Sep 28

There have been reports that the new iPhone XS has an automatic ‘Beauty Mode’ that smooths people’s skin. It is true that the new iPhone XS selfies do look a lot smoother than the previous iPhone X. This could be a ‘beauty mode’ but I doubt it. If Apple did have a deliberate beauty mode they would be crazy not to give users the option to turn it off. I think what is happening is that Apple are using noise smoothing.

Because of limitations in camera sensor technology when you take a photo in low light there is a ‘grain’ that appears in any photo. This happens on digital cameras, old film cameras and also on phone cameras. The less the light the more grain. If you try to take a photo in very low light you may have noticed this. Already phones compensate by raising the brightness of the photo in low light, and smoothing out the image to get rid of this grain.

I think what is happening here is that when the face detection technology detects a face, it sets the brightness of the whole photo to make the face clear. If the face is in low light, the iPhone XS will raise the brightness of the whole picture (hence the shirts etc changing colour in the examples) and it will also therefore apply some smoothing to the entire picture to reduce the grain caused by the low light. This could possibly cause the smoothing of skin blemishes as the phone can’t tell the difference between a skin blemish and the grain caused by low light.

Notice that it only happens on the lower quality ‘selfie’ camera. The main front camera will have a better sensor and so not need so much smoothing.

 

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Jul 27

We all loved the Mac vs PC ads, when Apple were taking the mickey out of PCs. Well the tables have turned with a clever set of ads from Samsung. You can see them all on Samsung’s Youtube channel  here, but my favourite is this one…

 

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Jul 23

We have an iPhone 4 that we love. It is running iOS 7.  But there are some apps that you cannot download to iOS7.  If you try to download them from the App store you get this message:

too old

To get around this, you need an older version of the app. But Apple don’t give you the option of installing older versions. To get around this and find an older version, you firstly need to download the newer version of App into iTunes on your computer.

Then when you go to your iPhone and find the app in the App Store, you will get the option to download the older version:

older app can install

SUMMARY: You cannot download older versions of Apps directly to your iPhone, but if you download a newer version to iTunes first, then you can access an older version from your iPhone.

NOTE: You need iTunes 12.6 to access the App store to do this. It won’t work in iTunes 12.7.

See this article for how to downgrade to iTunes 12.6.

I keep one laptop with 12.6 for this purpose. The rest are running iTunes 12.7.

 

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Jan 01

I just purchased a phone from this ebay seller and when it arrived it was as good as new!

It’s worth keeping an eye on these guys. The 2 specials below have sold out but they now have Apple watches for $189.

Continue reading ⟩

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Oct 15

My iPhone has been using huge amounts of battery power for almost 2 weeks now – ever since I upgraded to iOS11.  It can drop 20% of it’s battery percentage in an hour and it’s using so much power that it takes 5 hours to charge! I’m keen to see who else is having this problem and whether it’s resolved itself for you.

After some reading I am hoping that this increase in power usage on iOS11 is caused by Spotlight reindexing.  This would also make sense as to why all the power saving measures such as low power mode etc make no difference.  It also makes sense as to why the battery drain doesn’t seem to be tied to any particular application.  If this is the case, all we need to do is wait a few days and the iPhone should finish indexing and eventually return to its normal self. If however it’s some kind of a bug in iOS11, we may need to wait for a fix from Apple. If it is caused form Spotlight indexing, waiting should eventually fix it.  If you are camping or in a situation where you you need the phone and cannot put up with the battery drain you have 3 options:

UPDATE: It’s not caused by Spotlight indexing. I turned off all indexing and the problem is still there.

I’m contacting Apple Support and will keep you updated.

 

Continue reading ⟩

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Oct 04

In this Google Pixel review I commented that one of the frustrating things about the Google Pixel phone was that sometimes it missed incoming text messages. In fact this was so critical to me that it caused me to switch back to my iPhone. I have since discovered that this was not a problem with my Google pixel phone at all, but rather a problem with Apple messages. If you are changing phones from an iPhone to a different brand, make sure you turn off iMessage first.

Continue reading ⟩

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Oct 02

Many iPhone users are noticing a fast drain in battery life in iOS 11. You can check which apps are using your battery by going to Settings –> Battery and then scrolling down to where it says ‘BATTERY USAGE.’ You will see a screen like this:

This is a very handy chart that lets you see which apps are using your battery. For me, it’s Google Play Music. I admit, I do use the Google Play Music App a lot to listen to music.

If you click on the App in question, it will tell you how much you have used it. I clicked on Google Play Music and it told me that I have used it for 2.3 hours on the screen and 4 minutes in the background over the last 24 hours.

Click on the app name to see whether the usage is when the app is on screen or in the background.

You can look at your battery drain over the past 24 hours, or the past 7 days.

For hints on how to save battery life, check out “iOS11 battery drain problems”.

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Sep 25

I just got caught out for the first time by the missing headphone jack in the new iPhone. I was with some friends and we wanted to listen to a song from one of their iPhones. I went to plug it onto our PA system… no headphone jack in the phone!  But it won’t happen again!  Here’s my recommendation, if you are a club, a church, a school, a recording studio, anyone who has a sound system, grab yourself one of these Apple lightning to headphone jack dongles from the Apple store and leave it near your mixing desk. Continue reading ⟩

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