Flixwagon Matches Qik With 3G iPhone Service, Apple Still MIA

Hot on the heels of its competitor Qik, mobile video service Flixwagon has released an application for the iPhone 3G that allows users to stream live video from their cell phones. Qik released a similar application for the iPhone 3G yesterday. Unfortunately, like the Qik app, this will only work on jailbroken (hacked) iPhones, which severely limits the potential user base.

Here are the instructions if you’d like to install it:

-On Cydia, make sure you refresh all ‘Sources’ under the ‘Changes’ tab, and then Install Flixwagon from “Sections/Multimedia”.
-On installer 4: make sure you refresh ‘Sources’, and then install Flixwagon via “Categories/Multimedia”. The app is also available via Community resources like iSpazio.

Apple’s ban on applications using the iPhone’s camera is just one of the seemingly arbitrary restrictions the company is placing on developers. What makes the restriction especially annoying is the fact that the camera is actually designed to capture video. Some users speculate that the lack of a sanctioned video app may be because of Apple’s concerns with the iPhone’s already lackluster battery life, while others believe that the phone’s developers don’t have it very high on their priority list.
Update: A developer I’ve spoken to says that the camera buffer is simply a part of the phone developers are not given access to yet, but that this likely has more to do with creating a sandboxed environment than Apple explicitly forbidding video apps.

Either way, the fact that Apple is rejecting applications that have significant demand and no malicious qualities has frustrated users and developers alike. Apple’s lack of communication and hazy Terms of Service may cause the App Store to stagnate, as developers become wary of creating something truly innovative only to have it rejected.

Notably absent from the race to get streaming video to the iPhone is Kyte, a direct competitor to Qik and Flixwagon. Kyte may be trying to avoid any disagreements with Apple, as it already it has an Apple approved application available in the App Store (which can only handle images, not video).