Mixer Create beta hands-on: Mobile streaming done right

Alongside the big Mixer rebrand unveiled by Microsoft was news of its intention to allow folks to broadcast from their smartphones. Well, their Apple or Android smartphones, anyway.

Mixer Create beta is available right now on Android, though it's still MIA on iPhone (applications are now being accepted to take part in its beta), and we've fired it up to take a look at what it's all about.

Barebones Mixer

Mixer Create

To view Mixer content you still need the regular application, Create is purely for broadcasting. While this means you have two Mixer apps on your phone, it also means that the addition of broadcasting support hasn't overcomplicated the existing Mixer app.

Eventually, Mixer Create will allow you to stream your iOS and Android games to Mixer directly from your phone or tablet, which is pretty neat. There are some superb mobile games out there nowadays, and why wouldn't you want to stream something like VainGlory to your followers?

Mixer Create has recently been updated to add game streaming to the initial offering of a Periscope-like service where you just broadcast yourself.

Create is basic but it works well

Mixer Create

Once you're logged in, you see a very basic representation of your dashboard with fields to change your stream title, the title of the game (or web show) you're streaming, and the rating (because kids don't need to be seeing you swear into your phone).

There's a handy little toolbar with some key shortcuts on there, like muting your microphone and accessing your chat. But otherwise, it's just you front and center, or whatever the rear camera can see, because a single tap flips between both.

Mixer Create

One thing you must do is turn off the option in settings for showing chat while broadcasting. Otherwise what you see above happens. When you're streaming a game, things are a little different, at least.

The quality seems good, though while you can save a copy of your broadcast for on-demand viewing later, it has been hit and miss for me. Create uses Faster Than Light (FTL), Mixer's super low-latency technology, which is particularly useful for broadcasting yourself and interacting with an audience.

Game streaming

Mixer Create

The game streaming feature is the big deal about Mixer Create existing at all, and a recent update added it for the first time. And it works incredibly well. If you ever had doubts about how good the FTL protocol is, try streaming from your phone and watching it on your Mixer channel in a web browser at the same time. It's insane.

With the addition of game streaming comes some options to change the resolution of your broadcast, or just let Mixer work it out on the fly. You can now also pause the game broadcast when you go into chat.

But chat still needs work. I'm not sure if there's a way around it, but since Mixer Create just records the phone screen and then broadcasts it, when you go into chat the window rotates and people see your keyboard. It's a little messy.

What's also messy is how Mixer Create handles audio. It broadcasts game audio as it hears it through the microphone and speakers on the phone, not directly from the game. So if your phone has lousy speakers, your game audio broadcast will be equally lousy.

Again, I don't know if the limitations imposed by mobile OSes allow anything other than this, but I hope so for the future.

The actual game streaming part works really well. You can have your camera on or off, and you can move it to anywhere on the screen. You'll get a little notification bubble that tells you how many chat messages you have that are unread and a button to access the game bar.

While there are some rough edges that I hope can be improved upon, the core performance is exceptional.

Future seems promising

Mixer Create is well done and extremely easy to use. For broadcasters on the go, this could soon become an important part of their content creation, and while we haven't given it a proper run out yet over cellular data, the FTL protocol at the heart of Mixer is doing a tremendous job.

A Windows 10 app would be nice, though ...

Download Mixer Create beta from the Google Play Store

Updated July 3, 2017: We added information on streaming games following the updated version of Mixer Create.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine