Mar 10, 2014
My active photographing - whether it be with my proper Samsung or my Lumia, which I have been using increasingly lately since it's so readily available in all situations - and fiddling with the photos in different apps for different purposes, results in approx. 10000 photos a year (and this was the case even before the iPad...). Which means that my iPad quite frequently is running out of space and I need to delete some photos - ok, a lot!
But never before copying them to my hard drive, of course. Usually, I have done this via iCloud and my photostream. But the iCloud has a mind of its own, and I cannot control what is in the photostream and what is not and what and when is available on my laptop. And this agravates me big time. At least when it is not doing what I expect it to do.
I have accepted, that it has its own operation queues and my photos are not necessarily available on my laptop immediately (or even almost) after taking them (unlike e.g. the autoupload to OneDrive from my Lumia). Mostly, I can live with that, for be as it may, mostly, the photos have been available at some point. At least on my work laptop. For whatever mysterious reason, the photostream mostly refuses to sync itself on my personal laptop.
A few weeks ago, after having been on sick leave for several weeks, I opened my work laptop to do some of this photo transferring. But the iCloud would not sync. Eventually, I disabled and enabled the whole iCloud sync, and, well, it synced. but not the whole 1000 photos as it should. Now I have 300 photos in my photostream and a couple months missing from both the stream and my hard drive. And iCloud will not sync them - nor the newer photos again...
So, yey, I had two options:
1) connect my iPad to my laptop and fiddle with iTunes or
2) copy photos to Dropbox on iPad and then transfer them from Dropbox to hard disc on laptop
I would be cool to be able to connect the usb hard drive straight to the iPad. And it would be cool to have a working cloud sync. OneDrive offer autoupload of the iPad camera roll nowadays too, did you know that? But it still does not include th camera uploads from my Smasungs to the iPad, and some app-modified pics either. In many ways, the logic of what is in "photos", what in "camera roll", whart in "photostream" and how all of these are linked and cloud synced, is still a total mystery to me on the iPad.
Mar 4, 2014
I have a very ambivalent attitude towards videos. I like them when e.g. I miss a performance by one of our girls and I can then see it on video taken by someone who was there to video it. But videos posted in Facebook, or on news sites etc. I don't click almost ever. I like to look at photos much better. Besides, I encouter fundamental problems with videos in more ways than one.
For most of my daily Internet surfing I use my iPad. Work laptop is for work, and home laptop is mostly used by the kids, and way too clumsy anyway when sitting on the sofa relaxing. I use my iPad on the bus for morning news and facebookin, and at home for almost anything I do.
My iPad is jailbroken, and I use the user agent faker with the Safari, for the general better user experience. But this creates a problem with videos: most web sites (including Facebook and Youtube) feed the videos to iOs Safari in HTML5 format, but for the Chrome desktop UA I use, they send them as flash videos. And iPad does not support Flash. See where I'm going? I usually don't watch videos because I can't without changing the UA, and it's just not worth it. I like still photos and written news better any way any day.
So ok, this is a minor issue, and solely my personal problem (though I generally don't even consider it more than a nuicanse - I believe in one HTML5 standard anyway and think videos should be served as such anyway). But the thing that really ticked me off today, was my futile attempt at getting some videos out of my Lumia (820, don't think that actually matters) and onto my iPad so that I could a) share the video in Facebook and b) more importantly use it in a blog post.
Was it easy? No. Did I succeed? So far, no.
Photos are automatically saved to Sky... 'scuse me OneDrive. I fully understand that it is not very economical to be auto-uploading videos, so they remain on my phone until I manually do something with them. Today, I picked the best ones I wanted to save on my hard drive and the one I wanted for that blog post and manually uploaded them to OneDrive. Then I opened OneDrive storage on my iPad and was prepared to download at least that one of them, let's call it dog video, to my iPad.
Did it work? No.
For photos, there is download. But for videos there is only open in another app. Which downloads the video and opens it in some other app. My option were iMovie, Documents and Dropbox. I thought iMovie was a rather obvious choice, and everything went smoothly until the iPad opened iMovie - it told me that only audio files are supported. Um, what?
I tried sending the video to myself in my email, and at first thought that wouldn't work either. I usually use the Gmail app for my gmail, and that had the same options for the video download as OneDrive. But the native iPad mail app came to rescue - there I was finally able to get the video and save it to my camera roll.
So, as for the options of getting videos from your Lumia to some other device/storage, you can either use a laptop and
- connect phone to it by cord and copy it in file system or via the dedicated app or
- upload video to OneDrive and retrieve it from there on your file system or
- send it in email and retrieve it from there on your laptop.
