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Articles tagged with: iPhone 4

Written By: Gary on March 14, 2012 No Comment

So this amplifier for the iPhone by Bone is very cool. It’s requires no power and it’s made of silicone (rubber?) and your iPhone just sits in it and it’s significantly louder. It surprised me a lot when I got mine.

bone-amp.pngDid I tell you it’s less than $4 shipped?!? It says that the “horn” increases the sound up to 13dB.

The amplifier is available in Black, Red, White and Blue too. The red one says it’s good for the iPhone 3, 3G, 4, and 4S (although the package for mine only mentions the iPhone 4). I assume it would work on an iPod Touch if the speakers are also at the bottom (a reviewer says this works on the recent touches also). It’s got room to plug in the power cable at the bottom too.

Written By: Gary on October 21, 2011 No Comment

I had a list of the things that I wanted on the new iPhone 5. Yes, I said iPhone 5, this is the 5th iPhone no matter what you want to call it. I take a lot of photos and it’s not so important that I use my phone, but the phone is the best way to be able to upload them on the go. If the phone would use the USB/SD reader that the iPad uses (used?) I’d probably rely on the phone camera less. So I had a list of what I wanted and some things that would be a bonus for me, most of them revolving around photos or video. Everything else is great on the iPhone it just needed to be be faster and have more storage.
iPhone 4S All-in-One For Dummies Joe Hutsko, Barbara Boyd
I Needed:

  • More megapixels with a better lens.
  • Image stabilization.
  • More storage space.
  • Faster (of course).
  • Faster downloads and uploads (of course).

Would like:

  • Better front facing camera
  • Light for the front facing camera
  • Significantly better rear camera. Make the camera thicker to accommodate better lens with real zoom.
  • SD slot or USB adaptor

But I saw none of these possibly happening except maybe a slightly better front facing camera.

They actually met everything in my “needed to buy” list, it’d have been a dilemma if they’d only met a few. I was not expecting the faster downloads but that’ll be on my want list every model. The camera went from 5 MP to 8MP, from a 4 to 5 lens optics system. They also added image stabilization for the video (I’m not sure if that helps the stills too?). Yes, I really like that this phone is meeting exceeding my basic photography needs.

They increased the speed (they say doubled, but the on-line speed tests say about 70% faster) and increased the graphics speed by seven times. How many years go by before you see that much improvement in a new computer? That’s why this is the iPhone 5!

They also add the Siri personal assistant for doing tasks verbally and taking dictation. This was not a selling point to me, it was a fun bonus.

There are a bunch of other perceived features on the iPhone 4s but many of those are iOS 5 upgrades and most run on the previous version or two of the phone already.

Another huge rea$on to upgrade now: Gazelle.com offered me $340 for my phone (assuming they evaluate it the same way I did), that price has already dropped about $120 since I got my quote from them (which was Sept. 14th and I had 30 days to ship it back) they just got it yesterday but they haven’t evaluated it yet. But imagine when the iPhone 6 comes out how much more that price will have dropped.

Yes, I do realize this process rationalizes me upgrading every year. But I like this phone, I think I use it more than I watch television (and sometimes I use it to do that!).

I wish they’d put something extra in the $299 model, like a better front facing camera with a flash or more RAM. It kills me to pay an extra $100 for the first 16 GB upgrade and then the extra $100 for the next 32GB; I wish there was some extra minor difference that would be a bonus for paying that “Apple Tax”…

iPhoto '11: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (English and English Edition) David Pogue, Lesa SniderQuick mini-review:
It certainly feels faster, I wish they’d upgraded the RAM too (still at 512 MB), I’d think that would help with multiple applications open and bouncing between them. Occasionally, I see the faster download/upload speeds but nothing stellar so far.

I quite often would throw my tiny Canon sd780 in my pocket when I’d go out, just in case. That will now happen less, since I’ll already have something with me. If it’s an event or party, I’ll grab a camera to keep in hand, but if I don’t know for sure I’ll be taking pictures, I won’t grab one of my Canons (either pocket, digital SLR or video). I can see the image stabilization when recording video. Plus, they made the video be 1080p too; although I almost wish I could turn 1080p off, it’s eating up the space and it’s really not that necessary (at least that’s how I feel at this point).

