iPhone apps

Discussion in 'Smartphones as Dash Cams' started by rsilvers, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    I looked into iPhone apps. The problem with an app is that you won't be using it all the time, so it will probably not be working when someone goes in front of you and slams on their brakes to fake an insurance event. And if another family member is driving your car, then certainly there will be no recording.

    Also you cannot play music or do other things with your phone while it is recording. That being said, apps are more feature rich, and I have four iPhones sitting in a pile not being used. I bought four apps and tried them all.

    The best seems to be Carcorder for 99 cents (there is a free version, but it gives up features, and 99 cents rounds to free). Second best seems to be iSymDVR for $1.99.

    The one feature iSymDVR has that I wish Carcorder had was the ability to turn any telemetry independently on/off in the video you can generate and store to your camera roll. For example, if you were speeding, you may not want your speed to be displayed in the resulting video. Also iSymDVR has a nice WiFi server to easily copy videos without using iTunes, but for me that does not make up for Carcorder's nicer UI and ability to show a map as you drive and play back videos. Carcorder is on Android also, and you can use a mount like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/iOttie-Windshield-INCREDIBLE-BlackBerry-Revolution/dp/B007FHX9OK
     
  2. DashCamMan

    DashCamMan Administrator

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    Hi rsilvers,

    Thanks for sharing that feedback. Did you try the Witness Driving App? It seems to have good reviews as well. Mount looks good as well. There is another thread on cell phones as dash cams which is mainly focused on Android phones. Some iOS feedback is great!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  3. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    That was not one of the ones that I tried.

    Carcorder has a bug - when it was recording the buttons suddenly changed their bitmaps to the wrong ones. Also so far the map is not updating while I am driving, though it did update on playback. I have not been able to find an email to contact the author.

    The author of iSymDVR has been very helpful and sent me the latest update to his app, which includes mapping and a few more features. It is amazing to me that apps like this cost just $1.99.

    I will spend more time with them when my car mount comes tomorrow.

    Also my $24 low-def 047 (or whatever it is) should come tomorrow.
     
  4. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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  5. DashCamMan

    DashCamMan Administrator

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    Hi rsilvers,

    That lens looks interesting. Another member did something similar with his Android phone in this post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  6. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  7. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013
  8. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    Carcorder took 3:34 to convert a 1 minute 1080P clip with GPS data on an iPhone5. Without embedding location data, it only took 10 seconds. But each one of these clips had a problem...

    Carcorder made the 1 minute file 38.6 MB when there was data on the screen. The exact same clip was 128 MB when there was no data - so it must be re-compressing the file - which softened it. Bad bad. Also the version without data on the screen played upside down in VLC, but not upside down in QuickTime - which is why it could do it in 10 seconds - it did not flip the orientation. Also bad. So I have found three bugs so far in this app - and no way to reach the author (the other bug was the bitmaps on the buttons changed to incorrect ones at one point).

    iSymDVR took 1:03 to convert a 1 minute 1080P clip with GPS data on an iPhone5, with or without GPS data. That is more than three times faster than Carcorder. Didn't see any problems, and it properly flipped the file. Also the file server is nice - you can transfers the files to your computer through a built-in web server in the app without having to use iTunes. The author is very reachable.

    I put the files here:

    http://www.silencertalk.com/dashcam/

    This is neat - if you put an address in Apple Maps, it will navigate you there while iSymDVR is running:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013
  9. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    I tested a wide-angle and fisheye add-on lens for the iPhone 4/4S:

    http://www.silencertalk.com/dashcam/LensTest/

    The iOtti mount wobbles more than it should due to being thin plastic. I may need to glue steel on the sides to stiffen it. Or maybe I have to get a RAM mount.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009EJB02K/

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FHX9OK/

    I ordered this mount, to see if it fixes the lack of stiffness of the iOtti. Sadly it is $25 more, and iOtti could have fixed their problem with 5 cents more of plastic. Typical.
    http://www.amazon.com/RAM-Universal-X-Grip-Holder-Suction/dp/B0066BWMNU/

    http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/5301/fisheye.png


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013
  10. DashCamMan

    DashCamMan Administrator

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    That RAM mount looks great but quite expensive at $45. Let us know how it works out.
     
