I just downloaded my favorite new iPhone app: CameraBag. Developed by Nevercenter, it adds some ridiculous functionality to your iPhone/iPod camera. I’m an amateur photographer, and have a fun collection of cameras from a plastic Holga to an old Kodak SX 70 to a 1938 Argus, some old Brownies, a 1937 Univex, my boring Sony Cybershot, my wife’s 35mm and my iPhone. Most of the cameras have no film, it’s difficult to get and I don’t really know how to use them and because it is always in my pocket, most of the pictures I take are with my iPhone.
I was excited to see that developers are coming up with interesting plugins that take advantage of the iPhone camera and add steroids to it. The iPhone takes OK pictures, not very high megapixels, terrible in low light, or slow when you need a quick shot, but it’s not horrible for a camera you take everywhere in your back pocket that is also a phone, web browsers, etc. But, I’ve begun to notice some odd glitches either from the software, from moving the camera shile shooting, covering the lens until right before the fake click. These have given me a way to be more artistic with my photographs. Now comes the Nevercenter CameraBag. It basically offers filters for your images. You can pull images from your existing iPhone Photos folder, or take new pictures. It doesn’t offer many preferences:
It does offer a great list of photo filter options. Several new options have been added to this version of the app, and I’m hoping for more in the future such as saturation, faux depth of field, cropping, zoom, lens options. FOr now though, here are examples of each of the camera options beginning with the original image I took outside my office window:
Here is a comparison of CameraBag’s filters:
I won’t do an example for each camera filter, but for this one, here is an example of a shot I took with my Holga. You’ll see similar saturation, the halo effect and what’s missing, the light leaks. I’m hoping to see this addition in a future version:
And now, the rest of the filters:
Here are some screenshots of the interface:
Most of this stuff can be done with some time in Photoshop or with the actual cameras represented, and to all of the camera snobs that say the iPhone is an expensive “toy camera”: duh, it’s not meant to be a replacement for toy cameras, SLRs or a good digital camera. But, when it’s the camera in your pocket, at least it can be fun!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Well, we all know by now that Flash is indeed not included on the iPhone. What’s funny is the claim the “this is not a watered down version of the Internet”:
Now, knowing that Flash has been an important part of Internet communications for 10 years, you’d think, since it is built into Apple’s Safari browser already, it would be included in the iPhone. What’s more, considering that YouTube videos are served using Flash, and there is even an entire commercial touting YouTube on the iPhone, there would be even more reason to include Flash as part of the iPhone’s operating package.
Instead Apple is making YouTube re-encode all of their videos using Apple’s H.264 Quicktime codec to show videos on the iPhone. Granted, that compression codec is gorgeous. But, that means that only a limited amount of YouTube videos are available on the iPhone. You can’t just go to YouTube.com to see them.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
I love new technology. I have a DVR and an HD TV. I have a high end Mac and an iPhone. I love when others adopt new technology to make things easier and cheaper.
What I hate is when technology fails. What I hate more is when there is no backup plan.
I had an interesting trip today on the T. I work in Somerville’s Davis Square. This is a suburb NW of Boston, part of Greater Boston I believe, just next to Cambridge. Davis Square is primarily known as a yuppy hangout after 6, prior to this populated with mentally unbalanced and often homeless people. Fun area.
Today I took the T into work. I ride the horribly slow B (Green) Live from Brighton to Park St Station under the Boston Common, then hop the Red Line under Beacon Hill, through Cambridge, Harvard Square and on to Davis Square. In all about an hour trip. This lets me catch up on some new music, reading, etc. I also planned to take the same route in reverse to get home. However, having used up some of the cash on my Charlie Card by going to client meetings this week, I found my Card a bit short on funds for the return trip.
Now, a Charlie Card takes a couple of forms. Their is the temporary, non-reusable version made of paper that litter most T stops and trains or the more permenant plastic version that can be refilled. Since I don’t often take the T (driving my Benz is much more fun) I only use the temporary one.
