Summary: Like the mythical creature it is named after, Unicorns is a magical app and looks promising. However, its lack of features and many inconveniences may affect its usability and prospects of being downloaded for mainstream use. Regardless, its future looks extremely bright and it is something its developers can definitely work on.
Like Twitch in Sony’s Playstation consoles and Screen Stream Mirroring for Android, Unicorns stream what is happening on your phone to the Internet. It was made by Swedish startup Lookback, and it seems like there’s no more looking back for these guys – they made a great app.
The premise of the app is great – it connects your iOS device (iPhone and iPad) to your Mac and let’s you stream whatever you’re doing. It’s a Mac app – not an iOS one – and while you’re streaming it to those watching, you can also view it on your Mac screen. And yes, it’s free and you can download or install it on its website.
However, there is a catch: the app is far from perfect. It’s great and all, but there are boo-boos and tweaks its developers need to work on to make it a five-star app. Here are our impressions and experiences in using it:
First off, you are required to download and install the app from its website. After plugging it in with your Lightning connector, launch the app and it will immediately discover your, let’s say, iPhone 6s. After a few seconds, your iPhone screen will then be displayed on your Mac. While it’s on and functioning, there is a noticeably slight delay between the stream and your phone. While it’s not an issue for me, it could be a deal breaker to a number of users.
Streaming with Unicorns
To stream, simply tap the Stream button on and after doing so, the app will establish an Internet broadcast of whatever is happening on your phone. The interface then makes room for a chat box, giving your viewers a chance to communicate and possibly ask you questions. It provides a URL which you can share to your viewers. Anyone can view the stream, but to use the chat feature, your viewers need to have a Twitter account.
But the not so go part…
Unfortunately, Unicorns has its fair share of…boo-boos. It’s understandable, considering that developers did not exactly put a lot of effort into it: it’s an experimental side-project they just happened to work on.
While streaming, there’s a long, 15-30 second delay. It was also laggy and if your device lock screen pops up, the connection is lost. Do not forget to disable auto-lock when using Unicorns. It’s also strictly a streaming app, meaning there’s no way to record your stream to upload it later.
It’s still awesome
Despite its obvious lack of features, Unicorns is still a great app for a side-project. It can still be used if you’re streaming a product review, teaching a family member how to use their iPhone, or if you’re looking to showcase your app to a potential partner.