Kainy is a new Android app from “indie” developer Jean-Sebastian Royer that has managed to raise quite a few interested eyebrows. Although not one of the most polished apps around, the Kainy Android app (available for $5.04 in Google Play) works paired with its free PC counterpart, allowing you to stream games from your Windows PC to your Android smartphone or tablet. While not entirely visionary – as I’ll explain by the end of this article — the app is an excellent example on how the concept of streaming might be used in the future to intermediate the delivery of more processing power from a fixed system to a mobile device.
Although Kainy can stream any app from your computer to your Android device, it does so at a low video quality, one that makes text barely visible, an obvious impediment for browsing or editing documents. If you’re a gamer though, you might find it awesome that you are now able to play Dirt 3 on your Android smartphone.
The app provides a quick way to customize user input control (in addition to the 100 hundred default templates), so it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to get up and running. Obviously, a mouse and keyboard will always provide the best control for a first person shooter, so don’t expect to rank up the charts in your next Modern Warfare multiplayer session. Other games genres (especially card games) are controllable enough to provide a decent gaming experience. But, as I mentioned before, the idea behind Kainy is what matters most here.
Here’s an official presentation that should give you a glimpse on how the app works:
Streaming applications, with a twist
The concept of using a PC with more processing power to run games and then stream them back to a low-performance system is certainly not new. OnLive, the increasingly popular cloud gaming platform, has been showcasing proper use of this philosophy since its US launch in June 2010 (UK users were granted access more than a full year later, in September 2011). The principle is fairly simple: the game runs on OnLive’s servers, and you just control the streaming content, which dumbs down the system requirements on your computer to just a couple of basic functions: the ability to play videos and access to a proper internet connection.
Also not new is the idea of streaming the entire Windows 7 experience to your Android tablet, as OnLive’s Desktop Android App does by giving you remote access to a Windows 7 system, complete with Microsoft’s Office suite installed. As it was bound to happen though, Microsoft lawyers recently stepped up and warned that OnLive was breaking licensing agreements, suggesting that Microsoft is entitled to some financial compensation.
I’m sure that, over the next couple of months, more and more apps will show up in Google Play that will allow you to control a Windows machine – be it your own PC or a virtual one hosted in the cloud — over Wi-Fi. The idea is already out there, all that is left is to polish the end result.