Hacker turns iPhone into camcorder

Beta app shoots just five seconds of video; final version coming

An iPhone owner who uses the alias "drunknbass" has hacked Apple's iconic smart phone and managed to turn it into a video camcorder.

On his Web site Monsters and Friends, drunknbass said he isn't finished working on the unauthorized application. "Right now, I can capture [2-megapixel] quality at 10 fps [frames per second] for 10 seconds," he said, "[but] when I lower the quality to normal phone-size .mov, I should be able to get a higher fps and a minute of video at least."

He also posted a beta of the application, which only records five seconds of video at 10 fps, and spelled out what he was shooting for in a final. "The final app will be able to record somewhere from 15 to 30+ fps and should have an unlimited file length," said the hacker in a post to his site. Standard television images are broadcast at 30 fps.

The beta does not store the five-second clips, but instead automatically deletes each when the next is shot.

Like all third-party native iPhone applications, drunknbass' camcorder is unauthorized by Apple. That situation may change as early as February, assuming Apple makes good on the promise of CEO Steve Jobs and rolls out an iPhone software developer's kit by then.

To download the 36KB beta, users must register with the Monsters and Friends site.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
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