iPhone 6s Plus blog postings

iPhone 6s Plus Postings

Earliest: October 20, 2015Latest: March 25, 2018Total: 34

February 8, 2016

USB Power Bank

One of the lessons that I learned from using the commuter rail during last year's winter is to always carry a fully charged USB power bank. Not only has this has come in handy when waiting for the train but also for those delays while on the train.

Here's What Happens

When it's freezing cold the iPhone can go into shut off mode. Yes, this happened to me several times. There were times when I would be using the phone on a really cold day and then without warning the phone would shut off. The iPhone 6s Plus operating temperature is above freezing (32 degrees or 0) This means that the phone will shut off when the temperature reaches the extreme temp. I have found it happens when the "feel like" temperature is 0.

As the temperature gets colder, the phone battery charge doesn't hold as well. This means that even if you don't use the phone, the extremely cold temperature will actually shorten the battery charge. I encountered this issue also.

Power of the USB Power Bank

USBCable.jpg

This is why having a USB power bank is critical to carry in your laptop bag. In addition, I find keeping a small cable with the power bank makes big the difference. I always know that the cable is there.

On eBay you can get a small 8" flat Braided cable for about $5. This can help justify having a "just in case" cable. What's more, you can get different tips for different devices - for example if you want to charge your Kindle or camera.

I recommend getting a short length cable so it doesn't take that much space in your bag. I find that the 8 inch is the perfect length.

I purchased two cables in different colors. I have a red one for my phone and a green one for my Kindle. I select red as important, as my phone is pretty important. I selected because that was the color of Amazon's logo.

How the USB Made a Difference

Last winter, on some of the coldest days, I found that when I got on the train that I had to energize the phone by connecting the phone to the USB power bank for about 5 minutes. Once it got enough juice, the phone was back to normal.

The iPhone 6s Plus battery size is 2750 mAH. So it's best to get a USB Power bank at least 5000 mAh so that you have enough charge for those long delays.

February 1, 2016

Optical Image Stabilization

One of the reasons that people may select the iPhone 6s Plus is the unique Optical Image Stabilization (also known as OIS) that is only available in the iPhone 6s Plus. However, What does "Optical Image Stabilization mean? How can you see the functionality in action?

Both the iPhone 6s and the Plus have Digital Image Stabilization (DIS). DIS relies on software to help stabilize your camera to compensate for potential shakes. OIS will rely on actual sensors built into the camera to offset any shakes while taking photos.

The big advantage that the Optical Image Stabilization functionality gives you is less camera shake when you take videos, especially you are shooting 4k. Parents with young children will like this feature when they are shooting videos. iPhone 6s Plus takes much smoother shot when your recording your children running around.

The good thing about this functionality it that it is always on, you simply record the video and the phone does the rest.

My Advice Tip

If your video clip still has a lot of camera shake, you can use the post production Stabilization feature in iMovie to fix the shot. I found that the Stabilize Shake Video at 30% gives a nice smooth picture.

Google video has a stabilization feature, but Apples iMovie and Final Cut does a great job.

For better video quality, make sure that the subject of the shot is in the center. Basically, the stabilization will be cropping out the outer part of the video.

When your shooting video on the iPhone 6s Plus make sure to close out of any application and put the phone in airplane mode. This is so that you dont get any notifications while shooting. I have found that some notifications can stop the recording.

January 25, 2016

InstaWeather App

New England is predicted to have another rough winter, that is according to many weather analysis. This is because of the El Nino effect, where warmer than normal waters in the Pacific Oceans causes more moisture in the United States. This past weekend the mid-Atlantic States got a glance at what's to come.

Last year was a tough winter for New England, especially to those that rode the MBTA in the mornings. Because of various issues, there were lots of delays and cancellations.

This year I want to better record the experience and part of doing that involves taking pictures and perhaps videos. I wanted to add a weather overlay on the picture just to give a bit more understanding of the temperature. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but sometimes the picture doesn't grasp how cold it is, especially the wind chill factor.

This past weekend I found a really cool ios application that puts the weather on any photo. Here's my tweet from this morning:

Adding the weather information on the image gives it a little zing. To get the weather overlay, I am using InstaWeather by byss mobile, they have a free version and paid version. It's the perfect tool for photo needs.

