To celebrate the arrival of Skype’s mobile video chat on the iPhone 4, today’s Throwback Thursday looks back fondly on another ultimately fruitless attempt to popularize video calling: the AT&T VideoPhone 2500. AT&T had swung and missed with video calling before, but the introduction of the VideoPhone 2500 in 1992 would be the home run the company had been waiting for. Costing just $1,599.99 per phone or $1,449.99 each if you bought two or more, this puppy was going to bring video calling to the eager masses. Grandparents would be able to see their precious little grandchildren from across the country, workaholic dads would be able to video-call their kids before bedtime, tweens would be able to take sexting to the next uncomfortable level… wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves a little. But alas, no one wanted to pay an arm and a leg for a video phone, no one wanted to cough up between $30 and $90 each month for video calling, and in the end, no one was really interested in the service at all once the novelty wore off — just like we’re seeing today with mobile video chat. More →
Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the heir apparent to the myTouch 3G throne and T-Mobile’s second HSPA+ handset, the myTouch 4G. The new device, which is manufactured by HTC, has all the trimmings of a flagship device: 1GHz processor, front and rear facing cameras, vivid touchscreen display, and, depending on whom you ask, a 4G radio. The myTouch 4G is getting the lion’s share of T-Mobile’s ad buys these days, but how does the handset perform when put to the test by your friends at BGR? Hit the jump to find out.More →
We’re at T-Mobile’s intimate myTouch event right now (we’re currently snuggling up with all four colors — white, black, red and purple), and here are our first-hand impressions:
- It feels good in the hand. The device is pretty slim, has a slight Android chin at the bottom, and all in all seems to be very solidly-built.
- The screen is beautiful, sharp and bright — but not as good as an AMOLED in our opinion.
- It rocks the myTouch UI that first appeared with the myTouch Slide, though it seems a bit more refined now.
- We’re currently watching Vincent from SlashGear and Sascha from PC Magazine try to establish a video call. It was unsuccessful at first, but it seems like they’re having way too much fun now that it’s working. Never mind, Sascha is yelling at the phone now.
- Watching a demo of the phone streaming video to a TV set was pretty cool. After some quick initial buffering, movies, photos and YouTube played effortlessly on the HDTV.
We’re pretty excited for the launch of the new myTouch. It’s packed with features and it nicely compliments T-Mobile’s stock Android G2 device as a younger-focused counterpart. Hit the jump for our full gallery, ok?
While a new update to the Yahoo Messenger app on the iPhone would be eventful in and of itself, the latest version brings a very special gift — video calling over 3G, and not just phone to phone, but phone to computer or vice versa. Unfortunately in our quick tests, video calling seems to be buggy, not reliable, and above all, pretty low in the quality department when we do manage to get it working. In addition to video calls, the newly updated Yahoo Messenger brings free voice calls to other Yahoo Messenger friends, supports background multitasking, and more. Let us know if you’re feeling the new update, though we’ll be waiting for real FaceTime calling over 3G. More →
You know how we reported on FaceTime probably linking up with emails instead of just phone numbers? It looks like it’s coming true, and possibly as soon as this month or next with Apple’s next iPod-focused event. There is a new option to initiate FaceTime calls from email addresses in the latest iPhone 4.1 beta 3. There’s a shot of the button above basically showing how simple this would be, in theory. No idea how Apple will plan to address multiple devices with the same email address, but we’re sure they’ll figure something out. More →
One of our reliable Apple connections (not Jason Burford) just let us know some pretty fantastic news. It’s been widely assumed that Apple will start to roll out their FaceTime real-time communication protocol to more and more of their mobile devices (and possibly their computers), but until now, we’ve been in the dark on how this will actually work. After all, there are no phone numbers to call on an iPod touch or iPad. Here is how we have been told FaceTime will work on non-iPhone devices: More →
The iPad might be the cool tablet to own, but for busy business people who really need to get things done, there are things like the Cisco Cius. Announced today, the Cius is what Cisco likes to calls a “mobile collaboration business tablet.” Based on Android, the Cius weighs in at 1.15lbs. and features a 7″ touchscreen display, front-facing camera for multi-party video conferencing that records and streams 720p video at 30 FPS , Bluetooth 3.0 as well as support for Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 3G/4G wireless networks. Pricing and a release date are unknown. More →
Sure it might have a laughably bad name, but there’s no way in hell you can laugh at the Samsung Epic 4G’s specs. A part of the Galaxy S family, the Epic 4G is Sprint’s second 4G WiMAX smartphone. To go on sale later this year for an undisclosed price, the Epic 4G has a 4″ WVGA Super AMOLED display, sliding QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video capture, front-facing camera for video calling, GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, mobile hotspot support for five devices, six-axis motion sensor, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and 512MB RAM / 1GB ROM. It will come to market running Android 2.1 — with a bit of help from Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0, naturally — but Sprint has gone on the record as saying an update to Android 2.2 won’t be that far off once the Epic 4G is released. Good to know. More →
Speaking to reporters after a presentation at the Executive Club, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said that his company will soon be announcing up to four handsets — presumably Android — that are capable of making video calls through front-facing cameras. Even though Jha said he has “never been a great believer” in video calling, he admitted that it is something that should be added to handsets, especially in light of the release of the EVO 4G and upcoming iPhone 4. In other Motorola news, Jha said that the Droid is selling very well through Verizon despite the fact that there is a shortage of components including displays from Samsung, an issue that is currently affecting sales of the HTC Droid Incredible. More →
“Now stop me if you’ve seen this.” And so Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4. Featuring stainless steel banding around the sides and a glass front, the iPhone 4’s “closest kin is a beautiful old camera.” It’s 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS at 9.3mm thick, which Apple claims makes it the smallest smartphone on the planet or “a quarter thinner than something you didn’t think could get any thinner.” The three stainless steel bands surrounding the device that look very un-Apple actually serve two purposes: they add to the structural integrity of the device and double as antenna boosters. Smart.