The MBTA smartly filled their stops, at least the official, underground ones, not the street stops, with machines allowing recharging plastic and purchasing paper Charlie Cards. I counted 6 at the Davis Square stop, I may be wrong though. When I arrived and put my card through the reader I found that I had insufficient funds. When using my pass to go to work that morning I found I had only $1 on it. Odd, a one-way trip is $2, you can’t recharge a paper card as far as I could tell. That means The T gets my dollar because the ticket is useless.
Well, I thought, I’ll just buy a new card. I stood in line at on of the ticket vending machines to find it wasn’t accepting credit cards. I got in line at another one, same thing. I went to the machine near entrance gates, didn’t work either. “Then someone said, the machines aren’t taking credit cards.” I didn’t believe him at first, remember what I said about the day time inhabitants of Davis Square? He fit the bill perfectly: grubby jeans, overweight, red t-shirt, scruffy, unshaven face. Not exactly who I picture being an MBTA official. I expect them to be wearing a uniform.
I don’t usually travel with alot of cash. I live in the city, plastic is cheaper. I didn’t have any cash on me that day except a few quarters. So, here I was, 2 cities and a couple dozen subway stops from home and the city’s transit system wasn’t accepting credit cards. It would have been nice if there’d been a sign posted at the entrance. The machines are two levels down and about a block’s worth of walking from the front door to the stop. Luckily all I had to do was walk back to the stairs, climb 2 long flights, and walk another block to find an ATM to get out cash to get a new card, walk all the way back.
So, to my usual 60 minute subway ride, I added about 20 minutes. Add that to the fact that the Red Sox were in town for a game, which meant every tourist inside the 495 belt parked at Alewife and took the train in, and you get a pretty good picture of my ride.
Leave a magic marker and paper for T employees to notify passengers that the system isn’t working.
Make T employees wear a uniform and bathe.
Open the turnstiles for free access to those you can’t accomodate when your system breaks down.
This morning the credit card purchase ability of the MBTA at Davis Square Station was still down. Still no signs of warning until you’re 2 levels down:
Once again my mind is boggled by Apple’s failure to include Flash on the iPhone. I’ll be out and about all day and was hoping to catch some of the Live Earth music festival today. No luck. Whether it’s the sponsors’ (which include Microsoft) fault for using Flash for so many of the more important navigational elements without a non-Flash alternative or iPhone’s failure to include a 10 year old plugin is enough cause for debate. What I’m most shocked by now is that once I was able to navigate to a non-Flash, non-Internet Explorer page that actually broadcast the show, I checked to make sure it wasn’t Flash. To my surprise it was not. It was good old streaming Quicktime. An odd choice for a show sponsored by Microsoft. I guess they know their target audience. So, I copied the address to put on the iPhone. After all, there has been much talk about YouTube re-encoding their videos into the H.264 compression format for Quicktime. I can see those videos on my iPhone so it should be a cinch to watch these videos right? Oh, Snap! I get a broken plugin icon. What the hell?! So the Apple iPhone that is supposed to give you the real Internet, not a watered down version of the Internet, from the company that created Quicktime, can’t play a Quicktime video in their own browser?!
This could have been a great publicity tool for Apple. Imagine allowing folks all over the country to take Live Earth with them wherever they go.
“I’ve got a better idea. Let’s not.” they must have said.
I’m not happy. While it seems like Apple put alot of thought into this phone, it’s almost as if a fw dcisions were made by interns while evryone else was on a lunch break.
Shame on Apple for not being able to support even their own products!
They could have even worked it out through YouTube. Did they? Of course not. A search for Live Earth on the built in YouTube widget (since youtube.com doesn’t work due to a, you guessed it, lack of Flsh plugin) reveals ovr a dozen videos, none of which have anything to do with Live Earth except for a promo from President Gore.
By the way, as I write this, I’m in front of my Apple G5 watching the ever beautiful Geri Halliwell introduce Duran Duran, who sounds amazing.
I’m happy to report that the Apple iPhone is currently living up to it’s promise in my hot little hands. I’m only typing a little slower than usual because I’m only using on hand.
This phone is unbeatable. But it’s 2:45am so you’ll have to wait until morning.
p.s. WordPress needs to fix the image upload feature for Safari. It doesn’t work. Otherwise I’d be able to add a picture to this iblog to show more functionality. Fortunately this is a WordPress issue, not an iPhone issue!