The free version is good as they have 10 unique weather overlays. When you share the image you will see an InstaWeather logo on the top right corner. You can see some of the options available in the paid version, you just need to purchase it to remove the extra overlay that they put on because you didn't pay for it.

The paid version is only $1.99, has 100 cool layouts which are sorted by 14 categories. In addition, you can turn off the logo. There is a nifty video functionality where you can take a short video with a weather overlay. One of the categories names is called 'Weather Wars' which allow you to do weather wars between two locals. Here's one I did this past weekend during the snow storm hitting the east coast:

Weather Wars

They are overlays for different seasons and InstaWeather offer all sorts of different effects including animated graphics. According to their website they are always adding more design.

The application is very popular all over the world, and byss mobile has a instaweather map website where you can see photos from other users from around the world. In order to get your photo on the map, you need to enable Photo Map option in Instagram and use the #instaweatherpro tag.

I would certainly recommend getting InstaWeather and trying it out. It's a cool way to tag weather to your photos. The paid version is a good addition to the iPhone 6s Plus library. I don't imagine that I would be using this all the time, but it seems something that would be neat to use when the extreme weather hits. It's a cool use of the Smart Phone technology, bring together the power of the photo and Internet applications.

Advice to Byss Mobile developers

It would be great if you could add a drop shadow or glow effect to some of the temperature numbers. In the winter time, it can be hard to see the white numbers on top of the white snow.

I would like some support landscape mode images. It would be nice to see a lot more of the landscape in the photos.

Whatever happen to SnapStory?

SnapStory2.jpg

This weather overlay came about because of theSnapStory iOS app, by Chengdu Everimaging Science and Technology. They had a weather overlay section where you could easily put the current weather over an image. They had a few designs to choose from, but it was basic enough for my needs.

For unknown reasons, sometime in the last year or so they quietly removed the weather option. You can no long add weather overlay in SnapStory. I don't know what happened as they actually still promote the weather overlay on their website.

The application hasn't been updated for nearly two years, perhaps Chengdu Everimaging Science and Technology Co., Ltd has focused more on their Photo Editing Software.

The image on the right is a photo that I took using SnapStory back in 2013 using my iPhone 5s.

January 18, 2016

Anker Multi-angle Portable Stand

If your looking into a good desk stand for the iPhone 6s Plus, consider the Anker multi-angle portable stand. It works very well holding up the stand in both landscape and portrait mode.

I have the tech21 case on my iPhone 6s Plus and the stand holds the phone just fine. There's no hole in back, so your not able to change the phone when you have it in portrait mode.

Anker Portable Stand

The only thing to be aware of is that the stand weight is 6.1 ounces which is a bit heavy for a portable stand. In comparison, the iPhone 6s Plus weighs 4.55 ounces. This would be an issue if you plan to take the stand to use on an airplane.

I did use this stand when I was traveling and found it to be very handy. The weight didn't bother me too much, and I didn't have to worry about the phone falling out of the stand during some heavy turbulence.

Eskimo Crabble

A few years ago the Seskimo Crabble was all the rage. On YouTube you can find about 500 videos of people unboxing and reviewing the foldable adjustable phone stand. I found this brief explanation on another website:

The Seskimo Crabble will hold the iPhone for you when you are watching the movie with it. Then you will have free hands for your popcorn. Watch in portrait or landscape, this stand can be folded flat and keep to wallet like a credit card. The silicone rubber on the holder gives extra stability in place like plane or train. The Seskimo Crabble is available at $5.

It appears that the company has folded, as the seskimo.com domain point to a "this domain is for sale" page. You can still find the Crabble on eBay or various outlets. I happen to have one and tried it with my iPhone 6s Plus:

Seskimo Crabble

The stand is not very secure and the phone would probably would fall over if I was to use it on an airplane tray. It's good for a desktop, but you only have a couple of angle choices.

January 11, 2016

Google Photos App

Google Photos iOS application is awesome because you can backup all your photos and images to the cloud automatically. If you have the 'High Quality' setting enable it doesn't cost you anything to backup your data. Sure Google will slightly reduce your images and videos but that's better then no copy of your data.