But if you want it on your iPad, you need to send it to yourself in email and use the native Mail app on iPad. Ok, I did not explore the Dropbox option, but I'm guessing it, as a third party app, would work pretty much the same as the OneDrive or Gmail apps.
Much ado over nothing...
P.S. I later discovered that Blogsy does not regard videos in camera roll, nor did it retrieve it from Facebook where I already had shared it straight from my phone, so in order to have my own video in a blog post, I apparently need to go get my laptop after all. Eyeroll.
Oct 27, 2013
Last week I grabbed the opportunity to upgrade my phone (at least for the time being) from that faithful snowwhite Lumia 800 that's accompanied me to so much, and taken a *few* hits along the way to a new white Lumia 820. Oh, I know it's not a new model anymore, and that there're newer Nokias available, and that it's not high-end, and that there's newer iPhones availble too. But I like the Lumias, and I like the smaller size phones, and as a phone user, I'm not really that demanding.
I think I have listed before the features I most use on a phone (apart of using it as a phone and for texting), but let's approach the Lumia 820 from this point of view. What do I expcect from and appreciate in a phone, and how does the Lumia 820 meet those.
- Email. No matter how much the media shouts that email is sooo last year because of Lync and Skype and whatnot, it's not. I love both and more, but I could not imagine working in a way where customers Lync m every time they have something to ask or say. Seriously! I need my peace to work. Email gives me the freedom to react when the time's right for me. And it may be in the bus or on the lake side or the sofa in between two episodes of Breaking Bad. And that goes for personal email too. I don't think I need to be available 24/7 - and besides, people can always call me.
As for Lumia 820, it meets my requirements as well as any current smartphone. Nothing new, but then again, no bigger needs either, than to be able to read and reply, search and sync. And I like it that the WinPhones separate different email accounts by deafult, unlike e.g. the iPad.
- Calendar. I'd be lost without it! I use only one calendar, the Outlook one on the company Exchange server. I use it for work stuff and personal stuff alike. No matter how well Googles and Hotmails and whatnot claim to be able to merge their calendars on different devices into only one, I have realized that for me, this is the only real option in order to keep my mind from being scattered.
Lumia (either one) actuallky would handle the merging ok, but I still want only one calendar. And that is just fine by the phone too ;)
- Camera. I have a semi-proper camera I use mostly. A Samsung Pro with an ok lense and possibilities for quite ok photos (yes, I'd like a better one, but it's on the very bottom of the priority list of things I'd need or want, because it still works ok for my purposes). And I have a pocked model, some years old cheapie I got in the middle of my divorce, just to have something. That one I use quite rarely. Even more so, since the phone cameras are now more or less as good.
The camera is one of the best features in Lumia 820. It comes with a high-res 8MP camera with focus assist light (a feature well appreaciated by me, for it enalbes taking good quality photos in lesser light without needing to use the flash), options to select the ISO and choose between 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio and a few other settings. For a more detailed review, see this TechRadar article about Lumia 820 camera.
Lumia 820 also has an inbuilt (or downloadable, but at least for me, they were readily available) set of different photo lenses, or apps, such as the Nokia Panorama which proved to be a pretty able panorama photo app, Nokia Cinemagraph for creating animated photos (but I think you can only see the effects in the app, not elsewhere) and Nokia Smartcam, with fun effects for capturing movement and then applying one of several ways of handling it, e.g. removing a moving object, or overlapping the frames.
And you can download plenty more.
- Skype and WhatsApp. I don't launch Lync on my phone almost ever, but I do use Skype on my phone occasionally (my mother lives on the other side of the world) and WhatsApp is the messaging app of choice for my daughters, ever since they had an almost 100€ SMS bill. So I, too, started using it with them, and a few others as well.
As for WhatsApp, it's just WhatsApp. But as for Skype, Lumia 820 has a front camera unlike the 800. And the incoming video was clear and sharp, unlike on ANY other device I've skyped on before!
- News, both tech and world&local. I used to use Pulse on my phone, for lack of Flipboard. For quite some time now, the phone usage for news has been very rare, for I've used the combination of my iPad and the phone internet sharing in the morning bus. So last time I tried to read the tech news on my phone, I realized there was no Pulse no more. I downloaded Tech News Now app, and actually like it better. Also, I read the local news on Hesari app, and world news in Google news, using the browser.
Lumia 820? Not much difference, naturally. Except for the bigger screen, while the phone is still sleek.
- OneNote, Googling, Kindle, occasional Youtube, Facebook, Twitter... Apps, apps, apps. Apart from the bigger screen, nothing special about Lumia 820 for those.
Conclusion? I fell in love with the clear a bit bigger screen and the camera - all the while understanding that there are even better ones availbale. I like the little niche feature improvements of WinPhone8 compared to 7.8. Mostly just more options in the settings and such. Oh, and the possibility to use removable storage! Which brings me to my first frustrating encounter with the phone: I needed to refer to the manual to understand where to insert the SIM; you actually need to take the back cover (and the battery) off.
