client for Apple's mobile handset is rumored to be in development. The new Android phone, the G1, is also currently missing out on Qik support.
We have tested the Qik service with Nokia S60-based devices and have found video and audio quality to be very good. The Qik service works best over a fast data connection such as Wi-Fi or 3G, but can work on also on legacy EDGE data networks as well. However, when working over a slow data connection such as EDGE, there is a noticeable (roughly, 45-60 second) delay with the video feed as the video is being buffered.
Qik is not the only player in the mobile video streaming market. Other companies that offer mobile video streaming services include Kyte.tv, Flixwagon and Seesmic. Seesmic just released a mobile client for the Nokia N95.