The only downside to Google Photos app is that it starts using up a lot of valuable storage space. This is a screen shot of my Storage & iCloud usage on my iPhone 6s Plus after a few months of using Google Photos:

Google Photos App Size

As you can see, Google Photos App is using a ton of disk space. This is because it's keeping a copy of any images anf videos that I view in the app. When I click out of the app, it doesn't clear the cache. While for performance reasons it's good that it keeps it around, however at some point diminishing returns set in. There should be some type of clean up, either by the application or by the user.

To fix the disk space issue, I tried to restart my iPhone 6s Plus to see if that would help and it didn't make any difference. So then I deleted the application and then re-installed it. That worked and now I have my space back! The Google Photos app now appears much lower in the application storage list:

Google Photos App Better

The lesson learn is that I need to remove the application on a regular bases so that it doesn't use up my disk space. The good thing is that when I reinstall it, I don't need to enter my login information since it saved.

January 4, 2016

DayOne

I was checking out some productivity sights and found some people saying some good things about DayOne by Bloom Built, LLC. I was intrigue and decided to check it out.

The best way to describe DayOne is using their own words:

Day One is a journal app for the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Record life as you live it. From once-in-a-lifetime events to everyday moments, Day One's elegant interface makes journaling your life a simple pleasure.

I am an avid EverNote user and store all my tips and tricks in Evernote. So it only makes sense to use it as a journal right? Wrong.

The cool thing about using DayOne as a personal journal is that it separate my work life from my personal life. In addition, the Journal stores the weather info with each entry. That would have been awesome to have during last winter MBTA commuter rail debacle. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two apps, note I am using a premium version of SwiftKey Keyboard:

DayOneEvernote_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

I have used the DayOne iOS app for a couple of weeks, and I come to like it. I like the that I can put my thoughts and ideas and include a cover photo which I can describe my thoughts on the picture. I have set up the reminder service to remind me to write down something while I wait for the evening train. I take this opportunity to reflect on what I did at work and if there's anything special about today worth remembering.

I'll still be using Evernote to store my productive thoughts and tips. It's an awesome app that is very handy to have and worth paying for the 'plus' price. (I use the offline feature on my Kindle to read various Internet articles while traveling to/from work.)

Having a separate Journal application is an awesome way to stay organized. Having that bit of separation just makes me focus more on recording accomplishments and challenges that I faced that day. The Photographic entries allows me to put a story behind a picture. Now I know why I took a picture of my lunch or Beer bottle, it was yummy and I should get it again.

I am not going to purchase/download the OS version of DayOne, cost $10, as I don't see that I would get as much value as using it my iPhone 6s Plus. Perhaps as I have more records in my journal, I may reconsider, but for now the iOS version works perfectly fine for me.

Seems like DayOne has a big fan base; 489 users rated the App in the App Store and DayOne has a 4.75 rating.

December 28, 2015

OlloClip Active Lens

I got an OlloClip Active Lens for Christmas. This is a cool camera accessory that makes your camera see a whole lot more. Their is an attachment that goes on top of your camera that, depending on how you put it on, gives you wide angle or micro lens.

Great Lens!

Here's a comparison of two wide angle shots taken with the camera. The top shot is a standard picture whereas the bottom one shows more in the shot.

iPhone 6s Plus camera
Click on image for a larger version.

OlloClipview Sample
Click on image for a larger version.

Maybe Another Brand

Unfortunately I have to return the "OlloClip Active Lens" because it doesn't work very well with my iPhone 6 Plus configuration. The Active Lenses clip only works with the bare version of the phone. It will not work with any camera case or if you have a screen protector. I have thetech21 iPhone 6s Plus cover and the amFilm screen protector.

OttoClip clearly state that on the box:

Not Compatible Text

When I tested it, I had to take off my tech21 cover and peal down my screen protector just to clip the device on. I didn't like doing this because when I put the screen protector back on there were all sorts of bubbles in the screen that I had to squeeze out. I was able to take the case off and on again with no difficulties. If I removed the screen protector enough, I am sure I would loose the cling effect.

It seems weird that they would make a camera snap device without supporting any cases or screen covers. Everyone that I know has some kind of case or screen protector to protect their device. In fact, according to NPD Group that 75% of all iPhone users have a camera case. Basically olloClip is targeting a very small market.

I did a quick search this past weekend to see if anyone manufactures an adjustable lens for the iPhone and I didn't find any. Seems that manufacturers have to make sure that lens is tightly on in order for it to work correctly.

