GoPro just released a new app update and in our opinion it’s the most significant advancement to GoPro’s product in a while. Though the video above doesn’t directly showcase biking it does do a decent job of displaying the new app features.
We tested the features ourselves over the weekend and here is our initial assessment:
GoPro finally provides a sleek, integrated way to review video that you’ve shot. Using just your GoPro Hero2 or 3 camera, a Wifi Bacpac (if using the Hero2) and your smartphone you can select and play video that’s stored on the SD card contained in the camera. This is an awesome new feature to check out what you’ve just shot ‘in the field’ to confirm immediately that you got the footage that you wanted, and to delete footage you don’t want in order to free up memory.
However, we were using the Hero2 with the Wifi BacPac and we experienced some flakiness. Our smartphones (iPhone 4s and iPhone 5, plus an iPad mini) couldn’t always view all of the video clips stored on our SD card. This seemed to be a problem only after the Wifi Bacpac battery started to run low. We didn’t anticipate this problem because as the BacPac runs low it’s supposed to start drawing power off of the main GoPro camera battery (and we had 5 fully charged batteries on hand, and replaced them regularly), but after 3 to 4 hours of continuous usage the Wifi BacPac completely died, and shortly before its death we started experiencing problems with video playback.
So, unless we have a faulty BacPac it’s worth noting that you only have 3 – 4 hours of usage before most of the app functionality is rendered useless. We assume this isn’t an issue with the Hero3 because the Wifi is build right into the camera itself and operates off the same battery. So long as you have extra batteries for the camera the Wifi should obviously also then keep on working, and therefore proper connection with the app shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s also worth noting that the promo video above gave us the impression that we could tweet or post to Facebook (or Instragram, or text, etc) screen shots of the video we reviewed through the app. That’s not exactly the case, but that’s because we misinterpreted the promo video. What you can do is easily tweet or post pictures that you’ve taken with the GoPro camera seamlessly. To post screenshots of video you have to take a screen grab of the video you’re reviewing (using your smartphone features, not a GoPro app feature) and then from your regular smartphone photo album tweet, post, or text the picture outside of the GoPro app.
Even with those caveats though we think the new app is awesome. GoPro keeps getting better, and we keep liking it. We have a Hero 3 Silver edition in the shop right now if you’re interested in picking one up.
Oh, one more thing – the wifi connection between the camera and your phone is lost as soon as the camera is submersed under water. Not a deal breaker by any means, and not just applicable to this latest app update (that would have been an issue even after the 1st app release) but worth pointing out. We discovered this while shooting the video below. No, it’s not bike related either, but it’s fun to mix it up a little.