Forums/Feature Requests

PlannedDoneNot planned

Android OS Mobile Recording App

Bev Hoerig
suggested this on February 27, 2013, 11:53 AM

We have found the iOS mobile app to be very well-received. But, we also have numerous Android OS users who would also like the convenience of a mobile app for recording and publishing lectures from their phone or tablet. When will an Android version be available???



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Mike Hinko
Central Michigan University

Also, are developers working on a Panopto app  for Microsoft Surface tablets?

March 4, 2013, 4:03 PM
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Steve Bailey
University of Kent

I asked about this previously (after reading the request about the iOS app), and received a reply from Dave Hannan which I'm sure he won't mind me sharing:

"This was the initial plan back in December but after doing some further investigation, it is going to be nearly impossible to release a DROID recording app that would work across the wide array of devices out there (see below). Our plan is to improve the mobile viewing experience so that any tablet/mobile browser will have a better experience than what they currently have... "

Having read the article I can see what he means, but they managed to create a recording application for windows which arguably has the same problems (different cameras, screen resolutions etc.) Hopefully one day they'll investigate this again, as I'm an Android user myself and I can really see the benefit of being able to record on the go. I was recently able to recommend the iOS app to an Architecture lecturer for use during field trips, and it seems unfair that another lecturer who doesn't have an iPhone can't do this.

March 18, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Bev Hoerig
University of Houston, Victoria

Thanks, Steve, for the comment and info. I can understand the challenge of writing code to support a multitude of camera options, but like you say, it's been done for Windows. Perhaps, rather than designing to interface with myriad cameras, design to support 1 or 2 video formats (at least to start). Most phone video is recorded as MP4, or 3GP (I think), so why not create a Panopto app that, at a minimum, will allow the user to record video (using the phone's standard video app) and then upload/encode that MP4/3GP video clip to Panopto (like in the iOS app, the user selects folder, names the file, etc.). Not the as seamless as the iOS app, but at least enables users to do everything from their phone. 

I'm not an app designer, so may be over-simplifying the process, but it seems like there should be a way to do this that isn't "nearly impossible".  

March 18, 2013, 1:26 PM
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Ed Tippin
University of South Florida

While I can understand the daunting task of trying to engineer an app that covers every device, I'm somewhat curious as to how other video-centric groups such as Ustream, Skype, or Go2Meeting are able to offer an app that appears to work on most, if not all Androids from ver 2.3 up.  Considering Netflix shares many of the same features as Panopto (login, search, index, playback), it is interesting that their daily testing involves only about 10 devices.

Android version is one of the common issues with programming; older versions have security flaws and other OS issues that were not addressed.  To minimize that you could create an app with only ver. 4.x+ compatibility to ease testing requirements.  It is better to deny 40% of Android users (ver 3.x and below) than simply deny all Android users the ability to record/upload from an app.  Nothing sticks out as much as absence.

The irony here is that if you are an all-Mac shop, you lose live broadcast and multiple secondary video streams with the desktop recorder, and you lose scheduled recording, but you get a mobile recording app.  If you are a Mac-free shop, you get live broadcast and additional secondary video streams with the desktop recorder, and you can set up/schedule remote recorders, but you completely lose the ability to record on the go.  In order to fully utilize the system, you must use a Windows machine with an Apple phone/tablet.

In this case, I would rather deny all mobile application recording to my server than have to dispel accusations of iOS favoritism; we have an iTunesU install here, which already does not allow direct Android uploads, and users are already quite sensitive about that.  Having an iPad and Macbook Pro sitting on my desk doesn't help when I'm dealing with those users, either...

The last thing I want is to find myself showing bias in the middle of a heated iOS vs Android debate, where the combatants are the President and the Provost of our university.  It's an quick way to find a 'deficit' in the annual budget or be re-allocated to other duties.

Unless both platforms are supported, it's better for me to simply not have mobile recording at all.  As a parting thought - Bev suggested using the native video app on the device, which puts the work on the phone manufacturer.  Why not simply re-brand the Panopto mobile app as the Unison app and simply upload files using Unison hooks?

August 12, 2013, 2:09 PM
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Neil Griffin
Spartanburg Community College

I would agree that if the problem is accessing the camera to record in Android (or Windows tablets), giving the user the option to upload a video they already created on the device would be a significant improvement.  Since the web interface has the ability to ingest user uploaded files, I can't imagine a file transfer would be that difficult to implement.

January 22, 2015, 10:07 AM