The iPhone got plenty of press earlier this summer when Apple finally added video recording features to the phone. Many of Nokia’s smartphones, though, have had video recording (and even video calling) features for years. And in Nokia’s Ovi Store, you’ll find plenty of apps that take advantage of those features. Below are several video apps I found intriguing, though not always for the best reasons. (Note: Not all of these apps work on all Nokia phones; some work on select handsets only.)
Let’s just get it out there: This app could be used for some less-than-ethical purposes. It allows you to place your Nokia phone somewhere and turn it into a remote surveillance camera. (You’ll need to download server software to run on your PC in order to use it.) So, yeah, technically you could then use your phone to spy on someone. But this app also has some practical uses as a security system, especially when you activate its motion sensor. And at $24.99, it costs a whole lot less. Of course, it requires that you leave your phone wherever you want to do your surveillance, which isn’t the most convenient solution, either.
OK, the name could use some work. But this $9.99 app lets you connect your Nokia phone to your computer (via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and use its camera as your wireless webcam (hence the app’s name).
The first thing I noticed about Nokia’s Ovi Store is that it doesn’t offer as many free apps as I expected it to — and even fewer that I would actually consider using. But Bambuser is one of them. This free app lets you stream live video from your Nokia phone over 3G or Wi-Fi networks. Just make sure to check your privacy settings before you begin broadcasting, or you could end up sending your video to a wider audience than you’d intended.
Qik is a relatively well-known, free live video-streaming app that’s similar to Bambuser. It lets you stream live videos to your friends and family, and also comes with tools for embedding videos in social networks like MySpace and Facebook or your personal blog. Qik is available for other mobile platforms (including the iPhone) and comes pre-loaded on Nokia’s high-end N97 phone.
Here’s the perfect example of an app that I would use if I didn’t have to pay for it. But, sadly, Video Alarm costs $9.99. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock all the time, and would love to wake to a video playing instead of a grating ring tone. But not enough that I’d pay $10 for it.
Insy Television & Messaging works both as a a personal broadcasting solution and a video messaging app (though, presumably, you’d need to chat with someone else who is also using the app). That restriction might limit its appeal, but, hey, at least it’s free.
If you have lots of video content on your PC, and you want to get it on your phone, you’re often out of luck. (Unless you purchased said content from iTunes, and you own an iPhone, but that’s another story.) Media Studio lets you convert PC-based videos so that you can transfer them to your phone. The desktop software (free with the the $9.99 application) can compress a full-length DVD so that it fits on a 256MB memory card.
Are there any apps in Nokia’s Ovi store that you like? Please share in the comments.