capsule review

Givit for iPhone and iPad

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Givit - Private Video Sharing

I happen to think my daughter is the most wonderful kid on the planet. Total strangers, however, may not agree. And instead of courting their dissent by posting videos of my child doing delightful things, I turn to a more private way of sharing videos with friends and family.

That method is the Givit mobile app from VMix Media. The iPhone and iPad app, along with the Givit website provides me with a way to easily upload videos from my mobile device and precisely control who sees what.

Personal Video: When you upload a video using the Givit app, you tell the service specifically who you want to share that video with.

More than a few video upload services offer some measure of privacy controls. YouTube, for example, has a setting for keeping your video from the prying eyes of the public, and you can also turn off comments to keep the subhumanoids who dwell on YouTube from spewing their peculiar brand of insight. Facebook has privacy settings of its own that let you restrict who can see the videos you post. The trouble with the approaches these sites take, though, is that it’s just another step you have to remember.

Givit, on the other hands, builds privacy right into the upload process. When I go to share a video—whether it’s one I’m uploading from my camera roll or one that I shoot from within the Givit app—I enter in the email addresses of the specific people I want to share with. By doing so, I can control who exactly gets to see my video. Givit adds a further measure of privacy control by letting my decide whether anyone can reshare my video—that feature is turned off by default. In other words, privacy isn’t a setting I have to remember to enable after the fact.

(The downside to Givit’s approach is that the people you share with have to register with the service to be able to view your videos. It’s a pretty simple process that ensures your video is being seen by the right person, but I will concede that it is One More Step you’re imposing on others.)

Having the Givit app on my phone gives me a fairly seamless solution for getting my videos off my iPhone and onto the screens of the people I want to share them with. Let’s say my daughter and I are in the park when she shows off her mad soccer ball-kicking skills. I can take out my iPhone 4, fire up the Camera app, and capture the sights and sounds of her acting like a toddler-sized version of Leo Messi. Then it’s off to the Givit app to upload the video and share it with her mom and grandparents before my daughter is even finished dribbling. And while I primarily use Givit for proud parent video sharing, that’s not the service’s only use case: Givit’s ability to handle large file sizes coupled with its privacy features mean that small businesses could use the app and website to share promotional videos with clients, just as one example.

Givit lets you store up to 2GB of videos for free. I’ve been using the service since late last year, and I’m in no danger of running into my limit, though admittedly, my videos tend to be of the 30-second “Oh, isn’t that cute?” variety. If you need more storage, Givit offers monthly and annual subscriptions; for example, 10GB of storage will run you $30 per year, while 50GB costs $100 annually.

Givit has a number of little features that I find impressive. You can retroactively remove someone’s ability to watch your video, for instance, and the app allows the people you share with to comment on videos. But really, the seamless sharing with people you explicitly choose is Givit’s shining feature. If that’s something you’ve craved, both the app and the service deserve your attention.

[Philip Michaels is the editor of Macworld.com.]

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Givit - Private Video Sharing

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