Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Jesus Phone

I'm a bit of a tech geek. Not a full member, I failed the Star Trek written exam and I play and watch far too much sport. But I do have the new iPhone, but unlike probably half the iPhone users out there I am really interested in seeing how far I can push this little device.

I already write all the blogs with the phone. Now the new one has a half decent camera as well. So what, says half the Nokia owners out there. Well, this, for a start.

That was all done from within the phone. It also does basic video and video editing, with direct upload to YouTube, so now I can add video to the blog, like this,

without having to jump back on my MacBook. Pity i forgot to frame the right way, but the buggers were pecking me! I still have to do that from the web, but an app will written soon enough that will add the video before accessing the web. The next app I expect to see now that has let developers have access to the camera is the ability to record voiceovers.

Ok. Now imagine you are a foreign correspondent. In one device, you have a wifi and mobile enabled camera, phone and video that will let you shoot, edit, voiceover, write your article and send off to your site or editor.

In fact I wonder if it will accelerate a trend where the best freelance guys will have their own sites, rather than selling to a paper to get it out on the web. Have a look at a guy like John Gruber, who writes some of the most insightful articles on tech from his site, Daring Fireball. Even Birmo, who gets more traffic to his various journalistic work from his personal site than through the actual media gateways. The thing is, I trust certain writers, journos and podcasters, much more than I trust a brand like the SMH or The Australian. In fact every bad piece written in a paper makes me wish that journos like Kathleen Noonan or Annabel Crabb had their own sites.

The Jesus Phone is not for everybody, but the chances of me carrying round a big digital video camera or SLR all the time while I work and shape lantanaland are pretty bloody slim. And if i was away from the laptop i would have to wait till I got home to edit and upload what I was thinking or seeing. As the guys on one of the podcasts say just about every time they discuss a new camera "the best camera is the one you have with you".

Well the best way for me to write, do photo and video and edit is with me all the time.

Lantanaland from the iPhone


  1. Yeah, advertising for on the road journos would cover the financial side of it. I mean, I'm not gonna pay for one journalists etchings when I can get - even a half arsed version - the same info, or near to it even if it's a fraction later, for free.

    Tis a cool thing though.

  2. I'd pay for birmos monthly content or Annabel crabb. Hell I buy the c mail every day so I have no respect for money.

  3. Birmo would do it for a rack of BBQ spare ribs every Sunday for lunch.

  4. The ability to tether in the latest upgrade is the big thing for me. It helps justify an increased data plan.

    I don't think it can truely replace the laptop until a good voice to text software comes along. It is just too hard to write or edit large pieces of text on such a small screen.

  5. I agree with Nautilus - the Wah has an iPhone, and I find it difficult to use for typing, texting etc.

    I'm sure most of this is because I don't use it all the time. I'd probably get used to it.

    I've seen some journos using attachable keyboards to quickly write up stories. I think I'd need something like that. Or perhaps one of those other phones with flip out keyboards. Even then, they're pretty tiny. Even voice to text is difficult - a lot of the craft of writing for me is in the typing, the clacking of keys, the backspace, delete, arrow up and down to make all the words fit properly - transposing that to a voice-only method could get confusing.

    I've been annoyed at some media conferences where media advisers record the audio on their smart phones - which interferes with my signal on my proper audio recorder (mostly if they receive a call or text during the conf). It renders my audio useless, and it's something that you often don't find out about until you check it once the conference has ended.

    I'm still using a non-3G phone. Smart phones are the Great Big Yonder for me - I just don't seem to have the genetic structure to comprehend them. Perhaps I'm just too stupid. ;)