Question: I’m at a dead end and feel I have been tossed aside by the corporate giant that is Verizon in hopes that I will just become mute and complacent. I will not!
I have been a Verizon customer for approximately 10 years. For the past two years, I have had an iPhone that uses their 3g network for data. My relationship with Verizon was fine up until this point.
The area in which I live is highly seasonal and the population grows by 3.5 million in the summer months. Verizon’s 3g network can not handle this and I do not get data coverage from Friday nights until Monday morning all summer long. This issue is even prevalent in the off season when there are a lot of people around (malls at the holiday, etc.). However, I test my phone next to someone with another carrier and their phones work fine, no matter where. [continue]
There are more than 50,000 iPhone applications out there, accounting for over a billion downloads. Hard to pick just a handful to take on your next trip, isn’t it?
No worries. As someone who stood in line to buy the first iPhone, and has pretty much bought each subsequent iPhone within 24 hours of its release — not always with positive results, but that’s a story for another day — I’m here to help.
Here are five almost free iPhone “apps” I can’t leave home without. [continue]
You get this: Video uploads to YouTube from mobile phones jumped 400 percent in a week. The mobile video revolution has begun. And no one will be more affected than travelers.
Allow me an “I-told-you-so” moment. A few weeks ago, I predicted the new iPhone would mark a turning point in the way we get our information about travel and the way we share our travel experiences. But in order to do that, video use on the iPhone would first have to become ubiquitous. With a million iPhones sold in the first week, and YouTube being overloaded with iPhone-generated clips, I’d say we’re well on our way.
I bought an iPhone last week and took it through the paces, and I’m impressed by what I found. And I mean that in both ways: positively and negatively.
First, the cost. Although the new iPhone’s margins seem thin — it costs $179 to build and sells for $199, a profit of just $20 — Apple charged me far more to upgrade from my iPhone 3G. By the time I had paid all the extra fees, I was looking at close to $500. That’s ridiculous. It turns out that AT&T, the wireless network on which the iPhone runs in the United States, refuses to subsidize the new handsets.
I think the final barrier to the video revolution won’t be technology, but corporate greed. When the iPhone can run on any network — indeed, when a device with the same functionality of the iPhone is available without any of the restrictions Apple currently imposes on this gadget — then there’s no stopping this migration to video.
I’m disappointed that the 3Gs can only shoot standard definition video. But wait! It can shoot HD, according to those who have peeked under the hood. But HD has been disabled, presumably to spare the iPhone’s battery. Please!
But that’s where my disappointment ends. Shooting video on iPhone is as easy as taking picture. You have to remember to hold the phone correctly — horizontally, not vertically — otherwise the image is clipped when you try to edit it. Another caveat: Watch your fingers. On several occasions, I obscured the tiny lens, rendering the video unusable.
Image stabilization is as good as any I’ve experienced on a conventional video camera. The sound quality is decent enough for a video postcard and works well with the VGA-resolution video.
Here’s a little clip I shot this weekend of our trip to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Fla.
The rudimentary built-in editing features allow you to shorten a clip and then post it to YouTube. If you want more, you’ll have to switch to iMovie, Final Cut, or another video editor.
And that brings me to importing. For now, iPhoto is the best way to pull the clips on to your computer. My iTunes player all but ignores the video I take, which is really annoying. I’m sure a fix is imminent.
What’s really needed is better program for importing, editing and compressing video and then exporting it to YouTube or one of the other video sites I discussed in my last post. Apple also needs to figure out how to make the iPhone zoom, and it needs to make it easier to attach this new camera to a tripod.
Patience, my friends. I’m sure all of those features are on the way.
One of the most popular cameras on the number one photo-sharing site isn’t a camera at all. It’s the Apple iPhone.
I mention this for two reasons. First, because a new iPhone is being released June 19. And second, because it now includes a feature that promises to change the way we travel: a video camera.
The specs are nothing to rave about — 640 by 480 pixels, which is not exactly HD — but the implications are far-reaching for each and every one of us. At the touch of a button, travelers can now publish an edited video to YouTube. Not coincidentally, YouTube just last week added a feature that allows you to directly share clips to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader.
Why does any of this matter to travelers?
Because it marks a fundamental shift that could alter the way we get our information about travel and the way we share our travel experiences.
It’s a move from “tell me” to “show me.”
You can already see the beginning of this migration on social networking sites that specialize in travel, where users are gravitating toward photos, as opposed to written reviews. Just last week, in a post about TripAdvisor, several users claimed they disregarded the written reviews and just looked at the pictures. When everyone is carrying a video camera, and when posting to the Internet is as easy as pushing a button, imagine how people will make travel purchasing decisions?
Let’s just take a moment to consider this.
Say you’re buying a plane ticket, but it’s a toss-up between United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. At the moment, you can look up reviews of both airlines and find lots of information on blogs. You can also go to a seat review site like SeatGuru or to an old-school forum like FlyerTalk, and get a reasonably good idea of what to expect. But what if you have actual user-generated video content of the seats and can compare seat pitch, in-flight entertainment, and overall comfort by seeing it instead of reading about it.
How would that change things?
What if you’re trying to decide where to make restaurant reservations? You could check out Zagat or Yelp and read all about it, but what if you could see the entrees as they’re served?
Now imagine these video clips are delivered in real-time, or as close as possible to it. Sites like 12seconds and Seesmic already let you do that. (Think Twitter for video.)
Now imagine everyone has access to it in real time. That’s what Google Wave is all about, and when it’s released later this year, it could potentially revolutionize the way in which we consume information. Here are a few highlights of Google Wave’s features, courtesy of our friends over at Lifehacker.
We’re on the verge of nothing less than a revolution in media. The travel industry will be at the frontline, but it won’t take long to turn everything upside-down.