iPhone 4 still won’t kill the Flip

Flip video.One of the best features of iPhone 4 is that it records video in 720p. As with the iPhone 3GS, a lot of people have been asking whether that functionality will kill the Flip. I think the answer is still no, but it will eventually turn into a yes.

The problem is that the iPhone still isn’t prevalent enough. There are plenty of people in the world who are scared of smartphones – unsure that the additional cost of a data plan is actually worth it. For those people, the Flip is still a great option. It’s cheap, easy to use, and records great video.

As smartphones become more and more prevalent, though, its inevitable that the Flip will die off. As I’ve said plenty of times about the Kindle, I still believe purpose-built devices are a thing of the past. The Flip is no exception. The more advanced our daily handhelds become, the less we’ll need things like a Flip to fill the gap.


Get your iPhone 4 upgrade up to six months early

iPhone 4.Early adopters always get pissed when a new device comes out. After all, it can be hard to justify spending another couple hundred bucks on a gadget that closely mimics your current gear. The iPhone is no exception, but luckily AT&T has your back (sort of – their network still blows).

AT&T is offering iPhone 4 upgrades up to six months early for a minimal upgrade fee of $18. That’s a damn fine price to get your hands on the new iPhone. If you’re like me, you probably cringed when you saw that six month figure. I got my 3GS last June on launch day, which leaves me a far cry from the six month upgrade window. As it turns out, that “six months” is a little more flexible than you’d think.

If you want to know your upgrade status, dial *639# from an AT&T phone and you’ll receive a text message concerning your eligibility status. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was indeed eligible for the $18 upgrade. I’m definitely taking advantage – current 16GB 3GS prices range from $250-$500 on eBay. That more than covers the cost of the phone and the upgrade.

The iPhone 4 will be available June 24th.


iPhone 4 is here!

Apple iPhone 4.Apple has made an honest phone of the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs officially announced the iPhone 4 today during the WWDC 2010 keynote address.

It’s a beauty of a phone – the same phone Gizmodo leaked in April. With it comes a whole host of new features, including the long-rumored ability to make video calls. It is far and away the best phone on the market to date (more on that later), with a feature list that will make all the EVO 4G freaks go, “Oh…you have that too.”

From the outside, you can see that the iPhone 4 is thinner even than the 3GS. It now features a front-facing video cam for the video calling service, “FaceTime.” Both the front and back of the phone are made of a slate of glass. The camera on the back has been upgraded to five megapixels, records 720p video at 30 FPS, and has an LED flash. Apple also added a second microphone for noise cancellation during calls, a welcome feature.

On the inside, you’re looking at an A4 processor – yeah, that’s the same thing that runs the iPad – a larger battery, and an antenna system that has been integrated into the body of the phone. Storage capacity remains the same, at 16GB or 32GB, which has always seemed like plenty to me. There’s also a gyroscope along with the accelerometer, giving the phone six-axis sensitivity which is great for gaming and trainer apps among other things. The display on the iPhone 4 now has twice the pixel density of the 3GS. That’s huge, especially with the news that Netflix is coming to the iPhone later this summer.

On the whole, it’s a great update to an already great device. I’ll have more posts throughout the day detailing the changes so stay tuned. The iPhone 4 will be available for pre-order on June 15th, on sale June 24th.


Live video streams rush to the app store

iPhone running the Ustream app.There’s more good news for app junkies out there. UStream is now officially available in the App Store, allowing users to stream video content over 3G and Wi-Fi connections. It’s a big step for the app approval process and more like a leap off a cliff for AT&T’s network.

UStream isn’t the first app to offer streaming. That distinction goes to Knocking, another app that paved the way for UStream, proving that both Apple and AT&T would allow such a demanding application to break through the notoriously awful approval process. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the network can actually handle that sort of strain. In fact, AT&T has said several times that high data traffic causes most of the network issues. These apps definitely won’t help that situation.

It’s nice to see developers continue to push AT&T to provide some of the cool options the iPhone has available. Let’s hope AT&T will come around to the idea…right.


Unsurprising News of the Day: iPhone 3GS Bumps YouTube Mobile Uploads By 400%

iPhone video recording at the pool.There’s a word that’s frequently omitted from the recent blog chatter about YouTube’s latest upload stats: mobile. It’s an important word, too, especially for a site that sees tens of thousands of uploads per day.

For those of you who aren’t up to date, a recent YouTube blog post claimed the iPhone 3GS has bumped uploads by 400% per day since its release last Friday. Taken out of context, that’s mind-blowing, and at first led me to believe iPhone 3GS users were somehow pushing nearly half a million videos per day through YouTube’s servers. That would be staggering.

In the original context, though, you can see the YouTube team is talking about mobile upload increases, not total upload percentages, which makes this completely unsurprising news. The last six months have seen the first widespread adoption of phones with video paired with data connections capable of uploading those videos. It’s no surprise then that the last six months have also seen a 1700% increase in mobile uploads and the 400% iPhone 3GS stat mentioned earlier. It’s pretty easy to post huge growth numbers from…next to nothing, and it just gets easier when Apple sells a million phones, all with build in video and editing features, all with an easy YouTube upload app.

Now it’s easy to panic and wonder when all of this uploading is going to crush AT&T’s upstream, but YouTube hasn’t released any hard numbers. It’s still 400 percent, which could be 100 or could be 10,000. Even a generous 100,000 videos a day is a lot for mobile video, but compared to the number of mobile users (take the 20 million active iPhone users, for instance) and you’re talking about marginal amounts of data compared to the total upstream per day.

So please, take it easy, and don’t forget to look at the original data before taking fantastical news to heart.