Last night when I plugged my iPhone to its charger, its battery was as flat as they’d ever go. There was no telltale sign that it was connected, no little vibration or flashing icon to tell me it was getting juice from the lightning cable. I thought perhaps the phone would turn on after a few minutes so I left it plugged in thinking it would be back to 100% battery power in the morning.
Unfortunately as Apple charging cables go, this one was no exception. It had reached the end of its tether and left me with a dead weight to carry to work to charge. 19 months in to a 24 month contract, I will be buying my next lightning cable, the 5th in total (2 non-certified and 3 “certified” lightning cables). At AUD$29, it’s on the steep side for my liking, regardless of the chip inside it or the fact that you can’t plug it in incorrectly. The feeling of being ripped off again, over something so little, make my decision to move away from the iPhone much easier. Like many people who’ve upgraded from one iPhone to the next, the convenience of being able to move apps, settings, emails and contacts as well as having the Apple-cool factor is far outweighed by that gut feeling you get when you know someone is taking you for a ride and you let it because you’re too nice to stop it from happening. I guess all I’m trying to say is with everything, it is important to consider your options. There are always alternatives.
Everyone who use Instagram would by now have noticed sponsored ads on their feeds. These are even more accessible to advertisers after Insta opened themselves to the Facebook advertising platform. In the latest post on the Instagram for Business Blog, there are more ad formats, more capabilities (video ads anyone?) while making it easier for businesses to reach their target audience. I’m all for generating ad revenue especially from a free app but when are they going to come up with an ad-free, paid/premium version?
I’ve been away from posting on Instagram lately but recently noticed posts that were in rectangular format. This isn’t so evident with landscape pictures because they’ve been around since people realized you can upload the images with white top & bottom borders.
The change is more obvious for portrait formats because pictures now appear longer and don’t have the white space/borders on the left & right sides. I imagined Instagram purists around the world in uproar, removing the app from their smartphones in defiance of the change. But then I noticed the other new addition that lets you have multiple pictures using the Layout app, that does away with third-party apps like picframe. This probably balances out any negative response from users and probably get extra brownie points as well.
Checkout the new multiframe app by Instsgram below:
Layout app on iOS
Layout app on Android
Hyperlapse has been out for 3 weeks now, surprisingly there’s only about 319k #hyperlapse hashtagged on Instagram. For some reason, I’d expected there to be a lot more, perhaps a million at least, but I guess capturing video is more of a hassle compared to taking a photo. There’s also not as many opportunities to sit still long enough to get a worthwhile 10 to 15 second time-lapsed video.
My first attempt was to record about a minute’s worth of traffic on the freeway from our window. This equated to a 15 second time-lapsed video at about 6x speed (by default):
Instagram’s tumblr blog post had some great examples of interesting subject matter to record, from a plane taking off, riding on a train, on a bicycle or simply following your kid around. The great thing about this is that you don’t have to be super-still to get a decent video.
Another one below of some birds while we were sitting at the bench next to the river.
I’ve gotten to a point where I’m following so many users on instagram (over 400) that it sometimes feels I’m missing out on something. But I also can’t bare to remove any. If IG only had a list feature similar to Twitter where you can put users in different lists, or like Google+ where you add users to various circles, then I probably wouldn’t be having this dilemma.
This is where an app like Fotogram comes in handy. By creating another IG account, I’ve managed to use multiple accounts to follow different types of users. Add to that, the funky interface that Fotogram provides, the functionality to Tweet a photo, switch between accounts easily and as long as you don’t feel the need to upload a photo, then you’ve got yourself a winner
Instagram’s rolled out web profiles for users under instagram.com/USERNAME. For example, my instagram photos are now available for viewing by the public under http://instagram.com/holimac (see screengrab below). Although third-party sites such as web.stagram.com and statigram.com have been providing a web interface for instagram ever since they opened up their api, this is a long awaited move by IG at least from me, since it gives everyone access to your photos and not just members.
After reading about the latest update to the maps app in the latest iOS 6, I thought to try it out myself. Verdict:
- Love the 3d maps feature. Almost like a virtual game
- Just when pinching the screen was becoming stale, they start incorporating the pan, twist and tilt
- Not sure what to make of the “fake” 3d function yet.. But again, love the 3d buildings
See screen grabs below.
My beloved hashtag #cloudporn is no longer..
(Update) but only for a little while.