Finally got a Selfie Stick

Those that know me will say “holy shit thats so asian” that I now have a selfie stick.  I got it from my sister and brother in law for my birthday which is fairly soon but I’m not celebrating it at home I’m going to be at work instead.  Either way its pretty cool that I have one now since I can use it on vacation to finally get some family photos.  Being the one with the longest arms in my family, I’m the one that has to struggle with trying to take the selfie photos by stretching my arm out as far as it can go and finding a way to hit the shutter button fast enough while trying to capture my daughter actually smiling.  To say the least I haven’t been all that successful for the most part but since this one is pretty compact I look forward to using it during those times when it would make sense to have a cool family photo.

The one that I have now is a bluetooth one so I just connect to it using my phone.  I think its pretty cool that it does that since I don’t have to worry about using any wires or anything.  I do have to remember to charge it though but that shouldn’t be a concern.  It doesn’t take up a lot of juice, it just needs to be able to hit the shutter button on my camera app.

I already tested it and posted the picture on Facebook to see how it came out, gotta say I’m pretty pleased.  I think now all they need to do is up the quality of the iPhone 6 front camera to be the same as the rear camera so I can take HD quality pics.  I know I’m going to look like a total tourist with it but I don’t care, I want to capture my precious memories.  I know they’re not allowed at Disney anymore but I don’t really care about that, I have a life times worth of pictures from there.

Oh yeah, best feature?  It’s compact enough that I could carry it in my pocket so I don’t technically need to use a backpack or something for it but I will still probably carry it there.

iOS 9 Public Beta Test

I just installed the iOS 9 public beta on my iPad Mini 2 to try out some of the new features that were mentioned at WWDC 15.  I’ve only been able to really notice 3 different things right now but thats due to me only using it for a few hours.

1) The new app switching interface is kind of weird since its way dfferent from the old way of doing it.  When switching apps in iOS 8 the tiles of the apps still on popped up on the right, now it shows up to the left so thats a little different.  The way it looks is also different but that doesn’t bother me too much right now.

2) The Notes app is now way more useful with the addition of being able to draw and write in the app instead of just type.  You can also insert pictures and maps into a note which makes it a lot like Evernote or Notes Plus but now its a native thing.   The only thing holding it back is palm rejection for when you’re writing/drawing.

3) Coolest feature by far is the ability to watch a video in a smaller screen while doing something else.  For example I’m watching The Lego Movie while I’m typing this up.  So far this feature is limited to the Video’s app and I’m not allowed to use this feature with GPLayer wihch is what I use most of the time to watch videos.  I watch videos using GPlayer since it doesn’t require actually syncing photos from my iTunes library, I can just directly add videos to the app.

I hope the make the feature watch videos while doing something else extensible to other  video apps so I can continue to not have to add things to my iTunes library.  I’ll continue to test it only on my iPad snce my iPhone is more important to keep stable.   So far so good though!

I despise the “iCloud Full” error

I’ll freely admit that I’m a pretty heavy user of all things iOS with all the iPads, my iPhone and my legacy iPhones still being used in my home.  My iPhone 6 is awesome and I use it to constantly take pictures and video of things around me when I travel and when I’m at home but the kicker is that it eats up a lot of data and I’ve reached the max capacity for my free 5GB account.  I’ve done everything that I can to reduce the amount of storage that any other app I have uses on iCloud but there is nothing that I can do to reduce the amount of space I use on iCloud without removing pictures.

I’m a digital pack rat and I save everything that I take a picture of.  I’ve started using Google Photos which affords me unlimited storage for my pictures online at high resolution but probably not at the max resolution like iCloud.  That’s actually perfectly fine with me since I as able to upload and save all my photos that I kept on my computer and on my other devices.  I wouldn’t mind using up all of my iCloud storage so much if I didn’t get a pop up message everytime I started my MacBook Pro that my iCloud storage was full and I needed to make room.  This is a very annoying thing that occurs and there’s no way to just dismiss the message permanently.  It takes me to my settings and asks for adjustments and I just end up shutting it off.  That’s just small I know but still quite annoying.

I had this impression that I would be able to store all my photos and videos in iCloud without burning through my iCloud storage but after looking at the Apple website it doesn’t seem to be the case.  I’m technically fine if I’m out of storage and it auto deletes my oldest stuff since I have a back up but at least let me permanently get rid of the pop up message so it doesn’t interrupt my workflow when I want to just use my laptop.

Maybe this is something that they are going to fix I’m iOS 9, I don’t know since it isn’t out yet and I’m currently using the public beta on my iPad alone so all the features aren’t rolled out es that are on the cloud.  I suppose I’ll have to wait until everything is officially released in October.  In the mean time maybe El Capitan for Mac gets rid of this annoyance.

No Internet is Semi Liberating

I just got back from an awesome resort in Vermont called The Tyler Place thats about 3 miles from the Canadian border.  I discovered this resort when I was looking for a place to spend a week away with my family that included everything like food and activities.  I knew going into it that internet might be spotty but I almost had a total lack of connectivity since I was so close to Canada and kept on picking up signals from Rogers, Telus, and Bell instead of my normal AT&T.  I saw that there was wifi but I didn’t know that it would be fairly limited to their main building (there are numerous cotteges at the resort and I don’t know if they have wifi).  I also took a side trip to Montreal and I didn’t have any internet there because the hotel I was staying in had really bad wifi conectivity.

Not having a good connection was both frustrating but also a good thing.  It was frustrating since I was trying to upload my pictures to Google and iCloud.  I took a lot of pictures with my iPhone and I wanted to make sure everything was backed up.  I also needed to download some additional books that I kept on Box so that I would have something to read when I wasn’t out and about doing activities.  I also wanted to get some of my email but that wasn’t happening on a consistent basis unless I was at the Inn but judging by the pictures I took it was actually worth being outdoors all the time and enjoying nature.

The liberating aspect of not having good internet is that I wasn’t able to be on my phone as much as I wanted so I pretty much ignored my phone except to take pictures of things.  I think thats what actually made my vacation aweome, the fact that I was uable to be connected through the internet all the time and answering all the different dings and alarms that come with owning a smart phone and tablet.  There’s defnitely something to be said of just going out doors and enjoying whats around you and the fact that I was with my family to do all these things made it all the better.

I might do something like that again at another resort or if I travel outside of the country.  The only time I really missed having internet access is when I need my GPS or Google to look up things like where can I get some snacks or how can I get to the nearest subway station to get back to my hotel.  In those instances thats where being connected online would be useful.

The absolute best part though about not always being connected?  I can’t receive any work related emails or messages during my vacation. 🙂