Live Streaming on iPhone 3G with Qik

THE N95 just “ain’t what it used to be” to me any more. When I picked up the handset close on two years ago it was a revolution for me. High quality digital camera (5MP), wifi, and easy use of Twitter and Qik through the S60 apps.

When I picked up the iPhone 3G last May, not long before the release of the 3GS in June, my N95 usage in departments camera, browser and video started to dip noticeably. This largely due to my O2 mobile broadband sim virtually living inside my iPhone instead of the USB modem for the past seven months or so.

And while I’m happy out twittering away from the iPhone or going about my daily online business, the one thing that I was hoping would come about was the facility to stream video, using Qik, without having to either a) jailbreak the iPhone or b) upgrade to the 3GS.

Qik on iPhone

A quick dip into the app store last night, spurred on by this blog post, which I had missed over the festive period, and we’re back in business.

There are two versions of the Qik app available – one for iPhone 3G and one for iPhone 3GS. I’m running the latest firmware available on the iPhone 3G and the video above went off this morning without a hitch.

I’ve also shied away from Qik after my O2 billing fiasco in the summer, a 3 minute Qik clip in Connolly Station at the start of the Kilkenny Arts Festival wound up costing me a few hundred euro – lesson well learned in bringing the wrong sim card with me that day. I’m hoping, given the success of the first video this morning that I might be a bit more fortunate on the live video front this year.

The app itself works a charm, the interface very straight forward, one-button record and you’re set. As per your profile on Qik.com you can tie in your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or other social accounts, broadcast live or record offline to store videos on the iPhone and distribute later, use the GPS to share your location with the video (by city, street or precisely), and like the S60 version you can make use of the chat.

I wouldn’t install it unless I knew I had the use of it and with Devious Theatre about to kick into action tomorrow for another two straight months, the return of the One Take Sessions (music series I run in Kilkenny), the multitude of festivals happening locally during the year, I’ll be looking forward to capturing – and making use of – video moments throughout 2010.

Try it for yourself, it’s available in the App store since December 24th and it’s going for the grand ole price of free.

All that remains for me to do is upgrade the N95… keeping the eyes peeled for a nice android handset.

Am I Getting Closer To An iPhone?

iPhone 3.0 OS

I managed to remain reasonably disconnected over the weekend thanks to the multitude of other things happening in the real world but did get to catch up with the announcement of the 3.0 version of the iPhone OS. I can usually be found with three mobiles on my person at any one time, plus my iPod Touch, and an O2 broadband dongle not far behind either. My primary handset (N95) is due an upgrade in the next few weeks and I’m starting to wonder am I getting closer to picking up an iPhone.

The N95 is a workhorse of a phone, for me in particular. The 8 gig internal memory is chock full of photos and videos thanks to the 5MP camera within. Every few months I clear 2-3 thousand text messages. Every now and again I fire off a QIK video. But it’s the browsing that lets me down. I’m just not fond (outside of QIK) of using data applications on the N95 which, for the most part, surrounds the likes of Twibble (for twitter) and the mobile browser. Where possible (read: in a wifi area) I’ll switch to the iPod and pull my mail, tweets and everything else there.

The ideal situation is to pick up an iPhone and have it unlocked, jailbroken, call it what you like. It would need to juggle a few sim cards but out and about act as the holder for my O2 data sim, in the process saving me from hitting three different sims with three different data charges.

So with a new spotlight, the ability to copy and paste without a third-party app, 3G tethering for using the iPhone as a modem, a landscape keyboard, added Bluetooth A2DP support, MMS (welcome to the party, Apple), push notification for IM apps and a whole lot more.

Of course, I’m not surprised to see Apple charging $9.95 for iPod Touch users to get the OS (hell, they charged us for the MacBook Pro firmware upgrade for wireless N) but when the OS lands, I’m guessing I’ll be another step closer to picking up an iPhone.

Check out details of the iPhone 3.0 SDK here.

Say Hello To 3G iPhone In Europe

If word is to be believed, we’re getting closer to the launch of the 3G iPhone in Europe, or at least the announcement of it. Of course, we’ve all known it’s been coming for months.

Engadget Mobile reports via Reuters that this Monday or Tuesday will see Italian mobile carrier TIM announce the availability of a 3G model of the iPhone, certainly something more suitable at present for potential Irish users.

Though I would be quite happy to bag an iPhone without 3G capability, the addition of the 3G service would certainly push me closer to picking one up as a second phone (yes, a *second* phone as I love my N95 a bit too much), with the option of running the iPhone as a strict data phone only.

Touch.net (translated from Italian) are reporting the launch date to be June 9/10, following an announcement from the US, presumably at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference being held in San Francisco next week.