Oct 25, 2013
The most important thing I tried to use it for, was to share photos between me, my mom and my sister. As for my mom, no prob. She had a Live account too. But for my sister? She's a devoted non-Microsoft person, so nope, no Live account, nor was she about to be getting one. And now, my current husband is the same way. So, so much for sharing in SkyDrive.
My sister was the one who then introduced me (and my mother, on the other side of the world) to Dropbox. I was a bit reluctant at first, mainly because it meant creating yet another account, a password to remember and all that jazz. But that proved to be the exact strenght of Dropbox. No strings attached. In order to have an account, you don't need to become a part of a Micrsoft or Apple or Google network. You just use Dropbox. And sync it on which ever devices you like to use it on.
Back then, when I made my Dropbox account and started to familiarize myself with the desktop app, with the Win Explorer folder, and the Adroid app and all, SkyDrive did not offer all that. It all came along a bit later. So SkyDrive sort of got pushed back, as a storage for OneNote notebooks (works better than with Dropbox) and later on the de facto upload location for my Lumia photos. I stored all my stuff in Dropbox, and eventually started to struggle with space, unwilling to get a 100GB plan or something.
Call me dense, call me what you will, but it was only yesterday, that I realized that I actually could just as well utilize SkyDrive for all my own, non-shared data, and leave Dropbox to be the sharing platform. For the Win Explorer folder is there, and it works perfectly with both my Lumia (duh!) and the iPad (don't know about Android, but then again, my Galaxy Tab has been reduced into a Kindle device nowadays) - and I have all of 25GB of storage space there, complimentary to the 'old' users!
Mar 21, 2013
How it works, is that you need the Air Display app on your iPad (costs approximately 9 euros here) and then you need the Air Display app for the PC/Mac. When using Air Display, both devices need to be on the same WiFi network and obviously the iPad app needs to be running. In Windows, the application creates an icon in the icon tray, and once the requirements of WiFi and app running on iPad are met, you can connect to the iPad (good insturctions are included in the the iPad app).
I started my journey to be an Air Display user by installing the app on my iPad, and when I then tried to get the software for my Win8-running laptop, I had a moment of disappointment. After installing the PC application, it told me it did not support Win8, and then it crashed.
Avatron however is working on a Win8-supporting version too. It is still in beta, but if you're not scared of betas (which I am not) and are willing to participate in the beta-testing, Avatron offers the beta drivers for (test) usage. So that's what I did. I asked for the beta version for Win8 and ok, the screen flashes sometimes with some operations (like e.g. changing the orientation of the iPad) and it has some issues with Office2013 (e.g. trying the slideshow in PowerPoint 2013 on iPad resulted in PP crashing, and as a little bit bigger problem, Lync 2013 started crashing when joining an online meeting).
The normal mouse moves to the iPad screen, the laptop keyboard works as well. According to Avatron, all of the Win8 gestures are not there even though it is fully touch compatible also; I mean, it is an iPad. But since I'm using a non-touch laptop, my hands are on the keyboard/touchpad so their usability on the iPad additional display is the key feature for me.
Waiting for the RTM :)
[Edit: April 25th, 2013 I just noticed that AirDisplay is not beta anymore!]
Feb 24, 2013
A few days ago I jailbroke my iPad, after watching my boyfriend and his jailbroken iPad for a couple of weeks, to determine that it actually was "safe" to do it. I was slightly worried that it might cause problems, and besides, I've still got a full year of warranty left on my iPad. But the temptation grew too big. I too wanted to have separate user accounts for my girls and some other cool stuff, like those handy toggles in the message area etc.
I didn't go through the whole operation of downloading the jailbreak etc. for my boyfriend already had the stuff needed on his MacBook. So I simply hooked my iPad to his Mac and tapped a couple of icons. Or something. After a few minutes and a couple restarts, I had Cydia on my iPad and could start getting all those things I had been wanting to have for some time already.
1. Multiple user accounts
The truly number one reason for me to jailbreak my iPad. So the first thing I did after freeing my dear device from its Apple jail, was to download the iUsers app from Cydia. It makes a new setting "Users" in the Settings of the iPad, with which you can then create new user accounts. The first one you create will be the current account, the administrator. The other accounts get their own new profiles when switching to them for the first time.
