Movies on Your Phone

When most people hear the word movie, they think “big screen.” But high-tech has marched on, small is beautiful, and suddenly we’ve entered an era when people are content to watch video on very small screens. Mind-blowing though it may seem, you can now send movies directly to the screens of certain cellphones. No longer must you show people lame wallet photos of your family; you can play them movies of your family, right there on the street.

Unfortunately, you can’t send your movies to any old cellphone—only those with Bluetooth that are 3GPP-compliant. Here’s what that means:

  • Bluetooth is a radio technology with a maximum range of 30 feet. The whole idea isn’t so much networking as eliminating cables from our lives, which is an idea most people wholeheartedly support.

    Already you can get Bluetooth—either built-in or as a plug-in USB device—for computers, printers, cellphones, cellphone headsets, Palm and PocketPC organizers, Sony camcorders, and so on. Apple’s wireless keyboard and mouse both rely on Bluetooth.

    All iMovie cares about, though, is whether or not your Mac has Bluetooth—many models do, including all laptops—and whether your cellphone does. (Technically, iMovie can send movies to more than just phones and Macs; it can send to palmtops, too. At the moment, though, there aren’t any 3GPP palmtops.)

  • 3GPP is a video standard for cellphones. (It stands for Third Generation Partnership Program, since you asked.) If your Bluetooth phone is fairly recent, ...

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