Ustream lets iPhones broadcast live and unlocks video recording for older models

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Ustream Broadcaster showing fans chatting about Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Credit: Ustream

Thanks to Ustream Broadcaster, a mobile application that began selling this morning in Apple’s App Store, anyone with an iPhone can report live from a scene.


After signing up for a Ustream account, users can immediately punch the ‘go live’ button and start streaming video from the iPhone’s camera to the Web using WiFi or AT&T’s 3G. The app is available as a free download.

Developers have built streaming solutions for other smart phones, including the iPhone, but Apple had a history of turning them down once submitted to the App Store.

The approval of a one-to-one app called Knocking last week appears to have paved the way for Ustream Broadcaster and many others like it. (Qik’s app was denied about a year ago.)

Even more surprising, Ustream’s app works on the older iPhone 3G -- albeit slowly. Apple has yet to offer the video recording functionality that is on the 3GS to older phones, but Ustream relieves that issue. Broadcaster, although a less elegant solution, lets users record video straight to the phone in addition to streaming capabilities.

Ustream co-founder John Ham heard the ‘great news’ shortly after waking up this morning before his speech at the Le Web technology conference, he said on the phone from Paris. Apple’s approval was never a done deal, but Broadcaster was promptly added to the store about two to three weeks after its submission.

‘You always hope when you submit an app that it gets approved,’ Ham said. He’s convinced that Apple, too, is looking forward to the new era of live video, saying, ‘I know they’re really excited about this.’


Before Broadcaster, Ustream already had an app for the iPhone that lets anyone view its streaming videos. Both apps are also available on Google’s Android platform.

Ham and his team could barely control the excitement for the newly available software, which is sure to get heavy use among Le Web’s tech elite.

‘I got e-mails from, I’d say, hundreds saying the world has changed today,’ Ham said. ‘This is the first time on the iPhone globally that Apple has approved an application to let you broadcast to potentially millions.’

-- Mark Milian