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Summary:

Apple just approved a new app that allows iPhones other than the 3GS to record video. That’s right, both your iPhone 3G and even the older 2G model can now shoot video, without jailbreak.

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If you’ve been reconsidering your position as a jailbreaker thanks to recent security threats or Apple’s strong disapproval, there’s now one more reason to consider going legit. Apple just approved a new app that allows iPhones other than the 3GS to record video. That’s right, both your iPhone 3G and even the older 2G model can now shoot video, without jailbreak.

The app will cost you 99 cents, which is kind of aggravating, since this is basically a straightforward admission on Apple’s part that the only limitation heretofore that had prevented the older devices from shooting video was a software limitation, which it could’ve easily resolved itself. iVideoCamera (iTunes link), the app in question, is a third-party program, but at least Apple didn’t kill it from the start, I suppose, and it is still cheaper than upgrading to a 3GS.

iVideoCamera is far from perfect, though, and it has other limitations which are much more noteworthy than its cost. Video can only be shot at a maximum rate of around three frames per second, for instance, which is 10 times less than the 3GS’ 30-frames-per-second capability. As you might imagine, video quality is not the best.

Add to that the fact that the resolution of recordings likewise suffers compared with that of video recorded natively on the 3GS. Resolution is 160×213, paltry compared with the 640×480 SD-quality video shot by the 3GS. Also, you can only shoot clips up to a maximum of one minute in length. Thankfully, Laan Labs, the developer of iVideoCamera, is more than upfront about the limitations of its software, so this is definitely a case where the onus falls on the buyer.

Nor is it all bad news. iVideoCamera has some solid strengths, too, like the ability to share video to multiple sources quickly and easily. Like with the iPhone 3GS, 3G and 2G users who are shooting with iVideoCamera can export their recordings to YouTube, and in fact get more sharing options, including Facebook and Vimeo posting. Twitter integration is said to be coming soon. Future updates are also said to be bringing frame rate and resolution quality improvements.

Even if this particular app isn’t outstanding right now, this approval sets a terrific precedent for App Store policy. If iVideoCamera is allowed access, then in theory there’s nothing stopping Cycorder from coming in from the cold, so to speak, and being offered through legit channels. Cycorder is capable of a maximum of 15 frames per second, and records at a resolution of 384×288, so iPhone 2G and 3G owners might not have to wait long before a decently able video app makes its way into their upgrade-reluctant hands.

  1. lol:
    “…since this is basically a straightforward admission on Apple’s part that the only limitation heretofore that had prevented the older devices from shooting video was a software limitation…”

    “Video can only be shot at a maximum rate of around three frames per second, for instance, which is 10 times less than the 3GS’ 30 frames per second capability. … Resolution is 160×213, paltry compared to the 640×480 SD-quality video shot by the 3GS. …”

    So, yeah, just a software issue.

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    1. yeah, my thoughts exactly….

      So a company basically figures out how to take 3 low quality pictures per second with the built in still-camera, stitch them together into a pseudo-video, and you blame Apple for not enabling this “functionality” natively? If Apple touted these specs as a “video feature” on the older iPhones, the would be (justifiably) raked across the coals for it.

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    2. Cycorder is capable of a maximum of 15 frames per second, and records at a resolution of 384×288, so iPhone 2G and 3G owners might not have to wait long before a decently able video app makes its way into their upgrade-reluctant hands.

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    3. Yeah, and then Darel whinges about the 99 cents. I guess 99 cents is too much for you, you cheap skate.

      I doubt this will get up to the speed of the Cycorder, jail break apps have a lot more control over the OS and hardware than regular apps have.

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  2. Why is it a reason to go “legit”*? Jailbreaking doesn’t inhibit me from running App Store apps.

    Maybe when SBSettings and BossPaper and WinterBoard and Terminal and Backgrounder can be used through the App Store, then maybe I won’t bother.

    And I paid full price for my device, I’ll do whatever the hell I want with it. Don’t give me this “legit” garbage.

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    1. ++

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    2. Well put. That’s exactly how I feel too.

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    3. Ditto!

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    4. Agreed

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  3. Actually, Cycorder won’t make it to the app store because it violates your license agreement if you release through other channels such as Cydia.

    So, actually… we won’t be seeing a ton of the Cydia apps (if you can really call them that) releasing on the App Store. Unless Apple changes their agreement policies, which isn’t likely.

    As for this app, it’s cool that 3G and original Phone (wish people would stop calling it 2G) can now record motion, somewhat, but make no mistake, this is no where near what the 3GS’ camera can do. You’d be better off carrying a little cheap Razr around with you to shoot video with than using any of the new video recording apps.

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    1. pretty sure qik launched on Cydia before the app store, and now it’s available both ways.. two versions w/ and without streaming also the ustream app allows you to record on older iphones too.

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  4. [...] Trackback Posted on December 15, 2009 at 11:29 am by lesliemanzara · Permalink In: Mobile Technology, iPhone · Tagged with: 3G, 3G S, JailBreak [...]

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  5. With such a low frame rate, better off using my Flip or upgrading to 3GS…though Cycorder sounds interesting.

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  6. Now if they would only allow official Google Voice Apps in the App Store, then maybe, just maybe, I would consider not jailbreaking (but probably not).

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  7. [...] share and save  videos without having to ‘jailbreak‘ their handsets.As reported on the Apple Blog, the app comes in at only 99 cents in the US store, and has similar entry-level pricing in other [...]

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  8. Why no mention of Ustream Broadcaster (free). Has the option to record locally to your iphone at a higher frame rate and two resolution options as well as live streaming…http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ustream-live-broadcaster/id319362690?mt=8

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  9. phew… it’s about damn time!

    now if only they’d allow the qik app for live video streaming i would be a happy camper!

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    1. Use the just-released ustream app for both video recoding AND live broadcasting.

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