iPhone 6s Plus blog postings

iPhone 6s Plus Postings

Earliest: October 20, 2015Latest: November 5, 2017Total: 31

November 5, 2017

Spam Call Identifier on iOS 11

One of the new features of iOS 11 is the ability to have 3rd party identify calls. This is extremely valuable when you get a lot of calls during the day. Are the mystery calls really worth your time?

Using iOS apps, such as Hiya, it easy to identify calls before you answer it. In addition, you also get a tag of missed calls:

Hiya Phone Tag

Check out Hiya, Truecaller and RoboKiller they all have the same goal - stop robo calls from disrupting your day-to-day life.

If everyone had these applications on their phones and not answered the calls maybe, just maybe these calls will go away.

What do you think? Do you have an App that you like to help identify these calls?

August 27, 2017

iPhone Homescreen

In a few days Apple will be announcing the next generation of iPhones. I purchased the iPhone 6s Plus back in October 2015. This means that I am eligible to get a new phone.

As of now, there's no major rush to get a new one since the phone that I have works perfectly well. I am satisfied with the camera and battery life that. Unlike my old iPhone 5s, whereas the battery couldn't hold that long. The camera on the iPhone 6s Plus is much better than the 5s.

Screen View

Here's a side by side comparison of my iPhone 6s Plus home screen in October 2015 and how it looks today.

Click on image for a larger version.

Favorite Applications

Here are my most popular 3rd party applications that I have used over the years:

  • Evernote - great note taking app. I use it to record information including receipts.
  • Twitter - find out what's going on right now.
  • Facebook - find out what my friends are doing.
  • Google Photos - my personal photo collection. I have access to 50,000 photos.
  • AnyList - grocery shopping list and more
  • Wunderground - detail weather information
  • YouTube - watching funny videos can help brighten a down day
  • InstaWeather - overlay the current weather temperature on any picture
  • FiLMiC Pro - take quality videos for special moments

Future Applications that I would like

Tip Calculator - How much to tip and keep track of where I eat.

Brain Game - Would be good to play some good brain thinking game. A replacement for Brain Challenge - a great game just that I already played it several times over the years.

February 4, 2017

Manage Music on your iPhone

Have you wanted to see just the music that you have installed on your iPhone? Simple Steps to Only Show Downloaded Music on your iPhone music section:

  • On the Library Page, click on the ?Edit? link on the top right
  • Check on ?Downloaded Music? so the Checkmark appears.
  • Click on the ?Done? link on the top right.

Now when you want to see the music on your Phone:

  • Go to the ?Downloaded Music? section. From there you can further refine your selection by songs in the Playlist, Artists, Albums and Songs.

January 1, 2017

Breaking News App Alternative

Breaking News Icon

One of the cool things about having a smartphone is that you are never out of the loop of what is going on in the world. When something major happens you can be instantly alerted to events that may concern you.

Apple has set up a couple of Government Alerts to help spread notification of important information:

  • AMBER Alerts - Alerts you when a child goes missing near your area.
  • Emergency Alerts - Alerts you when to seek shelter because of weather or police activity.

The Breaking News app sent you alerts when something major happens. Which is good, because you never feel like your missing out on what's going on in the world.

According to the description, "Discover when news breaks 14 minutes ahead of other news apps on average." The app all-time customer rating was 4 stars by 2,238 subscribers.

Breaking News services no longer in service. From the Breaking News App/Website:

This is breaking news we hoped we'd never have to report. Our parent company, NBC News, has decided to shut down the Breaking News service at the end of the year. BreakingNews.com and the Breaking News app will stop providing updates and alerts on Dec. 31.

Our mission at Breaking News has been to help people and companies make smarter and safer decisions. For the last six years, we've been honored to serve you around the clock, and we thank you for your incredible loyalty.

There are lots of people not happy with NBC decision:

Tuttemarie review concludes with:

Of all the crappy things that have happened in 2016, this app shutting down is in my top 5!

Breaking News Alternative - Twitter Notifications

Breaking News was great because you would get an alert when something big happened, such as when celebrities died or when something significant happened locally. You can get this same instant notification via Twitter Notifications. (In some cases, they broke the news before the Breaking News App)

Simple steps to setup up a Twitter Notification that works similar to Breaking News alerts.