The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ display that has 78% the pixels of the iPad. With a resolution of 960×640 — or 4x the resolution of the first three iPhones — the iPhone 4 has four pixels where the other devices only had space for one for a total of 326 pixels per inch. Apple calls this “Retina Display” technology and says it translates to images and text so incredibly sharp that you’ll feel like you’re looking at a “finely printed book” instead of a mobile display. The display technology also means that apps will not have to be rescaled, so everything currently in the App Store will The display also has a 800:1 contrast ratio.
Moving on the the processor. Yes, indeedy, the iPhone 4 is powered by an Apple-designed A4 SoC. Apart from providing raw power, the A4 also sips juice from the battery as opposed to gulping it. This means the iPhone 4 is good for 7 hours of 3G talktime, 6 hours of browsing over 3G, 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby. As expected, 802.11n Wi-Fi is included as is a quad-band HSDPA radio capable of 7.2Mbps down and 5.8Mbps up. The iPhone 4 also introduces a dual-mic system for noise cancellation and a gyroscope which combined with the accelerometer allow for 6-axis motion sensing.
The iPhone 4’s main camera weighs in at 5 megapixels. What makes it special, according to Apple, is its backside illuminated sensor. This allows more photons to bombard the sensor resulting in better low-light photos. A sole LED flash straddles the camera sensor. Digital zoom tops out at 5x, while video capture has been stepped up to shoot 720p at 30fps. The LED flash is fully functional when capturing videos.
Not included with iPhone 4 but to be available in the App Store for $4.99 is iMovie. iMovie for the iPhone is pretty much what you’d expect — that is if you were expecting a feature-rich mobile movie editing application that’s capable of manhandling 720p videos. You can rearrange clips by dragging them about; add in photos, transitions, titles, and music; and use geolocation so you’ll have no excuses for forgetting exactly where you were when you shot the film.
And then there’s the front-facing camera. It runs the open application FaceTime. Apple is currently working with wireless providers to bring forth bonafide 3G video calls, but as far as 2010 is concerned you’re stuck with Wi-Fi. If for some reason you don’t want the person you’re calling to see your mug — or perhaps you just want them to see what you’re looking at — you can switch from the front-facing camera to the 5MP camera on the back.
So when can you get the iPhone 4? If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France or Japan you’ll be able to pre-order it on June 15th and pick it up on the 24th. In the US, AT&T will sell the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $299 (both assuming a 2-year contract). At an unspecified time in July, 18 other countries — Canada included — will get the iPhone. Oh and how could we forget? The iPhone 4 will be available in both black and white. More →
We’re at the HTC EVO 4G event in New York City and Dan Hesse just let it be known that the HTC EVO 4G will drop June 4th for $199.99. As awesome as this all is, we should caution you that you’ll need the $69.99 Everything Data plan and up to use an EVO 4G. And if you live in a market that has WiMAX, you’re kindly asked to hand over an extra $10 per month as a “premium data add-on”. If you were planning on taking advantages of the EVO’s ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for 8 extra devices, you’ll be dinged an additional $29.99. Don’t get us wrong because we’re not criticizing — when you think about it, this is really in line with what you’d pay for an Overdrive Mi-Fi from Sprint — we’re just letting you know what’s up with no BS. Feeling let down? What if we told you that Sprint has managed to find a way to let you make voice calls over 4G opening the door simultaneous voice and data connections in addition to making video calls via Qik over its EV-DO and WiMAX networks? Yeah, we thought so. Rock on, Sprint. Rock on.
We’ll be back later with more information — including a bunch of pictures — from the event.
Click on through to check out the press release!
Although cross-carrier video calling is likely to rank very low on the wireless wish list of Canadians, don’t try telling that to the Big Three who have just completed the testing phase of the service. Intra-network video calling, which has been available in Canada since April 2007 with Rogers and became available with Bell and TELUS in November 2009 alongside their spiffy new HSPA+ network, has yet to strike a chord with Canadian consumers (we’d wager most don’t even know it’s available), but Bell, Rogers and TELUS have high hopes that it will be openly embraced by the public. Said Bell’s Stephen Howe: “By breaking down the barriers between video calling clients in Canada, we anticipate strong demand for the service — as we saw with past inter-carrier initiatives such as text and picture messaging.” So far no launch dates are floating around, but we can’t imagine it will stay secret forever. Is anyone excited by this news, or are you all still trying to think of the last time you used your phone to call someone? Plus, you know what this service would really come in handy for? More →
Remember when The Wall Street Journal said that Dell was working on an Android MID? Well it turns out that it was bang on as today images and a video of a prototype device known as the Streak emerged by way of everyone’s favorite Vietnamese mobile site. Running Android 2.0, the Streak boasts 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 5″ WVGA multitouch capacitive display, 5 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, Bluetooth, microSD and a 1300 mAh battery. Looking through all of the pictures, we couldn’t help notice what looks to be the spitting image of a front-facing camera for checking ones hair video calling, but then again it could just be the worst ambient light sensor ever. Enough talk. Hit the jump for a ton of pics and a video, because the Streak cries out to be seen.