Quadband GSM, triband HSDPA and GPS are all said to be a runner (see here) on the new model of the phone, along with a stylish new black design (black is the new black don’t you know) and a fwe aesthetic modifications.

Let’s wait and see what happens on Monday, shall we?

Biting The Bullet, Upgrading To N95 8GB

8GB Nokia N95I’ve been waiting, and waiting, for the Nokia N95 8GB to hit O2. While Vodafone have recently announced the dramatic price drop in the N95 8GB model (moving to Vodafone could bag you for phone for under the €200 price mark), I’ve opted to stick with my mobile operator and take the N95 upgrade, available from today online.

Of course, my local O2 shop knew about this but won’t have any phones in stock until the end of the week at the earliest. Carphone Warehouse didn’t actually know anything, their response being “It’s only available on Vodafone, you know that?” until directed to the O2 website. There doesn’t seem to be any physical stock available in Kilkenny, Waterford or Carlow (trying all the numbers listed on the O2 website, yes, I was willing to make an early morning Saturday spin 40 minutes and back in one direction or another) so I’ve taken the opportunity to upgrade the phone online, saving €30 in the process and picking up 300 free texts to match.

When I caught wind of the phone in August I thought, excellent, there’s my Christmas present. When asked what the next gadget I would buy was I replied “Nokia N95 8GB” please.

I learned a valuable lesson in the purchase of a sim free iPaq early in 2006 which didn’t last me six months so I’ve held off again and again in switching to a pricey mobile phone. However, in terms of productivity, further ability to work on the move, as well as tie in some terrific online resources (e.g. Qik) into activities outside of the office (thinking KilkennyMusic.com and The Devious Theatre Company), I feel I’ve made the right move.

The next part of the plan is to pick up an O2 mobile broadband connection before the end of the month, allowing me a bit of freedom when I hit the road for Sligo or find myself driven in the direction of the studio (which doesn’t have any form of web connection) later in the year.

While Carphone Warehouse couldn’t offer any assistance (I wouldn’t have bought the phone there anyway given the grief I had to put up with in 2005), the 3G store in Carlow (Meteor dealers) did tell me that Meteor are also bringing the handset to the market for April 21st / 22nd, something of interest to you Meteor contract holders looking for an upgrade in handset.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the phone arriving in the post mid-week.

The N95 Is The Next Gadget I’ll Buy

I missed yesterday’s Science Week blog post but couldn’t Thursday’s one as it’s an easy one for me. The question is asked, “What’s the next gadget that you want to buy?”. My answer, the 8GB Nokia N95.

As mobile devices to it’s a massive step forward and one towards the ideal mobile device. Connectivity-wise you’ve got everything you need if you’re working in an online environment – bluetooth, 3G and WiFi. The recent opening up of some Eircom wifi hotspots if you’re already an Eircom BB customer makes public internet access that bit easier. I won’t always have my laptop with me but need a solid mobile device that will allow me to

  • Make and take calls (a given).
  • Have a good quality camera. The N95 shoots at 5mp and I would miss the 3.2mp on my Sony Ericsson K800i.
  • Access the internet over WiFi thus allowing easier access to emails, connections to the office, grabbing music and last minute details around gig weekends, upload photos on the go to my Flickr account and more.
  • Keep up with Jaiku via the S60 client (thus reducing my SMS bill).
  • Allow me to grab and store podcasts on the go (to feed my habit).
  • These points are just for starters…

Again, in a non-laptop situation there’s always the possibility of mobile blogging, VOIP calls, mapping and more. I’ve written about the N95 being my Christmas present to myself this year, though admittedly it looks like I’ll be waiting until the New Year or whenever O2 sort out getting the N95 8GB model so I can make use of my contract upgrade. You can discover the N95 yourself here.

When it comes to phones I’m not a gaming person and in the 13 months I’ve had the K800i I can recall just the trip to Toronto last year that lead me to play games on the phone. I’m more about getting things done and having a device that will assist me in day to day activities.

Having used the first N95 briefly (briefly as in for a few minutes) and working alongside an N95 owner I can see the benefits of the device immediately. The use of IM before / after a client meeting, the ability to hop online and pull messages from MySpace or grab last minute mails before a gig (when you’re dealing with bands that communicate primarily through social networks as opposed to your actual phone then this is a must), passing spreadsheets or PDFs or word documents, plotting a trip on a map before you head away somewhere – and keeping that map in your pocket – that and the abundance of S60 applications that are available to run on the Nokia N95 to enhance your working experience.

Plus, it fits nicely in your hand or pocket and the call quality and speakerphone quality is also good (somewhere the K800i lacks.)

It’s been decided and I’ll wait patiently for my upgrade I think.