  • On your iOS device, Open up Twitter and search for 'CNN Breaking News,' or 'BBC Breaking News'
  • Click on the Follow icon
  • Next to the Follow icon, click on the bell+ (Notifications)
  • Under Notifications, select "All Tweets"
  • That's it!

Twitter Tips

CNN Breaking News does report more "Breaking News Stories" than was produced by the "Breaking News" app, so you may get notified a bit more often. You can search Twitter for different media outlets that may only report major stories that you might be interested in.

November 19, 2016

Magic Pictures

Xsight Technologies, has identified three ways to improve the quality of pictures. These techniques will help you take better digital pictures:

  • Adjust The Contrast
  • Switch To Black & White
  • Save Your "Lossless" Files

Check out the detail article over at Xsight Technologies website:


Xsight Technologies is coming out with a new tool that truly sharpens images and compresses them simultaneously. It's currently available as a website application, and soon they will have an iOS and Android version.

Watch Magic Pictures in Action!

Visit https://www.magic-picture.com/ and in the header you'll see a place to upload a picture. Try a couple of pictures and see how good the quality of your picture comes out. Then check out the compression savings. The slider functionality shows you the before/after.

Olympus XZ-2 iHS Test

Here's an example of a photo I took at the Wayside in Sudbury, Massachusetts on October 30, 2016. The photo was taken with my Olympus XZ-2 iHS, and the default file size is 3.925.7 MB.

Wayside Magic Picture

The rocks on the building are clearer and the fall colors do pop out more using Magic Pictures. I can see how this could really make photos pop.

iPhone 6s Plus Testing

In my testing, I found that pictures taken with my Olympus XZ-2 iHS had better file size compression. Photos taken with my iPhone 6s Plus had much clearer pictures but were slightly larger. Here's an example of the iPhone 6s Plus:

Bostoni Phone Magic

In the side-by-side comparison, I can tell that the colors are brighter and the grass and trees aren't as blurry as they are in the original.

October 23, 2016

iPhone Tip: Screen Capture Videos for Social Media

If you're just taking pictures for the purposes of posting onto a social network, then shooting the footage in video and then taking a screen shot of the final copy might be a good way to get the prize winning shot. Why take the chance of missing the perfect shot.

Standard iPhone 6s Plus picture is 4032x3024 (1.9 MB), a screenshot on an iPhone 6s Plus is 2208x1242 (4.7 MB). Your image is still bigger than the recommended sizes on all the major social media sites:

Social Media Photo Size Recomendations

Social Media Photo Recomendation
Facebook 1200 x 628
Twitter 1,024 x 512
Pinterest 735 x 1,102
Instagram 1,080 x 1,080
LinkedIn 700 x 400
Google+ 800 x 1,200

Sample Video Photo

Green Line Photo
Screen capture of a video, while waiting for the Green Line in Boston

If you're taking an action shot, you can always increase the frame rate so that you don't have a blur effect on moving objects.

Screen Capture

To take a screen capture - Simply press and hold the ?Sleep/Wake? button and then press the ?Home? button.

Try FiLMiC Pro

I use FiLMiC Pro for my videos because you have better control over the focus and exposure. You really get the full capabilities of your phone. It really is worth the $10 to get a lot more out of your iPhone 6s Plus.

From their website:

FiLMiC Pro turns your iOS camera into a broadcast worthy High Definition video camera. FiLMiC Pro variable speed zoom, audio gain control, variable frame rates up to 240fps on newest devices. With full manual control over focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, tint and color temperature you may never need another video camera again. Additionally, FiLMiC Pro has a ton of professional tools such as audio meters, stereo microphone support, informative thirds guide, and aspect ratio overlays. And for the truly creative a variety of resolutions and aspect ratios including 2K, 3K, and 4K on the newest iPhones; Cinemascope, Letterbox, Super 35 and Super 16 aspect ratios. This app has everything you need to create your own Hollywood movie, documentary, music video, or iPhone news Story.

October 8, 2016

iOS X Voice Mail Transcription

One of the new features In iOS X is voice mail transcript. The feature is still in beta, but it allows you the ability to read your voice messages.

When I first installed iOS X, I checked the voicemail transcript and didn't see anything. However, a couple of weeks later when I checked I noticed that all my previous voice messages have been transcribed.

