LoKast Android app not ready for prime-time

Jul 28, 2010
Tech

In theory, LoKast brings an entirely new set of social media sharing tools to tech-savvy DROID owners. I use the words “in theory” because I was unable to get the app to work on my trusty DROID A855 without experiencing constant force crashing when trying to add a profile picture or a single photo. The […]

In theory, LoKast brings an entirely new set of social media sharing tools to tech-savvy DROID owners. I use the words “in theory” because I was unable to get the app to work on my trusty DROID A855 without experiencing constant force crashing when trying to add a profile picture or a single photo.

The app enables something NearVerse — the app’s creator — calls proximity-based content sharing. According to the firm, “LoKast for Android enables users to discover music, pictures, videos, contacts, and Web links of users who are together in location [within 300 feet of one another.] LoKast, short for “local-casting” is eliminating the need for physical media sharing, making CDs and DVDs obsolete, and allowing users to share media instantaneously, without having to wait until they are back at their computer to experience the content.”

iPhone users I’ve talked to (including my brother) say the No. 1 limitation to the app is that it currently works best if everyone has their phones hooked to the same Wi-Fi network (3G/data connections coming soon) — and you can only listen to 30-second clips of your friends’ songs. (Sound familiar, Zune owners?) Other media, like photos, videos, and contacts are more easily shared in their entirety. That is, only when you’re within 300 feet of another user who’s on the same Wi-Fi network.

However, the software is designed to create its own local network, eliminating the need to be tethered to Wi-Fi or data networks.

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Still, I’ve read that LoKast really shines in a live event environment. NearVerse has partnered with several bands who are touring this summer and at least one movie production company, giving users the chance to snag custom music and video clips from specific locations.

If you’re a social butterfly and you don’t mind opening up your phone for sharing your content, give it a try on your iPhone before you head out to your next jam-packed concert venue. It just might help you connect to some new friends and guide you to some fresh music, video, or (shudder) Web links.

If you’re a DROID user, wait for updates and bug fixes before giving LoKast a try. (One recent reviewer claims the app may have gone beyond just causing force crashes on his phone, and is preventing his GPS from working. Temporarily, we hope.)

RATING: 1 out of 5

PRICE: Free

TASTY: The first “local-casting” app on the scene, making it possible for social butterfly’s who frequent crowded locations (like concerts or college campuses) to share content with others within a radius of 300 feet.

BUMMER: Initial Android app release causes frequent crashes, you can only listen to the first 30 seconds of songs within range, and it only works if you’re within short range of others running the app.

COOL: Once NearVerse cleans up the Android version or integrates with Facebook, LoKast could be a worthwhile app to install to bridge a content-sharing gap between iPhone and DROID owners.

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Tim McLain

Tim McLain is a freelance writer and an online marketing manager, helping serious researchers and students find and make use of the best online content found on the deep Web. His passion for all things computers/tech started when he was a teenager, working with his twin brother to set up a C64 BBS in their bedroom.

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