There are a few things to understand when using the not-alltogether-bugfree iUsers (iUsers v.1.0.2 on the iOS 6.1):
- even if you give different passcodes for different users, they will not take effect; the administrator passcode is forced on those accounts too
- the first time you try to log in to a different accounts (with the users icon in the lock screen), it takes quite some time because of the profile creating (an hour or so even), and then takes you through the initial "creating a new iPad" wizard
- after the initial log in, changing the user still takes a few minutes and does something funny that puts the iPad in safety mode (displayed on the status bar), so then you need to reboot the iPad in order to get the proper full mode again
- the app data of at least some apps is not split to different users, so e.g. my accounts in Blogsy are visible and usable in my daughters' profiles too. This is a bit unfortunate, since in many cases that sort of beats the whole purpose of having multiple users
2. Notification bar toggles
One of the things I missed in the iPad from what I'd been used to with my Android Galaxy Tab was the ability to toggle things like the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness etc. in the notification bar. With a jailbroken iPad you can have those too! You need a couple of apps for that, though:
- the WinterBoard
- and the SBSettings app
Then, with the SBSettings you can configure those toggles. It has a set of default ones, but you can also extend them by getting more toggles from Cydia (there is a button for that in the SBSettings).
3. Multitasking gestures
With the SBSetting you also get this Activator app, where you can adjust and change the iPad gestures to your own liking. I didn't really feel the need to do much, but I did download this addition for assigning multitasking gestures for my iPad. So now, instead of always needing to use the home button for switching between apps, I tap on the left/right corner of the status bar to go left and right. Not always the most convenient gesture because of some app buttons being too close to the status bar, but hey, the screen is already pretty full and most gestures already assigned.
4. Get the date and other stuff on status bar
Also in the SBSettings you can set the date&time&other data to be shown in the status bar.
5. Fake the user agent
Ever annoyed that you can't play your favorite videos in Youtube on the iPad (or iPhone)? Or that you are forced to a damn mobile site because you're using a tablet or phone? I have been, definately. So one of the first things I did was also to download the User Agent Faker. You can set the user agent of Safari and almost any other apps according to your preference, e.g. to appear like Chrome when sending request over the Internet.
6. Um... SSH, rooting and stuff
Now I'm not a Unix person in the least, so I really didn't find any need to be installing those things (at least not yet, we'll see if some reasons come up at some point), but since my boyfriend is, I know that's the thing quite many most probably would want, maybe even as the main reason for jailbreaking the iPad. But as it is, I'll point you to my boyfriend's blog for information on that.
7. Oh, and all them themes...
They're like skins for different parts of the iOS and the Cydia stuff and there's a lot of them. I only tried one for the toggles, but it didn't work. Apparently some of them require the WinterBoard mode, some the traditional SummerBoard mode. And they don't really say which...
The jailbreaking hasn't really caused any true problems for me, but sometimes the stuff seems to function slightly strangely:
- The SBSettings and Activator icons seem to be a bit elusive; every now and then I'm missing them from my screens completely... But they usually re-appear when restarting the SpringBoard (the Cydia)
- Once when I updated an app or addition or smtg in Cydia, I got 18 icons (things that should be hidden) on my screen, seemingly the Setup wizard bits and some Cydia stuff and e.g. game center duplicate :o They did vanish after a reboot of the iPad, though.
But still, I'm happy with the jailbreak. It allows me to customize my iPad so much more!
Feb 19, 2013
The problem was that my daughter had had several games on the phone, but wanted a new one. The phone told her that there was not enough memory to install it. So she deleted all games except for the three she likes most. But did it help? Nope. She still could not install a single game on her phone anymore. So, she turned to her mother. That would be me, of course.
First thing I did was to move the remaining three games to her spacious external memory card and deleted all cache data from all of her apps. Did not help. So I googled a bit and tried installing a memory cleaner app on the phone - which didn't give any problems, to my surprise. But still, no luck with the game.
I googled a bit more and found some insturctions to move practiaclly all apps to the memory card by installing some SDKs and development tools and such stuff on my laptop and on that phone and running this and that console and rooting the phone and whatnot! "Haha, you're the geek girl, the Android-hacker, go for it! You just press all the buttons at the same time, say google backwords and type root on the screen with your nose," my boyfriend snickered when I sighed in exasperation and announced that I am definately NOT going to be messing (my girl's phone) with that kind of hacking.
But, it was dêja vú. Windows phone all over again. No updates available. So apparently that phone model is kinda old and doesn't support newer Android versions. No Ice Cream Sandwiches or Jellybeans to my girl's phone. Fine. Didn't go all geeky with that either, trying to manually force a newer version on it.
Instead, I logged into the Google Play store in the browser, searched for the game and clicked install. Magically, it worked. The phone didn't break in tears, cry over spilled memory or anything. It simply installed the game. Poof.
I don't understand the memory system of Android at all. I don't really like Android. But unfortunately, while iPhone is too expensive and WinPhone doesn't get the games, Android it is for the kids.