Qik and Quicker

Qik just sent me a beta release of their new iPhone app. You can use it to stream live video from the iPhone. It’s viewable at Qik.com and is stored there as well. This does not require jailbreaking – this is an official app that will be available in the iTunes App store soon.
Considering there’s no video recording on the iPhone, this is pretty amazing. Here’s my first attempt. One thing I’ve learned: hold the phone still!

http://qik.com/swfs/qik_player.swf?streamname=df62b2f4c4fe4503bdd2b67d1cc5d7c1&vid=567436&playback=false&polling=false&user=twit&displayname=twit&safelink=twit&userlock=true&islive=&username=anonymous

I’m looking forward to using this to stream video when I’m out and about. You can follow twitlive on Twitter for notices when I stream live from the phone.

24 Hours of iPhone

I’m going live in a few hours and won’t be off the air until tomorrow.
We’re calling this insanity “24 Hours of iPhone.” Starting at 10a today (July 10) I’ll be doing my usual Thursday slate of shows on TWiT Live, including Roz Rows, Windows Weekly, and Jumping Monkeys. But in between shows, I’ll also be talking with folks waiting in line for the new iPhone. Then at 3p Pacific we go live with wall-to-wall coverage of the iPhone launch.

The first 3G phones are already being sold in New Zealand and as Apple Stores open at 8am local time worldwide we’ll be talking with folks in line. We’re also giving away store credit for 10 iPhones, each with $100 credit toward Audible audio books to random callers during the program, thanks to our fantastic sponsor Audible.com

At 5p Pacific/8 Eastern/midnight UTC we’ll be talking with Steve Wozniak about his new iPhone. Other special guests will join us through the night. I’ll continue until the last Apple store opens its doors in Honolulu, Hawaii, at 11a Eastern Friday July 11.

Join us for this marathon celebration of the launch of the iPhone 3G on TWiT Live!

The Other Shoe

Nitrozac paintings.jpgFrom Apple – Hot News, his Stevieness says…

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. … It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. … P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch.

(Emphasis mine.) Hallelujah!

RIM Throws A Curve

3AE21776-4340-4E94-AE80-AE0ABDF7C0BC.jpgI’ve been setting up my new Blackberry Curve 8320 and it provides a striking contrast to the iPhone, both positive and negative.
The 8320 is a lot more complicated and harder to setup, but then it’s much more functional. It supports third-party applications but so far I’ve only felt a need for two, Bee Jive – a multi-client IM program, and Google maps, both recommended by Dan Hendricks.

It comes with a nice range of programs including a password vault, very capable voice dialing, it’s own mapping program designed for use with a third-party GPS unit, and a Breakout game. There’s an ok browser that’s not as good as Safari and a media player also not as good as the iPod but with limited storage you’re not going to be using this as a music player. Blackberry is a phone first, email and messaging device second, and media player/browser a distant third.

It doesn’t have a touch interface but the pearl trackball works nearly as well with Google Maps, and the physical keyboard is lightyears easier to use, and more accurate, than the on-screen keyboard. I do greatly miss the classic Blackberry thumbwheel. The pearl just feels cheesy and seems less practical even though it does give you a broader range of motion. The two-megapixel camera is not much better than the iPhone’s although it does seem to offer better white balance and optics. It’s too slow to use for anything but the occasional snapshot.

Sample Blackberry 8320 photo

Of most interest in the 8230 is Wi-Fi support. The phone comes out of the box with integrated VOiP (!) and will use the Wi-Fi for calls in lieu of the T-Mobile network when it’s available. This is exactly the kind of thing AT&T must most have dreaded on the iPhone, but T-Mobile encourages it. Talk about different world views.

The 8320 out-of-the-box experience is nothing near as slick as the iPhone’s. If I hadn’t had a lot of experience with Blackberries I’d be lost. It’s pretty obviously intended for an IT department to set up. As it is I’m having trouble configuring email. T-Mobile doesn’t seem to know I have a Blackberry and hasn’t sent the needed software down. Beside the usual Blackberry corporate support, the phone also works with Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and other POP systems. It appears to poll these systems periodically for mail.

