Apparently the current iteration of Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support front-facing cameras on devices running WP7. What the hell? Seems extremely short-sighted even for an initial endeavor. We know how industries work. Someone comes up with an idea and that idea makes its way around to other companies, many of whom end up copying the idea. So it’s not like the concept of a front-facing camera has been unknown to Microsoft when they made WP7.
Well, I guess it’s better late than never, in this case. Maybe they realize mobile video calling may not just be a novelty because WindowsPhone7Central.com is reporting an off-the-record comment by a Microsoft employee and possible evidence deep in the development code for WP7.
As far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier when it comes to video chat support. I really think it’s finally come into it’s own and you’ll start finally seeing more “videophone” calls as a commonplace thing. We were promised video phones ages ago, but it took the mobile app revolution to bring it to us.
ooVoo has long, in my opinion, been the king of group video chat for anyone who doesn’t have the advantage of having an expensive corporate video telepresence setup.
But with Skype’s latest beta, they’re moving from great video plus group text chat, to great GROUP video calling plus text chat. It’s really exciting to see this becoming more accessible to the average Joe.
True, it costs a little now, but for an ad hoc $5 day pass or $9/month unlimited (with discounts for bulk buying), it’s not a bad deal. And of course, with competition comes even better deals so maybe we can look forward to a price war between Skype and ooVoo. BTW: One on one video chat is still free, it’s just the group video calling that will cost money, much like ooVoo.
I wonder how Skype’s recent acquisition of Qik will play into this all.
I want to hate magicJack. It reaks of ‘As Seen On TV’ and probably gained a lot of popularity through that channel. But it seems to be hanging in there and gaining in function and popularity. More power to’em!
Since there was a lot of interest in the ‘magicJack for Android’ article I posted a little while ago, and since this could be used as an official, non-Android based method of having a portable private phone number, I thought it was worth mentioning.
So what you get with the magicJack Plus is a $50 VoIP solution that you can use plugged into a computer, but also.. somehow.. use it via 3G and wifi (I assume with an additional chunk of hardware) as well a a free of local and long distance calling.
The biggest surprise? Almost as an afterthought, they mention a magicJack iPHONE APP! Yes, the Android app may be a hacked together affair, but looks like a legit Android app may be a possibility if the iPhone app flies! Very exciting news for fans of VoIP!
I might have to keep an eye on magicJack and what new products they may have on the horizon. I foresee them renaming themselves and rebirthing much like ValuJet did with AirTran.
Webcams have come a long way from the giant, low res monstrosities.. or the forerunner, the Connectix Quickcam with it’s off-white ball design that looked like an eyeball. Now you can get a basic webcam for $10, but there’s always a push for bigger, better, faster, more. Without getting into the prosumer grade of video cameras that you could, if you chose, also use as a webcam, there’s still a good push for regular webcam flavored webcams.
A new contender seems to be FaceVsion (note the odd spelling) and their N1 and V1 cameras. I can’t tell if they’re “Korean knockoff goofy” or if they’re legit and fresh and new. I’m leaning toward the latter because they really have something interesting here.
For just an affordable and very sexy $69, you get this beautiful white camera that would be at home in the kitchen as well sa the boudoir
It supports H.264 and can do 720p “highdef” and makes SkypeHD super happy. Maybe this will help raise the bar in webcam quality so we won’t have to squint as much, trying to figure out if that’s a nipple or just an encoding artifact.
With a name like HighTechAffair.com, you’d maybe expect that we endorse cheating, infidelity… affairs. But above all, we endorse happiness. If you feel it necessary to go outside your relationship to find happiness, then you have to do what you have to do. But you should consider your spouse or significant other and never make your choice lightly. You’ll find, among the tech reviews, that we’ll show you both how to find out if someone’s cheating as well as how not to get caught. Part of ‘how not to get caught’ also covers safeguarding your privacy from prying eyes who may not be a spouse or SO and who have no business knowing your business. Roommates, family members who may use your computer or cell phone or public internet terminals where you may not want to do some of the things mentioned on this site anyway.
The short statement: It’s your business what you do and your decision whether to risk hurting someone you’re in a relationship with. That’s not our business. What we strive to do is provide tips for safeguarding your privacy as well as getting the most out of the tech that’s available.