I'll keep looking, I really like the pictures that the OttoClip made. Hopefully there's a manufacturer that can make it work! The "OlloClip Active Lens" seems like a great product, they just need to make the clip be more adjustable to camera cases and screen covers.

December 21, 2015

Tech21 Evo Mesh Case

I use the Tech21 Evo Mesh Case as my iPhone 6s Plus cover. It seems to protect the phone fairly well. I haven't drop the phone yet so I am not exactly sure how well it will do under extreme situations. Quite frankly, I am not opt to test that functionality.

The one thing I do notice though is the there are some small cracks on the side. This happened during the first weeks when I had my phone. I haven't notice any new cracks in a while. This probably came about because for a while I kept my phone in my back pocket. Perhaps the way I was sitting caused the cracks in the case.

iphonecrackcase.jpg

My iPhone 5s had the OtterBox case and I absolutely hated it because it made the phone a lot bigger. I was determine not to get another OtterBox on my next phone. Sure it protected the phone, but I didn't like the overhead of carrying a bulky device. After a couple of years the OtterBox case started to crack on the top and eventually chip pieces off:

otterboxiphone5.jpg

Picking an iPhone case is really hard, you shouldn't limit yourself to the inventory in stock at the store. I found the ones in the Apple and Verizon stores to be more expensive than ones that you can find online. The real advantage of getting at the store is that you have the opportunity to look at it. I was doing some research before picking up this phone and found that other cases that got good reviews just didn't look good or seem too bulky.

I don't know how well the Tech21 Evo Mesh Case will work out. So far, despite the cracks, it seems to be holding out very well. I tend to use the new iPhone a lot when it comes out and really put it to the stress test to make sure that it can handle some of the basic tasks of using the phone.

December 19, 2015

iPhone 6s Plus Screen Shot

Every once in a while I'll post a screenshot of the main screen on my iPhone 6s Plus.You'll notice that I keep the bottom of the screen empty, that's because I don't want the first screen to be cluttered. I also included my legacy iPhone 5s with today's post too:

December2015Phone.jpg
Click on the image for a larger version.

Some notes about the screen capture:

  • My goal is to always have the most critical applications on the first screen.
  • I can't get away from having 'Facebook' as one of the applications.
  • The App 'EveryDay' takes my picture everyday. I put it on the main screen to remind me to take a picture.
  • If I had to choose an App to remove from the main screen, it would be the BreakingNews app, as I usually only look at it once a day.
  • I have Google Maps, but try to use Apple maps a bit more.
  • I don't have OneDrive on my iPhone 6s Plus main screen is because I am running out of disk space. I used OneDrive to back up a lot of my Disney World photos and videos.
  • I haven't found a good background Wallpaper, so I settled for Apple's default.

December 14, 2015

SwiftKey Keyboard

SwiftPrediction.jpg

Swiftkeyboard is a pretty cool keyboard and offers you suggested words based on some common sentences structures. People use Swiftkeyboard to type faster. However, sometimes you may encounter some words that you may not want to show up again. For example, if your spending a lot of time researching a project that your no longer involve with.

Here's how you can easily removed an suggested keyword that appears above the keyboard:

  • When the offending word appears above the keyboard, simply click and hold on it until you see a dialog box appears above the keyboard.
  • Click on the 'Remove' button.
  • Word will no longer appear in the suggested keyword.

Advantage on the iPhone 6s Plus

When you hold the iPhone 6s Plus in landscape mode, the Apple Keyboard adds a few extra keys. Here is a screen shot of the difference between the Apple's default keyboard on the iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone 5s keyboard:

iPhoneKeyboards_tn.jpg

The extra keys is nice - when you need them. However, for every day typing it can see a little over kill. That's what makes SwiftKey Keyboard a good tool to have.

SwiftKey Keyboard view

Here is side by side screen shot of the differences between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6s Plus horizontal Swift keyboards. (Click on the image for a large side version.)

SwiftKeys2_tn.jpg

The SwiftKey Keyboard is perfect for someone who wants to just type in text. It's perfect for those time when you don't need all the extra features and you just want to get your thoughts down.

I believe that the SwiftKey Keyboard is a great solution for anyone using the iPhone 6s Plus to focus on their writing. After your done with putting down your thoughts, you can always switch back to the Apple keyboard and touch up what you wrote.