So the devkits have been explored, the interviews taken and the rumours integrated. It’s now a dead cert that video recording will hit the iPhone for its big 3.0 June re-launch. And that a basic ‘iMovie’ application will be there for splicing clips together.
“Big deal”, owners of other smartphones might think, “my phone has had high-resolution video recording for years”. And they’re right, I used a Nokia N93 to record my summer holiday in 2006 in full VGA resolution with stereo sound. It was sunny and it was glorious.
But Apple are set to go one better and by doing what they do best – making things easy for users while staying away from the bleeding edge.
Even on the mighty Nokia Nseries, many of which emulate this VGA video recording feat and most of which feature video editing to some degree, uploading videos to the world has been largely a case of ‘wait until you get home and plug it into your PC or Mac’. Partly because of the file sizes involved, it’s true, over 20MB per minute of footage, but also because for two years the only upload service offered was Vox, which almost noone’s ever heard of.
I have no idea why noone at Nokia thought of building or integrating a YouTube uploader, but it still doesn’t exist to this day. With iPhone 3.0, if the analysis is to be trusted, we’re looking at one-tap uploading straight from the phone. It’s so obvious, it’s painful.
Now to the thorny question of resolution. For years the YouTube ‘standard’ upload resolution was QVGA, i.e. 320 by 240. Yes, YouTube has now gone all HD and VGA is recommended, but the fact remains that an awful lot of QVGA video is still uploaded around the world. Instead of the 20MB/min needed for uploading VGA footage at 30fps, QVGA videos (usually at 15fps) work out to around 5MB/min, a much more manageable figure for real world uploads over 3G or Wi-Fi.
So we have Apple providing one-click YouTube upload, hitting the sweet spot for manageable upload size and hitting a YouTube resolution standard (if not the current one) all at the same time. I realise that I’m video-biased (hey, I make The Phones Show) but even I can see that the potential’s here for another huge hit factor for Apple’s device darling.