With that said, our first “how to catch a cheater” segment comes straight from Forbes.com. Thanks to SL for the tip!
Some interesting tidbits quoted from Retrevo’s Gadgetology Report which surveyed over 1,000 people on their prying habits:
- You have a 30% chance of getting caught if you leave evidence on your phone [ed: Rule #1! Don't leave evidence if you have a reason to hide your actions!!]
- Women tend to snoop 33% of the time while men only check 30% of the time
- Younger people are more likely to check up on their partners.. only 28% of the total surveyed check on their partners, but 38% of those under 25 were likely to snoop
- Only 10% actually found something and ended the relationship. [ed: How many found something and stayed? No idea]
- While 36% of married people have snooped, only 3% have found something [ed: does this mean fewer married people cheat or is it that either fewer married people dig deep enough or are maybe better.. or have a more vested interest.. in hiding evidence]
Things the article mentions as tools to catch a cheating partner?
- Keystroke logging software [ed: not the best idea since many don't just work for you but also send your info to people who would love to use things like your bank account login for their own purposes... also, antivirus softwares tend to catch all keyloggers, even the ones you can buy and are legit since they can be used for bad purposes]
- Motion sensing cameras [ed: I assume since they mention Logitech that they mean webcams. They mention needing imagination to figure out how to use them.. basically check the included software, some have security type software that will take photos/video and email or text you when they go off. You can also use something like Orb and it's motion sensing capabilities to take photos/video and send you notifications. Be aware that usually your webcam's red light will be ON and it'll be obvious that it's active]
- They mention Spytronix, who sells voice recorders that you could hide in a room to record voice conversations. [ed: That may work if there are telephone or voice chat calls involved.. which is possible, I suppose, but how many people just chat in text, with or without video, but actually use audio too? I would treat this as not the #1 thing I'd try to do since it's probably 50/50 that you actually get anything out of it]
- GPS tracking via pricey gadgets that require service contracts [ed: Most phones these days have some kind of GPS capabilities and most smartphones now have access to things like Google Latitude or apps that can help with tracking. Just be aware that Google Latitude sends an email to your account reminding you that you are using Latitude so you can't really sneak it onto someone's account without them finding out eventually. Also, Latitude has an option for turning off the tracking or manually setting your location]
There are other techniques that we’ll cover in another article. If you want to read the full Forbes article, hit the source link. Stay tuned to HighTechAffairs.com for REAL information on how to dig up dirt.. and how to keep it buried.
Skype 3.0 just hit iTunes and it’s boasting video calls to Skype users on Windows, Mac and Linux (and assuming other iPhone users as well with the 3.0 software). Video calls supposedly work over wifi AND 3G, giving it an edge over Facetime.
No official word on Android or other platform support, but there should be more announcements at CES in Las Vegas next week. Exciting stuff!
Update: Added video released after initial article was posted:
A while ago, Yahoo IM for Android was updated just for the MyTouch 4G, version 1.1 I believe, to include support for video calling using the MyTouch4G’s front-facing camera. Copies of the ripped app were all over the place, but it was a little tricky to get set up. Now with versions 1.2 and 1.3 officially on the Android App Market, you’re now able to get the officially updated version of Yahoo Messenger and get the new Voice and Video plugin (installed within the app, even though it does appear in the Android Market). For now, only the MyTouch 4G and EVO 4G are supported, but hopefully they’ll add more support for other devices soon. Even without a front-facing camera, you could still take advantage of the voice calling.
Previously only available for Android and Symbian S60, fring’s phone service (VoIP) has recently become available for the iPhone as well. This gives iPhone users yet another way to skirt around AT&T’s system to make cheaper international calls or be able to call home when you’re overseas without paying crazy international roaming charges (you still need some kind of internet connection on your phone, but a hotel or airport wifi should work great).
You can check fringOut’s rates here.
Remember that fring also lets you make free ‘calls’, audio and video, to your friends who also use fring and is available on Symbian, Android and iPhone currently. And don’t forget their recent addition of Dynamic Video Quality (can’t wait to test that out!).