Dear Apple, Why I want a Bluetooth mic enabled for video on my iPhone 4s.

January 6, 2012

in apps, iphone, Mobility

r1200GS.jpgDear Apple,

I’m really impressed with the latest iPhone 4S video camera. It’s close to passing my on the move motorcycle torture test. Yet fails at the most basic level. In video mode it won’t let my bluetooth headset act as the mic and so all opportunity for live narration is lost and so is much of my interest and joy.

Now I want you to think about the 100’s (even thousands) of adventure tourers out there on big BMW bikes. Some of them are wearing Hero Cam’s on their helmets to capture the action. Yet all around everything from Zumo’s to cameras is being replaced by a trusty smartphone mounted to the dash. You can find the Ram Mount I use here although I still have to reposition it so using the iPhone in landscape mode will be high enough to capture the street ahead.

When on the bike I wear an Sena SMH-10 bluetooth headset. You would like the design. Simple controls, easy to use on the move. I’ve now mastered using Siri for music, and making calls etc. without touching my phone. Where we have problems is when the video is used. I can’t use the bluetooth mic. This is also true with programs like Skype. (I will admit to running FaceTime over 3G on an earlier iPhone 4 and that worked well to broadcast live video of the road ahead. When will I get this again? Scary? Then perhaps the uStream adventurer would be a possibility).

While motorcycling may be dangerous, and using headsets may even be illegal in some places, the point here is you have a camera with great stabilization, and opportunity to use it in so many more ways… if only videographers could connect it to a bluetooth mic. In the video below I am traveling approximately 60mph on a rural road north of Napa. It proof rather than a best practice video. All we can hear is the purr of the bike and wind noise from the iPhone microphone.

So in the next iteration of iOS please process a simple little update. Make the camera work with a bluetooth headset. Even better, let Siri turn the video camera on and off and choose the camera front and back. It would also be nice if other developers could start integrating their apps with bluetooth too.

You may wonder why I even bother writing this. Simply, I’m getting tired of some of the restrictions. See also my post on iOS Safari and Photo Uploads. I’ve really taken photography on board with the 4S. It’s actually possible to get reasonable pictures now. That’s an incentive to think about all the things I could be taking. I’d love to be capturing the backroads of California and a commentary. I have other ideas for wearable devices too. Eg Looxcie Video Camera which while interesting doesn’t have the camera definition of the 4s. And you can see a series on how I could use re ethnography.

Ah well. Progress is never as fast as we want it. However, I’m not asking for complexity here. I’m asking for something very simple to be activated. We both know it is a minor software tweak. I think it is time for you to accelerate your feature roll-outs.


A somewhat frustrated and mostly loyal user in the Bay Area



  • Jim

    Download the Scosche freedomMic App, with some experimentation it kind of works with my Etymotic etyBLU2 Bluetooth headset. Otherwise take a look at the Scosche freedomMic:

  • Thanks will give a try and report back.

  • TomP

    I stumbled upon this while doing a google search on the exact hope/need that I can record video (through other apps as well) while using my bluetooth headset.
    The Scosche freedom mic works great with my rocketfish headset….but unfortunately no other video programs utilize the external mic source.

    I hope this type of feature gets implemented in future OS upgrades…it would be great to be able to use any 3rd party app that utilizes an input – and be able to choose a specific input.

  • Hi this is a great idea. I would love to us my blue ant to do same. Now I’m looking into the Sony solution. I also use a Contour but have not checked out if the new GPS version has blue tooth for mic either. Hopefully IOS6 may help I hear they are
    Pushing the Bluetooth more. Not sure if the 4s is upgradable or have to get a 5.

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