Sneak Preview: New Pixelpipe for Symbian [Update: Now with download link]

by James Whatley on 23rd August 2010

Pixelpipe – the multi-platform media/file sharing app – has a new version on the horizon and Brett Butterfield, CEO and Founder, pinged me last night with some exciting news… Not only a special preview version of the app to use on my Nokia C6, but also a 7min HD video of how the app will work on the Nokia N8.

All the juicy details and that video after the jump…

Let’s get to the good stuff first, the walk-through. It weighs in at a little over 7mins long, but is actually quite watch-able – here you go:

Brett pinged this over to me late last Thursday night and naturally I had a ton of questions. Regular readers might remember that Brett and I have had our run-ins in the past, especially in regards to UI/customer service/digital rep etc. We managed to finally meet each other at Mobile World Congress back in February and we had a good, healthy and informative exchange about where we could both improve our user/app relationship. It seems like they were listening…

Q&A with Brett Butterfield

Q. Does the UI work in the same on pre-S^3 devices, i.e. the C6?

A. Yes, the app works with the same functionality demonstrated on handsets running S60 v3 (sp2), v5 & Symbian^3.

Q. Did you build in Qt?

A. Not for this version however we’re working on a hybrid application update that will use Qt for elements of the UI. A dashboard widget for sending status updates & blog post is in the works now. So far so good with Qt, building out a UI really is a breeze.

Q. Can you upload more than one item at a time?

A. Yes, just mark multiple items and then use the send menu to add them to the upload queue. At the moment we add them to the queue in a paused state. You add a title, description and tags, and when you click OK the upload starts. It’s not a perfect solution, however better then restricting users to one item at a time. We’ll update that feature & make it a bit more usable soon.

Q. N8-wise, how does Pixelpipe handle uploading HD video?

A. Video uploads work the same for all the phones, we add the video to the queue & then stream it off of the phone in small chunks. This enables us to send files of any size while only utilizing 5MB of application memory. On the version that you’ll be trialling there is a maximum file size of 250MB (about 3min of HD video) however we’ll be raising it before the N8 launch to 1GB.

Q. What’s the use-case for sending Ovi Maps co-ordinates? What service uses that kind of info? Personally I think it’s awesome, but I’m trying to think exactly how I’d use it…

A. Looks like you were paying attention! What happens is that Ovi Maps creates an LMX file with the details of your location (see example), when you choose to upload we open our standard dialogue which allows you to set a Title, Description & Tags for the upload, after the upload is received by our servers we’ll automatically extract the location out of the LMX file & treat it like a blog post or status update. For services like Twitter that can accept the geo-data with their API we’ll include the location when you update your status, blog posts will get a pi.pe link back to a map hosted on our servers. As you can see there’s more info contained then just the coordinates so we could potentially do Facebook Places check-ins & other fun things directly from Ovi Maps.

Q. Facebook Places is a little way away for anyone outside of the US at the moment, are there plans for using this location functionality with Foursquare for example?

A. Foursquare isn’t going to work until we make some changes on the server side, we need to determine if we can use the Ovi Maps place names for venue check-ins. It should work for businesses pretty easily however checking-in at your apartment for example will require some work. The changes are all server based though, as soon as we get things working on the backend it’ll be enabled on the client.

UPDATE: Brett has uploaded another video that walks through the different geo-functionalities of the new client (and how they work with Ovi Maps).

Q. When do you expect to be live in the Ovi Store and how much will you be charging for the app?

A. We’re in the Symbian signing process now, we expect to be completed in the next couple of days & in the Ovi store in another day or two. Since we’re getting the app signed through a testing house & not Ovi we’ll be able to do direct distribution as well, expect an installation link to hit Twitter as soon as we’re signed.
Regarding price, we’ll make the app free to start with & see how it goes, we might have a free lite version & a paid one down the line. I want to add a few more features & get some user feedback before we start to think about charging.

Thank you very much Brett, appreciate you taking the time.

I’ve been playing with the new Pixelpipe and this new version is not only much, much easier to use, it also does away with many of the limitations of Share Online. The geo-tagging from within Ovi Maps works fine too. If you’re headed to Nokia World, keep an eye out for Brett – he’ll be there demo-ing this latest version in person.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the app or the service in general, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can find out.


UPDATE: News from Brett in the comments…

We’ve completed Symbian signing and Send & Share is now available for direct download. You can install directly from your phone or DL at http://is.gd/eLMjW.  Supported handsets include Nokia S60v3 FP2, S60v5 & Symbain^3 handsets. Next stop, the Ovi Store!

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