And Siri is amazing. You just have to try her it out. I actually use my portable keyboard less since the dictation is so good.

UPDATE: So when I took my phone out of the case while the phone looked great, there were a lot of scratches along the metal edges of the housing and a few on the back, I thought the front looked great (they also mentioned a few minor on the front) but I do trust these guys, there are too many good reviews and I’ve used them before too. So they only offered me $260 (or they’ll mail it back for free). As I said above prices drop, so taking it somewhere else at this makes no sense and I’d have done it for that price anyways (I think).

Written By: Gary on October 18, 2011 No Comment

It’s really more of a history of entertainment and communications technology and how it grew (or shrunk) into the iPhone. The iPhone part is pretty small overall (it’s not just an Apple video).

CNET UK Presents: History of the iPhone from Drew Stearne on Vimeo.

history-iphone.pngI thought it was a good introduction to technology video and pretty easy to follow. Lots of text and it moves pretty quick, you’ll want to make it full screen to read the details (pay attention to the prices!).

Written By: Gary on August 4, 2011 No Comment

I love the camera on the iPhone, while it’s not the best digital camera I’ve owned, it’s always with me and it’s lots better than others that I’ve owned*. I’ve taken well over 400 photos in the last two months (actually it’s got an okay flash, a digital zoom, tap to focus, HDR (High Dynamic Range) and a huge screen. And don’t forget that it’s also a HD 720p video camera, for a while it was the best video camera I ever owned (and the only one with a light). Factor in that you can upload (Flickr, YouTube, FaceBook) and e-mail photos / videos instantly, it’s pretty amazing. That’s not even factoring in optional photo and video editing apps.

flowers-IMG_0877.JPG

I actually chose the HDR photo because of the additional detail from the water droplets. While I like the color of the flowers I actually like the color a tiny bit more in the non-HDR version. HDR on the iPhone (almost) instantly takes several photos at different settings to brighten the dark spots and darken the bright spots, giving you a wider range (they do take longer to save).

So these are some flowers out in front of the school where I work. I thought they were looking pretty good for no one really maintaing them in the summer (it’s a student project) with the whacky weather we’ve been having (melting or flooding) so they became the focus of today’s 31 photos in 31 days photo.

reg-zoom-flower-IMG_0876.png hdr-zoom-flower-IMG_0877.png

Above you can see two photos zoomed in on the same area, notice the additional detail of the water droplets on the right had side of the image when you compare the two (image on the right is the HDR version).

So it’s a great camera and I’m always taking pictures with it, even when I have other cameras with me.

* My iPhone is a hundred times better than the first digital camera that I owned, a $600 Casio QV-10 in 1996 (world’s first digital camera that includes a TFT display), which was 640×480 (iPhone 4 has 2592×1936 pixels) and had a proprietary graphics format that you had to convert to JPEG. This camera had no flash, no real zoom and ate AA batteries like they were candy. A feature it did have was that it had a video out; I remember taking pictures at a wedding and hooking it up to a huge projector that happened to be at the reception for some other kind of slideshow, I was the hit of the party (and the photographer said he was going to go get one for his next wedding).

Written By: Gary on May 20, 2011 No Comment

So I recently downloaded Onavo for my iPhone. It cuts down on your data usage by compressing cellular data on the fly. I guess it zips up the text and lowers the quality of images (I usually don’t notice, but sometimes I do) SprintPCS used to do this on their 1G(?) network and it was great.

onavo.jpgI’m getting over 50% overall compression. It’s free but it’s likely they’ll eventually start charging (so try it now, while it’s free!). But if you’re just squeaking by on a 250 MB plan, this could keep you from jumping up to the next plan at $10 more a month, I assumed it’d be less than $5 a month(?). Most apps it’s compresses 70-80%, others no compression and some others at 30-50%. It works on the iPad too. It’s compression on the downloading, not on the uploading. It says that it has no effect on tethering.

