I know, but still, it makes me smile, and it does count as spotted in the wild:
May 19, 2013 No Comments
Another Macworld buying guide round up from Dan Frakes: Find the Best iPad Keyboard.
Since I’ve replaced my iPad 1 with an iPad 3 [sic], I’m thinking about buying a case and an Apple Wireless keyboard, instead of the Adonit WriterPlus or the ZaggKeys ProFolio+. That’s not because I no longer like the Adonit keyboard/case, I do like it, but I’m traveling less and writing more on the iPad as I use it almost as much as I use my MacBook.
March 15, 2013 2 Comments
Photobucket has introduced Photobucket Stories as a brand-new Photobucket feature; in fact, it looks like Stories are still in Beta, and part of a general overhaul of Photobucket.
The basic idea behind Stories is that you upload pictures, you select a background, you arrange them and title them, you select their size (small, medium, large), and you add text annotations in the form of small text fields with a choice of color and font (limited in both cases, but quite reasonable options).
You can drag and drop to rearrange; you can change photo size, text placement, etc. And it’s dead easy to Share your saved/published story, or invite collaborators.
Photobucket Stories are strikingly similar to iPhoto for iOS Journals. You can see what I thought about Journals for iPhoto for iOS.
You can’t add weather and calendar widgets, and stories are a bit more limited in terms of options for layouts, but the concept is the same, and frankly, it’s a bit easier to us (at least on the Web; thus far it doesn’t seem to be actively supported by the PhotoBucket iOS app). Like Journals, Stories have built in facilities for sharing a link to a Story, but at least at present there’s no way to download all the content and make a stand-alone static Web site, the way you can with iPhoto for iOS Journals.
What’s interesting in particular about Stories is that you can collaborate with others on a Story. That’s a neat way to create a record of a family or group event, or to share data.
I made, roughly, the same kind of a Story as one of the previous Journals I made with iPhoto for iOS.
Here’s the Photobucket Story about Life in Washington.
Here’s the iPhoto for iOS Journal about A Year in Washington.
I’m curious to see which of the new features are implements and supported in iOS apps.
February 16, 2013 Comments Off
The other night, for no particular reason, I decided to give my electric lighting a rest and watch TV by candlelight like they did in frontier days. During a commercial, I picked up my iPad and, just for amusement’s sake, opened up the Camera app and took a picture of the candle:
Then I picked up my iPhone 5 (barely visible on the table in the previous shot), and took a picture with it from about the same angle:
I’m not sure how much of the difference is attributable to the camera hardware and how much to the software in the two devices, but, dang, the iPhone 5 camera wipes the floor with the third generation iPad camera when it comes to low-light photography!
January 5, 2013 Comments Off
One of the niftiest new features of iPhoto for iOS are the Journals. Journals are digital scrapbooks, with photos, videos, and text items, including dividers, subheads, free-form text fields, and widgets (“Extras” in Apple parlance) like calendars, weather, and location and map data.
The Journals are created via the Sharing icon; you select images and videos, a layout and background, and give the Journal a title (if you’re creating a Journal based on an album, the album name is automatically supplied as the title, but you can change it). Once you have arranged the images and videos, and added the extras you want, you can Publish the journals to iCloud, or to a public Webpage derived from your iCloud account. Any changes you make to the journal (or its photos) can then be applied to the published version.
That’s all well and good.
But if you use the iTunes File Sharing support for iPhoto, you can export your journals. Open the journal in iPhoto, tap the Share icon, then tap the iTunes icon. Next, connect your iOS device to your computer, and open iTunes. Select your device, then click the Apps tab, and scroll down to the File Sharing pane.
I suspect Journals were at least partially meant to be a replacement for .mac Web galleries, and, to some extent, for iWeb. It’s a nice idea. You can see two journals I made: one about a year in Washington, and Thanksgiving 2003.
What I would have preferred as a feature, personally, was something like the old iCards, even if they were email only.
December 18, 2012 Comments Off
Today is the official release date for my new ePub ebook from Peachpit. Meet iPhoto for iOS is a quick introduction to using iPhoto on iOS 6.x to organize, caption, crop, rotate, edit, adjust, and share photos using the iPhoto for the iOS application.
This really is a quick introduction written to help you start using iPhoto for iOS right away.
You can read more about Meet iPhoto for iOS here.
