Apple has enabled owners of its older 2G and 3G handsets to record video by admitting the new iVideoCamera app to the iTunes store. [as well as the UStream Broadcaster app for 3G handsets - update at foot of post]
Users can now legitimately record, 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 iTunes stores around the world.
Adding this third party application to an iPhone 2G or 3G handset means that there is even less incentive to move up to the 3GS model and may prompt those coming up to the end of their contracts to wait and see what iPhone news Apple has to announce in the spring before committing to an upgrade path.
Beware though, there are some significant limits to the app, and it is not helped by the camera installed in 2G and 3G iPhones. The app itself can only capture video at a maximum of three frames per second… far behind the 30 frames per second capacity of the 3GS. Quality is, therefore, limited as is the resolution which comes in at 160 x 213, compared to 640 x 480 on the 3GS.
On the upside, whilst there is no opportunity to share on Twitter yet, videos can be quickly uploaded to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo from within the app itself.
Development team Laan Labs, creators of the iVideoCamera app, promise improved frame rates and quality in forthcoming releases.
UPDATE: The UStream Broadcaster app is another newcomer to the store and is available free. The app enables live streaming of video from 3G handsets or better over 3G and WiFi. Sadly, there’s no support for 2G iPhones, but 3G owners can enjoy live chat whilst broadcasting, as well as the ability to share on Twitter when going live.