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 (opens in new tab)

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

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. 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 covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • But not available on Windows Mobile..Thanks Microsoft
  • Don't worry, as the article says, "the future seems promising".......
  • ...for this app... on Android!!!!
  • coming soon ™
  • Wen in india?
  • W10M in a month.
  • Minimum 6 month or never coming..
  • wm is dead time to just give up im mad too. 
  • Don't be mad,  its only a device...buy something else and enjoy what you can actually do on that...instead of promises of Coming soon™
  • It isn't about "just a device" -- it is about Microsoft creating a great multi-device platform (Windows+UWP) and then largely ignoring it as a first-party option for their apps.
  • Joe,  the thing is,  Microsoft did NOT create a great platform.  They created a huge mess.  This is shown by the sale volume of windows 10 mobile devices.   After the 1020 era,  sales TANKED!  Consumers did not buy,  hell,  even their target enterprise did not buy.  FAILURE!
  • Platform is ok, but apps gape is only the problem i think
  • Coming soon ™
  • "Thanks Microsoft"?
    You know there is a single man in charge of Microsoft that could change their 'other platforms first' policy in a simple, one sentence email. Nadella
    If UWP is suppose to be a good path for developers, or if Xamarin is supposed to be a good option for developers, why doesn't Microsoft lead the way? If the developers at Microsoft avoid Microsoft tools and platforms... well, who will ever believe in them?
    It's not the app gap that is the biggest threat to the Surface Mobile (if it ever appears), it's the commitment gap, lack of fire, lack of fight, and lack of passion from the CEO position.
  • Nadella doesn't make these choices.. There's an entire board and shareholders that decide... And besides... Look at the mess that is Android... Almost nobody makes any money off it, why aim for that when they can aim for a profitable market when the system is ready? Just keep improving it until it is ready.
  • I doubt they did a shareholder or board vote for determining which mobile platform they would launch Mixer on first.
  • No, that was already planned before they bought the company.
    Beam already had a plan for what was to be developed next.
  • They bought it a year ago. They had time to add a Windows version, unless UWP and Xamarin are slow and complex.
  • Hmm develop an app for the major mobile OS, or drop it in favour of developing an app for a mobile OS with almost zero market share.
    Good idea.....
  • By avoiding UWP and Xamarin for consumer apps, they are telling the world of developers that their OS doesn't matter (even to them), and their tools for cross-platform development are not worth the effort (even to them).
  • This is a mobile app... Let's target the biggest groups.
  • The fact you say "This is a mobile app" displays the mindset that could doom the Surface Mobile. Microsoft needs to blur the lines between mobile and desktop apps into a new hybrid app world (UWP). By going Android/iOS first, Microsoft is displaying disbelief in their own stated strategy, and their lack of faith in their cross-platform development tool, Xamarin.
  • They are, but the blur is not ready. As long as Ios and Android require specific mobile apps... Companies like Microsoft will have to abide.
  • But it is a "mobile app" as they don't need a broadcasting app for Windows 10.
    So the Mixer team would have to develop an app specifically for the W10 mobile.
  • No, but which platforms they are focusing their money on.
  • "which platforms they are focusing their money on"
    Microsoft is clearly "focusing their money" in Google's Android platform, and not the Windows platform or their cross-platform development tools.
    Imagine you're a Microsoft rep trying to help close the "app gap" by asking third party app developers to build UWP apps, or use Xamarin for cross-platform mobile development. The first statement a third party developer will say is, "you are asking us to do something even your own development teams don't do, so go away".
  • These decisions are made by shareholders and board members.
  • These decisions are made by Terry and his team. The Board of Directors at Microsoft doesn't convene to make these decisions and the shareholders even less. When Terry and his team make these decisions, however, they make them with the shareholders in mind because unlike what fanboys like to think, Microsoft is a business and the only thing that matters is to turn profits to distribute to the shareholders, nothing else. And the shareholders only care if money is entering their pockets in return for their investment. They don't give a rats a*se about anything else.
  • They outline the direction of everything.