December 7, 2012 Comments Off
Jason Snell of Macworld and TechHive has written an interesting thoughtful essay “Why I’m writing on the iPad” about how writing using his iPad and the on-screen keyboard has changed his writing process, and, he thinks, the final text. You should go read his essay; it’s well written, and thoughtful.
I want to pick up a few specific ideas that struck a chord with me. First this bit:
I’m no Oliver Sacks, but I’d wager that I’m just not taking more time to choose my words, but I’m actually using different parts of my brain when I write this way. And not only does the actual act of writing feel different, but the end result feels different to me too.
I’m no Oliver Sacks either, but I do know a lot about the writing process, writing systems, and, through an odd neurological quirk, my own neurological text processing. I’m profoundly dyslexic and dysphonetic ( I know, I know, but by the time I discovered why writing was so hard for me, I was already a Ph.D. candidate in English). I moved to writing on a computer when my older brother told me about WordStar and started bringing home Trash-80s, Exidy Sorcerers and Apple IIs to debug code for Instant Software games.
I prefer to write on a keyboard because the letters are automatically always facing the right way, and it’s easier for me to put the correct letters in the correct order. When I write in longhand, or I print, no matter how carefully or slowly I write, I’m much more likely to put the right letters in the wrong order. It’s an entirely different kinesthetic memory for me.
But when I started taking classes in paleography and calligraphy as all good medievalists do, I noticed that the discipline required to write the letters correctly using the correct stroke order made me inclined to make far fewer errors. In my case it wasn’t a matter of speed as much as it was a matter of using different parts of my brain. And eventually, via participation in a live functional MRI scan, I discovered that at least in my case, I’m using different areas of my brain when I write with a pen on paper, when I write as a paleographer and when I keyboard.
Lately, as I’ve experimented with using a stylus (rather than a keyboard) on my iPad to write, or dictation, I’m noticing that those also affect my composition process. Dictation especially makes me inclined to write less academic and more casual prose because of my desire to avoid punctuation.
Jason Snell also notes:
The iPad also offers a remarkable lack of distractions. When I write on my Mac I find I am endlessly checking Twitter and email and my weather station’s current conditions page and anything else I can find to distract myself from the difficult task of putting one word in front of another. On the iPad, I am more focused—and when I do finally take a break to check my email, it feels like an actual break, not a distraction.
In the last several years I’ve noticed a number of smaller word processors designed for writers that feature the ability to devote the full screen to the texteditor as a way to remove distractions. WriteRoom is one of those. I suspect that that’s part of the attraction of the OS X Full Screen mode for many. But while I understand the importance of keeping a mind on task, and not being distracted by Twitter, email, or YouTube, I also know that for many writers doing something else is not so much being distracted as letting their hind brain work on writing and (especially for fiction writers, but not exclusively) figuring out what happens next.
As someone who doesn’t write fiction, I know that there are times that stepping away from the text in question and doing something unrelated, whether it’s playing a game, writing a short email or blog post, or going for a walk, or washing dishes, helps me figure out the next thing to write, or unravel a structural knot I’ve created for myself.
December 7, 2012 Comments Off
Last year Snapseed, Nik Software’s nifty photo editing app for iOS was named the 2011 iPad App of the year. Then in September Google bought Nik Software. There was already a version of Snapseed for the OS X desktop, and now there’s a version for Android too.
Snapseed uses the Camera Roll on iOS for photos, but lets you edit, crop, rotate, adjust and apply various filters, and then share the results. There’s a decent Getting Started Snapseed tutorial on their Web site.
Today, Google released Snapseed 1.5 for iOS for free. Go, get it. It’s a super companion to iPhoto for iOS, or the iOS Photos app. The update includes the expected cosmetic branding changes (new icon Google branding) some new filters, and Google + integration for sharing. I’m intrigued by the Instagram-like “square mode” given the disappearance of the Twitter “cards”feature for inline images from Instagram.
December 6, 2012 Comments Off
It could if you were an accomplished sleight-of-hand artist!
October 11, 2012 Comments Off
iOS 6 is out; you can read Apple’s stuff about the 200 new features in iOS 6.
I thought I’d do a link roundup of the more useful things I’ve seen.
Glenn Fleishman on Use Your iPhone’s Number with Messages in OS X 10.8.2 Mountain Lion.
More later !
September 20, 2012 Comments Off