Microsoft today announced the launch of a new beta version of its mobile gameplay streaming app, Mixer, for both iOS and Android. The company says the new app features an entirely different codebase that will allow it to roll out updates more quickly, and includes a number of changes focused on improving the core user experience, content discoverability, app performance and personalization.
The launch comes shortly after Mixer Create’s exit from beta in August, which includes support for live streaming from your phone, as well as the release of new Mixer tools that let people watching streams from Microsoft-owned Minecraft interact with gameplay in real-time.
While the Mixer Create app is focused on live streaming gameplay directly, Mixer is aimed at viewers who want to watch streams and interact with content creators and others via live chat.
Essentially, Microsoft’s version of Twitch, Mixer offers a similar feature set – like being able to subscribe to favorite channels, chat using emotes, and watch broadcasts live.
With the beta release out now, the Trending section has been redesigned to include a carousel at the top that cycles through the featured broadcasts. This is followed by a section of top games and trending streams. And when you tap into a game, you’ll be taken to that game’s hub where all the current broadcasts are displayed.
The filtering tool has also been given an upgrade, with the ability to select for broadcasts that are interactive, with co-streams or those that feature Microsoft’s “Faster than Light (FTL)” technology. Introduced into Mixer in beta last month, FTL is Mixer’s low-latency streaming protocol which allows for sub-second video latency when streaming. That means streamers can interact with fans in real-time and everything truly feels live.
In addition to FTL, the new beta version of Mixer is also promising speedier performance overall, and increased stability.
Personalization features have also been added, including a new Following section for tracking favorite broadcasters, as well as a section with recommended streams, and profile management tools for tweaking Mixer’s settings.
However, the beta app doesn’t have all the top features from Mixer at launch. Listed as ‘coming soon’ are reliable push notifications, further chat parity features with Mixer.com, and co-streaming playback experience improvements.
The release comes at time when Mixer is still far behind Amazon-owned Twitch and YouTube Gaming, both in terms of unique streamers, concurrent streamers and concurrent viewers.
A recent report from Streamlabs, for example, found that Mixer had just 9,699 unique activer streamers in Q3 2017, compared with 737,622 for Twitch and 267,434 for YouTube. But the mobile streaming market is still quite new, and Mixer has been growing. In July, it had 4,842 streamers, Streamlabs said, which grew to 7,060 by September.