Sample Entry

Transscription Example
Note: I trim the transcription for this blog post, there entire voicemail was transcribed.

Note that the above voice message was 1:25 long. A quick read tells me that I don't have to hear this message. After taking the screenshot, I clicked on the delete button.

Apple now also transcribed deleted voicemail. Now I can go back and see what the messages were about.

The really neat thing about this is that I can get my voice messages in situations where it may not be convenient to hear them.

The feature is still in beta, but from what I see it looks pretty good. If you upgraded when iOS X came out, go check out your voice mail and see what you think of the new feature. Simple click on Phone > Voicemail then one of the voice messages that you have.

September 24, 2016

Build a Thumbnail Webpage with Image Capture Tool

Image Capture can Build a webpage with transferred images

Did you know you can create a website from your images from Image Capture? Here are the simple steps:

  1. Connect your scanner, camera, or other device to your computer, then turn the device on. If the device is locked with a passcode, enter it.
  2. In Image Capture, select the device in the Devices or Shared list.
  3. Select the images that you wish to add to your website
  4. Click the Import To pop-up menu, then choose Build Web Page.
  5. Click Import or Import All.

Here?s what happens next:

  • A new folder will be created in your '~/Pictures' folder called ?Webpages on DATE at TIME"
  • A new index.html file will be created with thumbnail images of your photos
  • A new ?web files? folder will be created which will contain the two versions of your images, the full version size and a thumbnail size.
  • The full version size will fit in a 800x600 dimension
  • The thumbnail size will fit in a 200x150 dimension

What?s bad about this is that it won?t account for the horizontal hold of the iPhone. This means that if you hold the camera in horizontal mode incorrectly the photos will appear upside down. According to Apple, the correct way to hold the iPhone is with the sound volume down.

July 24, 2016

Google Photo Compression

The follow is a 'Get Info' of the same file one was upload to Google Photos and the other to Yahoo Flickr back in July 2015. I now wanted the picture to create a calendar on Shutterfly:

Google Flickr

As you can see the file that I downloaded from Flickr is much bigger than the one from Google Photos. It also means that the quality is going to be better.

Normally this isn't a concern, as most of my pictures are just sharing online. However, in this case, it is an issue because I wanted to add the Photo to a calendar on Shutterfly. Shutterfly was throwing warnings that the picture quality is low and the picture image might be pixelated.

This is why you shouldn't be using Google Photo as your main source for photo cloud storage, at least if your only using the 'High Quality (free unlimited storage)' option. Google says is "Great visual quality at reduced file size." This isn't a great option if you plan on doing any printing of your photos.

Google Photo iOS App

If you are using Google Photos app to back up your iPhone 6s Plus photos, the will also get reduced to a smaller size:

Google Apple

In this case, my file was reduced by only 100 MB, which isn't all that bad for about 99% of the photos that I take. I just need to remember for that 1% of the photos that I really like, to keep a better quality some place else.

You could upgrade Google Drive storage to 100 GB at $1.99/month (about a cup of coffee) and upload your photos at the Original quality. This means that I would be able to store approximately 33,333 photos from my iPhone. Which isn't all that bad.

June 25, 2016

Lost iPhone in Taxi

Hay Taxi

Recently we lost an iPhone in a Taxi in Boston. A few hours after losing the phone, we enabled the lost phone feature and was able to track the phone. It was still in the taxi. A day later we got a call from the driver and an hour later we got the phone back.

Thanks Taxi!

The question for today?s post: Should you tip a Taxi for returning a lost iPhone?

I didn?t tip the Taxi driver when I got the phone back, but should I have? He did get a nice tip when we reached our original destination. Shouldn?t that be enough? Let me know your views in the comments! Uber and Lyft have policies that advise against accepting tips for returning lost items.

We did end up contacting the taxi a few days later and will send him a small reward.

Things Remember when Traveling

  • To always double check to make sure you have everything with you when exiting a Taxi. (Phone, keys, wallets)
  • Make a note of the taxi name and number. This is easily done by asking for a receipt and make sure the medallion number is on the receipt. Make it a habit.
  • Make sure that your phone is always locked and that you have the emergency contact enabled.
  • Back up your photos to the cloud every night, so if you don't get the phone back, at least you don't loose all the pictures from your vacation.