  11. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    I will post a video of each on Wed.

    I like things as cheap as possible, but not cheaper than possible.
     
  12. AmericanDriver

    AmericanDriver Member

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    I tried a couple of those IOS apps and found that my Iphone overheated when I used them. I had my iphone actually went into shutdown protection mode a few times while using the apps. I did not want to damage my phone, so I stopped using them. I also noticed that when I received a call, the app stopped recording and takes the call. Besides, I got tired of setting up my phone and removing my phone every time I used my car. I just purchased two Finevu's, installed them and forgot about them.
     
  13. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    They made the most sense with a spare iPhone. Since my wife and I got an iPhone 5, we have a 4S and two 4 sitting around. The kids don't even use them because they have iPads. You can reduce the heat by using 640x480 mode or not having it in a case. Also it would make sense that the phone would shut down before it was going to be damaged. But yes, you do have to set them up each time whereas a dedicated cam just always works. I am going to be using dedicated cams most of the time. But the apps are so inexpensive, and are fun to play with.
     
  14. Paul M

    Paul M New Member App Developer

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    Dash Cam:
    iPhone 4s - CarCamApp
    Interesting regarding overheating, I'm not the main developer of our app, but perhaps that's bad memory usage (memory leak) or the way they are handling the read/writes of files making the hardware work too hard?

    If you see the thread I posted I've recorded several hours worth of footage, as much as thirty minutes or more at a time (and hours of on/off in "one sitting"), and not had any issues with over-heating. The phone I use (a 4s) has at most felt warm. No users have so far complained of this issue yet either.

    I always record at 1080p as well.
     
  15. alexcrimean

    alexcrimean New Member

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    Location:
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    Dash Cam:
    iSymDVR (iPhone), SymDVR (Nokia)
    Let me give the brick also :)

    Overheating mostly happen if app makes post-processing of the video in the real-time. There are number of such apps which overlays text data on the video while recording. Other reason is non optimized code or heavy user interface.

    As a developer of iSymDVR I was thinking about real-time processing and even tried it. But this gives at least 20% higher CPU load on iPhone 4 with HD (1280x720) resolution. So I decided to drop it yet and just switched to export of the recorded videos.

    However real-time processing has one great feature - you can get rid of 1-2 sec gaps between consecutive videos. Anyway - on iPhone 4 it will cause overheat for long recording in HD.
     
  16. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    do you do anything for Android?
     
  17. Paul M

    Paul M New Member App Developer

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    Perhaps it's the methods used to create the video? I'm not the developer so can't ask directly, but I know the data (GPS, Time etc) is embedded live and we haven't had a single issue with overheating.

    One of the guys beta testing said it got "hot", but all iPhones do that on charge to an extent. When moved the phone away from his heater he found it improved! :roll: :lol:

    My colleague here uses an iPhone 5, seems to not be much different to the 4s, still no overheating.
     
  18. alexcrimean

    alexcrimean New Member

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    Location:
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    Dash Cam:
    iSymDVR (iPhone), SymDVR (Nokia)
    not yet

    Regarding no overheating on 4S and 5 - thanks for the info. However it is not usable for iPhone 4 for sure.
    Would be good also to make some tests on how much % of the battery charge spending for same time interval with live data and without...
     
  19. rsilvers

    rsilvers Member

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    I noticed that some of the apps have a live display that is a low frame rate and some run at full speed. In my selection I used that as a reason to eliminate some of the apps. Maybe the slow down is due to extra processing that is being spoken of.
     
  20. Paul M

    Paul M New Member App Developer

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    Location:
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    Dash Cam:
    iPhone 4s - CarCamApp
    I'll have a chat with the developer to see if I can get some "proper" replies regarding heat and such, we have been testing on all iPhone versions with two cameras (only restriction) without issue. Well, there's been plenty of "issues", but not that one! :D

    Maybe it's as much to do with the "loop" recording (which CarCamApp doesn't do, yet) and the extra read/write/remove/overwrite or caching that might involve?
     
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