Chester Plays ChessBottom line: The 8320 is a complicated device and there’s a steep learning curve. It’s not as beautiful as the iPhone, or as functional as a browser and media player, but it’s many times more useful for email and messaging. I’ve always loved Blackberries, and the 8320 is the most elegant Blackberry yet.

Not Dead Yet

Holy CowPeople seem to have misinterpreted my “dead cow” analogy and are assuming that I bricked my iPhone. Nope. I have both the original iPhone, upgraded to 1.1.1, and the unlocked iPhone still and forever at 1.0.2. I’m donating the latter to The Lab for further experimentation. I’ll keep the locked phone around so I can continue to cover the platform, which was the reason I bought it in the first place.
It’s not for myself that I am whining, or even others I know whose phone were bricked. My point is that it’s punitive for Apple to intentionally damage unlocked iPhones, and I believe that’s wrong.

To those who say we can’t know Apple’s intention, I’d respond that it would have been a simple bit of coding to checksum the modem firmware and refuse to update if it had been modified. In fact, that would have been a prudent precaution no matter what. By choosing not to do so Apple is making its intent clear, and absent any statement to the contrary from Cupertino I’m going to continue to think Apple wishes unlockers ill, no matter what Fake Steve Jobs says.

To prove I still have a working iPhone, here are two pictures from my hotel window in Vancouver. One with the iPhone and one with the Nokia N95. You tell me which you prefer.

Nokia N95

Nokia

iPhone

Apple

Oh, and incidentally on the Nokia and the unlocked iPhone uploading these images in full quality to Flickr takes one click using third party apps (ShoZu on the N95 and Send Picture on the iPhone). On the locked iPhone I had to dock to my Mac, import the photo into iPhoto, export it, and then upload to Flickr. That’s one of the reasons I want to be able add third-party apps to my mobile phones.

Now I’m going to run to the Fatburger next door and have a veggie burger. No more dead cows for me. Good night.

What if…

What if you bought a computer that you couldn’t install any of your own applications on? (Stupid, I know, but what if?)
What if that computer required you to sign up for two years Internet service with one particular company, and prohibited using any other ISP? (Not that the ISP subsidized the price or anything – the computer wasn’t cheap.)

What if some bright guys came along and figured out how to install your own applications on the computer? And then showed you how to choose your own ISP? You’d do it, right? I mean, why not, it’s your computer. But wait.

What if the company that made the computer sent down an update that checked to see if you had installed your own applications and deleted them if so?

What if that same update checked to see if you were using the required ISP, and if you weren’t turned the computer into a useless, unfixable, piece of glass and plastic?

Would you ever buy a computer from that company again?

Would you ever trust a company like that again?

Addendum: Some Apple and cell phone customers seem to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, so let me put it another way.

Let’s say you’re selling me a cow. You tell me that that cow is being sold for the express purpose of making milk. I agree, and buy the cow.

Later I decide that I’d prefer to make cheese. You say that’s a violation of our agreement and kill my cow.

When I paid for the cow it became my property, to do with as I please. If you don’t like how I’m using it you may choose not to do any further business with me but you don’t get to kill my cow.

And, by the way, warning me you’d kill my cow if I keep making cheese doesn’t make it all right.

The lawyers will point out that contractually I agreed to your terms. True. But I don’t think the contract said anything about killing the cow did it?

Apple’s sole redress is to halt all support of my phone. If we let Apple destroy our property for not following the rules we’re telling the music industry it’s ok to destroy a hard drive containing illegal songs, the cable company to fry our TVs for stealing cable. That is vigilante justice and a direct threat to the rule of law.

iPhone Day

http://static.squarespace.com/static/5493c0c3e4b0496d8273a18c/5494d36fe4b01ce0b479aef6/5494ea87e4b01ce0b47bb289/1419045511413/VideoPlayer.swf?format=original

I thought I’d just stop by the AT&T store at noon just to see if there was a line. There was, and fearing I wouldn’t get a phone in time to review it for Saturday’s radio show I got out my folding chair and joined the line as number 13. Six hours later I got my iPhone. This is the last video from my poor old Nokia N95.