Moving from Apple iPhone to Android

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 it’s taking you for a ride and you let it because you’re too nice to stop it from happening.

Posted: September 22nd, 2015
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Instagram Open for Business

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?

Posted: September 10th, 2015
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Instagram, No longer Square

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

Posted: September 3rd, 2015
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Instagram Hyperlapse Time-Lapse Video

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.

Posted: September 15th, 2014
Categories: apps, instagram
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Flickr is Giving Everyone 1 Terabyte Worth of Space!

Yep, that’s right. 1 TERABYTE. And you don’t even have to pay for it. As a paid user, I feel I’m getting my money’s worth to have an unlimited number of uploads and no advertisements but I must admit, this is definitely worth considering if you’re not already signed up with a Flickr account.

Add to that, with Yahoo buying Tumblr, I’d say Marissa Mayer is taking Yahoo! a few steps in the right direction.

Posted: May 26th, 2013
Categories: apps
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Fotogramme, an app to manage multiple instagram accounts

Fotogramme feedI’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

Posted: November 26th, 2012
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Instagram Web Profiles

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.

My user page on Instagram

 

Posted: November 7th, 2012
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iOS 6 Updates Maps

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.

Sydney NSW on Apple Maps Panning around to view the 3d buildings
How the tower looks up close
Posted: September 25th, 2012
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Instagram cracking down on “porn”

My beloved hashtag #cloudporn is no longer..
(Update) but only for a little while.
#cloudporn returning "No photos yet"

Posted: September 24th, 2012
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Instagram v3 update

V3 Changes

A major Instagram update was made available. The biggest difference? Adding your photos to Google maps.

 

Instragram v3 update

Upload to Google Photo Map

All you have to do is agree to let Instagram upload to the photo map. You can choose which photos to upload straight away or select to add or remove existing ones later on.
Instragram Photo Map

Photo Locations

The placement of the photos are pretty close to the locations I’d uploaded them. Unfortunately for me, more than a few weren’t uploaded to IG until much later.

Photo Map showing geo tagged pictures

Redesigned Profile Screen

There was also some cosmetic changes as we can see from the screencap below.
Photo Map button

Posted: August 17th, 2012
Categories: instagram
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