Video recording on G1 (Cupcake update)
After a few delays, the 1.5 (Cupcake) update for the Android G1 phone from T-Mobile has arrived. Â Impatient as I am, I followed the instructions from the AndroidGuys and forced my phone to update, although I think I only gained about 12 hours ultimately. Â In any case, it’s a big step forward for the phone and the Android platform, with some great UI improvements, including the much discussed virtual keyboard.
For me, however, the most exciting new development is the implementation of video recording on the G1. Â After the phone is updated a new app appears, “Camcorder.” Â The use is fairly simple, just point and shoot. Â There are two quality settings, “Low” and “High,” with the Low setting designated for “MMS” usage. Â One nice feature is that video recording is integrated into the Camera app, and the user can switch from video recording to still photography with the click of one button.
The captured video uses the .3gp container format for the h.263 video codec. Â Audio is labeled as “samr” and is the standard 3gp audo codec of AMR-Narrowband. Â Using the “High” setting the video resolution isÂ 352×288 and the bitrate looks to be around 350-400 kbps. Â ”Low” has a resolution ofÂ 176×144 and bitrate around 200 kbps.
The Camcorder app allows for very easy video sharing with one-touch email, MMS, and YouTube integration. Â The YouTube integration works very well, at least with the relatively small size video files I have tested with so far.
How does the video look? Â Well, not great. Â The camera on the G1 is not particularly good, and turning it into a video camcorder has not magically improved it. Â That said, the video recording on mobile devices is generally not very good from a visual quality standpoint generally, at least with the current generation of in-device cameras. Â Motion is pretty jerky, the colors are not great, and the audio quality, while in stereo which is nice, leaves a lot to be desired. Â Still, the ability to capture video on the fly and get it uploaded to YouTube very, very easily has a lot of promise for the G1 and future Android phones. Â The killer app may be, though, live streaming. Â I am very hopeful that Qik can get implemented on the G1 sooner rather than later. Â Broadcasting live has a number of great potential uses that rely far more on immediacy a mobile allows rather than the quality it cannot currently provide.