  • Where is Steve balmer when you need him.
  • Away. And let him stay there.
  • Yo I messaged Mixer on Twitter and they said they are making a Windows Mobile app
  • Post the tweet
  • Coming soon ™
  • Token angry comment about lack of Windows support.
  • Seems justified to me. Microsoft spent the past two BUILD conferences bragging to developers about how easy it is to port apps from iOS and Android to Windows 10, and how easy it is to make UWP apps run across all Windows 10 devices. As this is a Microsoft product and Windows 10 has 500 million+ active devices out there and it's supposedly so easy to port apps, then why is it so difficult for them to bring this app to Windows 10 devices, including phones?
  • There are two factions at Microsoft, this one is the Nutella camp
  • Yep, they need to put their money where their mouth is and start with the apps they OWN.
  • MS obviously isn't done with mobile, so you would think these apps would also come to mobile regardless of makes share.... I'm sure Mixer will come to mobile, but there's no rush, well, because of market share... But, MS will bring it to It's own platform when they are ready...... Still super frustrating for fans, though.
  • Is it really difficult for a company of that size and the financials to back it to at least have simultaneous releases? It's extremely frustrating that more people are becoming interested in this platform when they see my Lumia 1520 or 950 even today, but then i have to ask them about what apps they cannot live without and ends up making them stay with iOS or Android. Devs are going to do what Microsoft themselves are doing and that is not develop for this platform until they start leading by example. Every time a first party product becomes available on a 3rd party platform first, it reinforces the idea of obviously they think it's pointless so why should i care about it? Mixer is yet another first party product releasing first on a 3rd party platform. They could easily just not publish the others until UWP version is complete. "Best on Windows" should have been "Last on Windows" or "Not on Windows"... Should be at least a simultaneous release.
  • Worst app for Windows every time.. Wait and see as one year or more.coming soon ™
  • Is it not justified?
  • [Insert obligatory post about why apps always come to everything EXCEPT windows platforms]
  • What, do you think it's funny?
  • Ummmmm.  Yes. Yes I do.
  • If you think that's funny, perhaps you need to get out more, just a thought ;)
  • LOL You came here to complain on a month old post. Maybe YOU should get out more.
  • You do realize that it popped up as a recent article and some of us don't look at the comment dates to know how old the article is right?
  • Yeah we just updated the old post since it's better than having an old post and a new one with only half the information. There's even a line in the post saying such a thing ;-)
  • You think that most of the commenters actually got as far as the update line? "Mobile..." "Android..." grrrr!
  • Yeah, only came here because someone salty replied to a month old post of mine. Wasn't about to reread an old post. Sorry to anyone I offended, since I didn't realize WC went green and started recycling their articles. 😀
  • Why is this article here? I'm trying to find a logical reason. Seriously, this is not sarcasm.
  • Because it's a brand feature for one of Microsoft's big new gaming services. We're gonna be seeing a lot more of the service in the coming weeks on Xbox and Windows.
  • Hope to see it on mobile. Wp might be dead but we keep getting new apps.
  • How is it dead?.... Explain.
  • It's dead because microsoft cut a big 6ft deep trench for it....GRAVE.  You cannot go into any service provider here, or any store for that matter and purchase a new windows mobile device.  Microsoft are not developing a new unicorphone to "save" windows moible....it's OVER.   they have moved on,  you should too!
  • Why should we, exactly? Our phones work great.
  • yes they work "perfect" plugged into a keyboard and monitor.   WOW...what an awesome feature for a moible phone.  Since you have no idea on how a phone really should work,  your dead platform phone will be ok for you.  Just like windows RT.....my windows RT tablet still "works"  but is RT still alive and kicking?   NOPE!  it's dead...RT=windows mobile.  Its the exact same thing....you can play around with words and symantics all you like....but w10m is now DEAD.  
  • Works perfect even without Bluetooth accessories.
  • again...you jus stay in your parents basement wiht your phone all day...sure it will work "fine"  do anything besides continuum...which is crap,  and its useless.  w10m is garbage.  Such promise with it and 100 percent failure.