While Instagram garnered a lot of attention last year, the Vine app has been hitting headlines this year. The app lets you create short, quick six-second videos and share them via social networks. Five months and 13 million iOS downloads later, Twitter (who had acquired it in October last year) has launched the Vine app for the Android platform. The Android app still lacks some nifty features, which Twitter has promised to offer in the form of several updates in the near future. We have taken a closer look at the Vine app for Android and iOS platforms. Read on to know more.
The Vine user interface for iOS and Android is more or less the same. However, the main differentiator here is the way its features/attributes like Feeds/Home, Activity, Explore and Profile are arranged or made accessible. While iOS has neatly camouflaged them under imprinted Vine or the home icon, Android has arranged them in a tabular form. In either way, navigating across the app is simple and easy.
The UI for Android and iOS
iOS users will find the recording icon on the upper right hand corner, whether they are on the Home, Explore or Activity page. On the Profile page, the recording icon has been replaced with the “Find friends” icon. The app also has the search box embedded right into the main page and a similar search box appears on its Explore section too. On the other hand, Android users will have to use the three-dots (on the upper right hand corner) to access the “Find people” option. For Android, the recording button stays on the upper right corner, no matter which feature they are accessing.
On downloading the app, users can sign up using their email ID or Twitter account. Once you log in using your Twitter ID, it populates the Profile page with your Twitter display. Under Settings, you can further add all the other details. The interface is pretty easy to learn and doesn’t come with bells and whistles. You’ll find the Feeds section populated with Editor’s choice videos. These videos clearly show how creative one can get with the Vine app. However, this is just initially, and until you start posting your own videos or connecting with your Twitter friends. The space will then be populated with your own videos or the ones posted by your friends.
Features and performance
Just like Twitter is limited to 140 characters, Vine is limited to a six-second video that can be shot and played in looped format. Tap the recording icon, and one can instantly start shooting videos. iOS and Android users can tap on the screen to record a video. The app records as long as you don’t release your finger, and then stitches all the scenes together. The screen also shows a 6 second status bar, and you can choose to tap on Finish any time before the time lapses. It is fun and creative to make quick videos and post them.
Creating quick six-second videos
The iOS version of the app lets you record videos using the rear and front camera. Moreover, it also has a convenient button that lets you switch between the rear and front cameras while recording a video. However, the front camera support goes amiss altogether in the Android version. The Vine app on the iPhone 5 lets us instantly load the camera, and on recording the video, it is quick to respond. The Android version of the app takes some initialising and processing time before it starts and completes recording the video. Basically, the Android app is quite laggy compared to the iOS version.
On recording the video and clicking on Next, one will be taken to the share screen. The Share screen lets users add a caption and post the app to social networks. While iOS users also get the option to add location and post the video to Twitter, Facebook and Vine, Android users are given options limited to Vine and Twitter, with no option to share the location whatsoever. The iOS version lets you find friends from your Twitter account using the Vine app and connect with them. However, all this goes amiss with Android as the app still doesn’t support Twitter integration for searching friends.
Sharing options for Android and iOS
The Vine app doesn’t let users save any video on their device and the only option is to post it on Vine, Facebook or Twitter. Moreover, the Vine app (iOS and Android) doesn’t come with support for any filter or editing tools. During our test, the app was quite slick and smooth on the iPhone 5, but was sluggish on the the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4.
Evidently, the Vine app is interesting, fun and quite addictive. The iOS version is more polished, while the new Android version leaves a spacious room for improvement. Vine for iOS has a neat interface and is quick to launch, whereas Vine for Android lacks important features such as finding friends via Twitter, posting videos on Facebook and support for the front-facing camera. Though Twitter has announced that all the popular features will soon be made available to Android in the form of updates, we hope it is sooner rather than later.
The iOS version gets a rating of 7.5 out of 10, whereas Vine for Android gets a lower score of 6 out of 10 due to its limitations.[source:tech2]