The year 2011 was really a rich year with better, stronger, and faster smartphones coming out. But, it didn’t stop at the phone specs. Samsung, Apple, and Motorola each took a step further and brought their own file streaming apps. What this means is that you could stream media back and forth between your phone and your HDTV, your laptop, or your PC.
In the Samsung Galaxy S2, you’ve got AllShare. On the iPhone 4S, you have Airplay. On the Motorola Droid RAZR, MotoCast is the way. Although similar in function, not all these apps are the same.
The Motorola Droid RAZR’s Motocast is pre-installed and all it needs is a MyMotoCast.com account to secure your files and make sure that they are left at home. Once you’ve got those, you can sign in on the PC and select which folders or files you’d like to share to your device.
If you’re worried that your file may not be supported by the Motorola Droid RAZR, worry no more. If your computer can play it, so can your phone. It also converts the frame rate and the resolution as necessary to give you smooth playback, regardless of the available bandwidth.
Not only can you stream files from your laptop to your device, but you can also stream files from your device to your TV. Motocast can even be combined with Motorola’s WebTop application so that data can be streamed to any HD screen. You can even add an optional keyboard to work on a presentation.
The Samsung Galaxy S2’s AllShare app is a DLNA client that allows you to connect to a PlayStation 3, an Internet-enabled TV, another smartphone, or even a PC–wirelessly. It first came out on the Samsung Wave, but this time around, it performs worlds better.
It is, however, worth noting that AllShare may allow streaming to an HDTV u2013 but only if it supports DLNA. Of course, you can also get it to stream content from your Windows 7 PC, which is easy to sync with the Windows Media Player. But, TVs seem to be difficult at the moment.
You can browse through your PC’s hard drive and simply select a film or music file to listen to. If you’d like to bring content with you when you head out, simply download it over a Wi-Fi connection.
The iPhone 4S’s Airplay has knocked out the DLNA-enabled product problem by limiting the Airplay’s device-to-TV streaming function to the Apple TV. It does however make it easier when you can see on your TV whatever you’re doing on your iPhone.
Airplay does one thing these other file streaming apps do not, and that is to stream directly to speakers. Paired with AirPort Express, it is possible to listen to your music library in surround sound. Apple doesn’t seem to want to share streaming with other products just yet, which may be a challenge for people who don’t have an Apple collection.
Depending on your needs, you may find one of these apps singing more to your heart than the others. Where streaming to TVs and other devices are concerned, Motorola Droid RAZR’s Motocast and Samsung Galaxy S2’s AllShare seem to be strong contenders. In terms of streaming media from your phone to other devices such as your speakers, iPhone 4S’s Airplay seems to have dominated that area.
Are you fond of multimedia streaming using your phone? Do you use either of these three apps? What is the experience like for you?