Streams at your fingertips
Android App of the Week With so many connected devices now carrying a DLNA or UPnP sticker, shunting media from or through your phone – to a Wi-Fi enabled music player, telly or gaming console – is fast becoming an everyday requirement.
Getting started with source options
Some handsets have built-in tech to handle this but I’ve yet to encounter any as reliable as Skifta which has been developed by Qualcomm Labs – a company that knows a thing or three about getting kit to communicate.
Installation and use could not be more straightforward – just download the app, make sure you are hooked up to a 802.11 network and then select the media source, the player and the files you want to look at or listen to and off you go. Media can be accessed directly from your handset or any compatible media server running on a PC or Nas box.
The inevitable on-line options
Sign up for a free account and you can also stream cloudy stuff like your Facebook and Picasa photo libraries or music from ShoutCast, SomaFM and RadioFeeds UK. The list of cloud channels is frankly a bit sparse at the moment but future additions are promised.
The interface is simplicity itself and makes good use of your phone’s built-in controls with the Now-Playing button launching from the status bar and output adjusted by using the handset volume rocker.
A feature I really applaud is the way Skifta adopts whatever video players you have installed on your handset – V Player and MoboPlayer in my case – so you don't have to worry about codecs. If you can play it on your phone, you can stream it.
Preferred media players are utilised
Still officially in beta, yet it seems perfectly finished to me, Skifta is as free as the air you breath and is proof, if it were needed, that you don’t need to take the Apple shilling for things to just work. ®
We make our choice of the best Android smartphone and tablet downloads every Tuesday. It you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.
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from the author
Yes, you can use the app to play media stored on a PC or NAS on your Android handset. I should have stated clearly in my review. Apologies.
Nice little app. Beats the arse of the Samsung Allshare app and Gmote. One negative is the lack of support for 3G. With Gmote, I can play a tune on the PC at home when I´m away - the missus is a sucker for The Cure´s "Friday I´m in love" and being a soppy fecker, I play it on the PC (connected to HIFI) - freaks the shit out of her, naturally, but it´s good for a giggle.
Mine´s the remote-distance stalky looking one...
from the author
@ Chrome - what phone are you using? The app takes around 10 seconds to launch and update on my Desire HD.
@ Dapprman - In a word yes. When you stream media to your handset Skifta asks which video player on your phone you want to use.
DId I understand that correctly, it can play music/videos on the phone from other devices ? (i.e. a NAS). If so does it use it's own video codecs, or just the ones default on android ?
I especially like the way it takes about 10 minutes to update every time I use it