Streaming live video to your cell phone has been promised to the masses for years—the mobile equivalent of flying cars and vacations on the moon. The future has arrived, but it may not be what you expected.
Ustream Viewing Application from Ustream.tv does one thing and it does it well. Video is delivered quickly and clearly over Wi-Fi connections, in either portrait or landscape mode. As a bonus, the video is accompanied by a chat room so you can discuss the show with other viewers who are either on their iPhone or chatting through Ustream’s Web site. The interface is easy, the video quality is good, and the app seems quite stable.
The main problem with Ustream isn’t technical—it’s the content. If you love kitty and puppy cams and high school basketball, then you have a new world to explore. But if that’s not your thing, you’ll grow disappointed quickly.
Hopefully, Ustream’s content will improve overtime. In fact, one could try to look for a promising sign of Ustream’s potential on the app’s launch date—just in time to deliver video of last month’s presidential inauguration. Hopefully, as Ustream evolves, it can offer change (and content) we can believe in.
Ustream Viewing Application is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.x software update.
[Jeffrey Hatton is a freelance writer living in Virginia.]