I love it! I actually think it speeds my data up (if it’s only pushing half of it around, but they aren’t marketing it that way). It doesn’t touch secure data and doesn’t appear to touch your mail unless you specifically enable it (and it has to be MS Exchange); it converts your e-mails to text, but I actually think that’s better on the smaller screen. I did just change my gMail config to use the MS Exchange protocol to test it out (Google does support this); I’m getting 50+% compression.

I have the data unlimited plan so this isn’t such an issue for me, but I might be tempted to pay for a international data plan next time I travel. Although, now that I look at the list, I don’t see Costa Rica in the list, I thought it was there before…

I’m grandfathered in on the unlimited plan with ATT, but I have friends considering the iPhone 5 (4s?) whom 250MB might not be enough, but 500MB could certainly be enough. Sometimes I think it might be eating my data more, but I’ve been forcing the phone to stay on 3G and not join any WiFi networks so that I can see the savings.

Written By: Gary on May 18, 2011 No Comment

I saw the Hasbro my3D at the store yesterday and just had to have it. It makes for an interesting interactive 3D experience. Hasbro 362190000 my3D Viewer for iPod Touch and iPhone - White Hasbro CEYou need an iPhone or iPod Touch to use it and I think it works better with the newer ones that have the gyroscope built-in. But there are a half-dozen my3D apps you can get from the Apple App store for free and a few you can pay for; as of today five my3D apps are free and one is 99 cents and another is $4.99 (both have free “lite” versions). A few months ago, they were giving all the games away for free, so I grabbed them while they were free(!)

Sector 17 is the space game, looks pretty cool and is fun for the bit that I played with it. The image below is the two halves of the image that I was looking at alternating; if you can alternately wink at three-tenths of a second, it probably looks 3D to you.

sector-17-ani.gif

All the games have no more than two buttons to play (where your thumbs stick into the device), but you do a lot of head tilting and spinning around to make some of the games work. Sector 17 and 360° Sharks really require standing. Sector 17 has a “couch mode” but it’s a lot harder to play; I believe not having a gyroscope model if the iDevice is like playing in “couch mode”. My old first generation iPod Touch (I think it’s 1st gen) works with the few games I tried.

shark-360.jpg

They’ve got a pretty good thing going here, $35 for a hunk of plastic and a few games, plus they’ll charge you for more games in the future. At 99 cents, I’d probably buy most of them to try it out, at $4.99 I’d probably try the lite version until I was bored (for $4.99 the space game does look pretty cool).

There is a Teleport L.A. game (that is more for kids) on a pier in Los Angeles which is all 3D 360° that you can pan around, this would be cooler if it were the Grand Canyon, the Moon or the Pyramids! And there is another more kid-like game called Bubble Bolt that you can roll around in a hamster ball collecting points. The iamge below is how is it looks on your iPhone screen.

teleport-la-both frames.PNG

A game called ShatterStorm is like the classic Tempest, but I thought it was a little hard to control. Spinning my head around like I did the controller back in the ’80s just doesn’t work for me.

There are separate snap on trays trays for different iDevice models (they could be labeled better) and there is a open cutout for the camera on my iPhone 4, so some interactive 3D VR type games are a possibility!

Pluses:

  • I don’t need my (reading) glasses to use it.
  • It’s 3D and 3D is cool!

Downsides:

  • I have to remove my iPhone from the case to use it.
  • Lots of game load times, these programs are very large (one was 500 MB!) and they have lots of loading time between levels and menus.

  • The default volume for the music in the background is very loud (it drowns out the game sounds), but it’s all adjustable (and so is the sound effects volume).
  • The games seem to work better if you have the model with the gyroscope, it’s more intuitive; you just look verses tilting your head. Although some games like the Tempest clone are just tilting your head left or right.

It’s actually cheaper shipped on-line (via Target at Amazon) then at the store (I paid $35), I asked at the counter but they wouldn’t match their own price (“that’s just to compete with other on-line services”), but I guess it didn’t matter, I bought it anyways. The plastic part will come down in price, they actually have a unique code on the viewfinder you need to input (one time) into a game before you play it.

UPDATE: And as of the update a few minutes ago, my3D Sector 17 started working with Apple’s Game Center. Also, this app has shrunk in size (from 434MB to 270MB).

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