Google’s Area 120 releases group video messaging app Uptime

Uptime App

The in-house startup incubator launched last year by Google, area 120, has just released a new app.

Uptime is a group video messaging that lets users both watch and share videos with their friends. Uptime is not yet available in the Canadian App Store, but will likely launch in Canada some time soon.

Currently, the invite-only app is available only on iOS. Users can gain access by inputting the invite code, “PIZZA.” The platform appears to borrow some ideas from what Facebook is building with its Live platform.

When watching a video, the user’s profile picture travels along a progress bar that wraps around the screen. If other users are watching as well, their profile pictures appear and all the images travel along the progress bar together. Users can react and comment to the videos in real time.

Despite its promise, there are some shortcomings to the app. In addition to there being a handful of people using it, and no easy way to search for them, users can’t record or stream videos live.

Furthermore, the app seems to favour  videos shot in profile, seeing as while watching in landscape users can’t type or add reactions.

Google originally launched area 120 last year to improve their chances of keeping their employees inventions at Google, and since then have released several internal developments to the public.

Via: The Verge