Archives For iphone

iPhone, 10 Years Ago

January 9, 2017 — Leave a comment

My contribution to this day in history: the first iPhone at Macworld Expo in 2007, in a glass case with a very burly guard next to it.

Ten years ago today, I was in the audience at Macworld Expo for the unveiling of the first iPhone. Steve Jobs’s lead-up to it during the keynote is classic Steve, and yes, it was an exciting moment. My first thought was, “Finally, someone is doing a mobile phone right.” I was happy just to see the phone features, like easily adding a third person to a call and listening to messages via Visual Voicemail without having to navigate a phone tree. Here’s what we wrote at TidBITS at the time: iPhone Seeks to Redefine the Mobile Phone.

My colleague Glenn got a briefing and actually had a few minutes of hands-on time with a prototype (which had a plastic screen at the time), putting him into rarified air for a few months. See iTouched an iPhone.

That said, the price was high at the outset, and I was mostly-happy using a Palm Treo as my mobile device, so I didn’t think I needed an iPhone right away. Within six months of the iPhone being released (it didn’t ship until June of that year), though, I gave in and bought one. I don’t regret it for a second. And it still works:

Iphone still works 10 years

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This topic came up with a friend over the weekend: Now that Apple is making a ceramic Apple Watch, how long before we see a ceramic iPhone? The always-excellent Greg Koenig of Luma Labs explains not only why we likely won’t see one for a while, but also gets across the sheer scale of manufacturing Apple’s current aluminum-based products.

Go read it now: Why Your Next iPhone Won’t Be Ceramic

And while you’re there, pick up one of Luma’s great camera straps.

Bulbs

With so much focus on the iPhone 7, which started trickling into customers’ hands today, more people are thinking about mobile photography. Jill Waterman at B&H Photo wrote an article containing tips that go beyond the typical rules of composition and lighting. I’m quoted talking about the software behind the lens (a topic I’ve found myself discussing in a few situations this week), and two of my mobile photos are included. Read it here: 8 Tips from Mobile Photography Professionals, plus their Favorite Apps.

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My latest column for The Seattle Times looks at what’s just around the corner: a few notable features in the macOS Sierra and iOS 10 betas. I’ve been running both (as well as watchOS 3), and am impressed so far. The features I mention in the column are just a sampling, and I focused on how the Mac and iPhone/iPad work together.

I didn’t have space to mention things like the Maps app automatically noting where you parked your car, how convenient the raise-to-wake feature on the iPhone is, or the convenience of replying to texts without leaving the current app (something possible under iOS 9, but expanded in iOS 10).

Read it here: Beta testing: In next macOS, everyday features work more closely across devices.

Also worth noting: Make sure you update to iOS 9.3.5, a quick-fix security update that Apple issued late last week to patch a hole that could enable an attacker to remotely control your device. TidBITS has more info here: iOS 9.3.5 Blocks Remote Jailbreak.

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Birdhouses

Over at TidBITS, I write in more depth about the changes in Lightroom for iOS 2.4, and they’re doozies: Lightroom for iOS 2.4 Changes Mobile Photo Workflow.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, adding native raw file format support to Adobe’s mobile photo editor is a big deal, especially for people who are looking to use just an iPad or iPhone on photo shoots to minimize the gear they carry.

It means you don’t end up with separate edited copies of photos that are synced with Lightroom on the desktop—a raw file editing in Lightroom mobile is synced to your main library with edits intact. And the editing power takes a big leap in quality, pulling detail out of shadows without blocking up sections where JPEGs just don’t hold up.

For example, here’s an underexposed raw photo edited entirely in Lightroom on my iPad:

LRm24 raw before after

There’s a better example in the article that shows extreme pixelation in a JPEG.

I also talk about the new local selection tools, which are great for adjusting selected portions in linear or gradient areas. Here’s another before-and-after, showing the radial tools at work; I was able to bring up the exposure for just the birdhouses without overexposing the background.

Lightroom m24 local original

Lightroom m24 local radial

Overall, this is an exciting release, something I’ve been looking forward to for years. It streamlines the mobile photo workflow and does what I envisioned in 2011 when I wrote the first edition of my iPad for Photographers book.

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The ol’ eyes just aren’t what they used to be. After getting a new eyeglasses prescription and noticing how my mother’s iPhone text is permanently larger than normal, I decided to write my latest Seattle Times column about the many ways anyone can make their phone screens more legible. That ranges from simply enlarging text in the Display & Brightness settings to activating accessibility features such as text zoom. I also point out a few new options coming in iOS 10, such as adapting the screen’s display to accommodate different types of color blindness.

This just scratches the surface of iOS accessibility features, which are rich and highly regarded. I recommend following Steven Aquino’s work; he has produced lots of great coverage in many venues.

Read my latest Seattle Times column here: iOS aid makes reading on a screen easy.

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Lightroom for iOS 2.4

Adobe just released a significant update for the iOS version of Lightroom, bringing two features mobile photographers are going to love: raw import and editing, and linear and radial graduated adjustments. The first could change how we work with photos in the field, and the second is a feature I use more and more on the desktop and have in the past resorted to interesting workarounds to implement on the iPad.

I need to dig more into this release, but it looks promising. Photos you import using Apple’s Lightning adapters are brought into the Photos app Camera Roll, and then recognized by Lightroom as raw. (Oh, but now I lament Apple’s choice of sticking with USB 2.0 speed for photo import on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.) This could mean no longer needing to shoot in Raw+JPEG just to get a high-resolution JPEG to work with on the device.

(Remember, until now Lightroom wouldn’t even display raw images when importing them from the Camera Roll, and in most apps, the JPEG preview the camera creates to display on its LCD is what’s used for editing.)

Adobe says the app supports all the same raw formats that Lightroom on the desktop supports; I had no trouble opening and editing a handful of raw .RAF files from my Fuji X-T1.

Lightroom ios 2 4 raw badges

I’ll be writing more about this, looking at how Lightroom syncs the raw files back to the desktop, whether it’s practical to import a lot of images or just selected ones, and what this means for Apple’s upcoming raw image support in iOS 10.

For now, here’s more information from Adobe: Lightroom for Mobile July Releases.

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Late last week I talked to David Sparks and Katie Floyd for the Mac Power Users podcast about iPhone photography. I’ve known David for years in the Mac world and from Macworld Expos past, and follow his great site MacSparky.

David recently took a bold step: sold all of his camera gear and now uses the iPhone 6s Plus as his only camera. In this MPU episode, we talk about how feasible that is, the tradeoffs and advantages, and also focus a lot on how everyone can improve their iPhone photography. It’s a topic we could have discussed for hours—we didn’t even get to photo management, which would be a good followup episode—but I think we covered a lot of ground. Check it out (and subscribe to the podcast) at Mac Power Users #324.

In my latest Seattle Times column, I wrestle with keeping track of the various bits of digital data we need to store. Going paperless years ago was a relief, but the data I need to manage has increased since then. For a long time, I used Evernote, but found myself not turning to it in recent months. Apple’s Notes has, to my surprise, become a viable replacement for a couple of reasons I discuss in the article.

Read it here: Going paperless still requires bringing order to digital chaos

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The Wall Street Journal estimates 12 million watches were sold in its first year, compared to 6 million iPhone sales in its first year. That sounds pretty successful, but what does it mean for the next couple of years? (For the record, I think 12 million is a pretty good indicator that the watch isn’t a “flop,” which is the current sentiment in most media.)

Macworld has just published an opinion piece I wrote, arguing that a better comparison is the iPad, not the iPhone, when looking at longer-term performance. Read it here: Look to the iPad for Apple Watch comparisons.

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