Six Things You Didn’t Hear at WWDC But Need to Know.

Apple unveiled tons of new tech goodies today in San Jose.  I’m not going to talk about any of them in this post.  However I am going to talk about all the changes they made that they didn’t talk about.


 

 13″ MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 2 and Traditional USB-A ports are Gone from the Online store.

Well if you were hoping to scoop up one of Apple’s last 13″ MacBook Pro’s with a traditional USB port you missed that boat.  Your last chance to purchase one through Apple is going to be through their refurbished store.


iPad Pro still uses Apple Lightning Connector.

I could’ve sworn they said the new iPad Pro was USB-C connector but according to the website they’re all still lightning.  Turns out they just support USB-C power adapters for fast charging.  So if you were like me and mis-heard there is your clarity.

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AirPods will have more support in iOS 11.

To me this is exactly what was keeping that AirPods at 9 out of 10 but as long as they work like they should these will get a perfect 10!

I talk about this in my AirPods Review, you can only pause/play or activate Siri (useless) when tapping on the AirPods.  With iOS 11, you can now assigned different commands for each ear.  That is great except I still think they should add a 2-Tap and 3-Tap options  doubling our capabilities.

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Apple brings back the wireless keyboard with numeric pad!

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Good lord.  For $129 you can purchase Apple’s new Magic Keyboard with a numeric pad.  I LOVE having a numeric pad but I’m not sure I can justify spending that much on a wireless keyboard.


iMac Pro will not have user upgradable ram or purchase space gray keyboard and mouse separately.

Apple has confirmed that the RAM will not be user upgradable or replaceable.  This has been a big issue for Apple users for years.  Apple also tends to up-charge hundreds of dollars more for RAM than the rest of the market.  You can tell the typical door where the RAM lived in the existing 27″ iMac is gone.

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And as for those “Bad Ass” Space Gray keyboard and mouse?  You will NOT be able to purchase them outside of the iMac Pro. Try eBay for 4x what you’d pay for white ones.

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AppleCare + for the Mac.

Finally we can feel better about being more mobile with our Macs.  Starting today you can purchase AppleCare+ for the Mac which covers two incidences of accidental damage*.  (Subject to service fee). Those fees are broken down here.

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How to Edit and Share Your DSLR Photos on the Go.

Everything is portable these days.  Smartphones and tablets have only enhanced that.

Today I’m going to talk about all of the ways we can use these new mobile devices to enhance your Digital SLR shootings on the go.  I will not be including any talks about the use of laptops since the interface is the same as desktop.  Instead my focus will be primarily on Apple iOS and Android based operating systems and the hardware/software to go along with it.

Wired & Tethering Options

IMG_6059Lets start with our hard connected devices.  Apple makes a ton of accessories that allow you to connect your camera, USB card reader, or SD card directly to any iPad or iPhone.  The Apple Lightning to SD Camera Card Reader is just as straight forward as it sounds.  It allows you to plug you camera’s SD card in and upload the photos directly to your camera roll.  This is great because it does not use the battery of your camera but even with some of the fastest SD cards the download speeds using this adapter are pretty slow.

Next we’ll jump into Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.  This adapter gives you a traditional USB-A style port along with the lightning port. (So you can continue to charge your device). This is a noticeably faster way to load your images to your iOS device but keep in mind you’re using your camera’s battery to help that transfer as well as losing the ability to shoot photos while it’s happening.

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If you happen to shoot on micro SD cards with a standard SD card adapter (not recommended) you can simply enter that micro SD card into many Android devices.  For example I use the Samsung Tab S2 tablet and I’ve downloaded content directly from GoPro using this technique quite a bit.

Tethering Options

Tethering options have been around for a while when it comes to traditional computer tethering.  These options are somewhat limited in the Apple’s iOS ecosystem.

Apple doesn’t allow the type of tethering that we’re used to but if you’d like you can shoot refer to the USB 3 Camera Adapter mentioned above for the quickest way to upload photos.

Android on the other hand offers much more.  By downloading the app DSLRController you can tether to any supported android device and do a ton.  DSLRController gives you full control over the camera including Aperture, Shutter Speeds, ISO, White Balance, and more.  It also acts as a live screen with very little or no delay.  There are however a few cables you’ll need to make this work.

Micro USB (or whichever your mobile device uses) to a female USB-A Adapter   ($5)
Mini USB (or whichever came with your camera) to USB-A ($5)

I recommend that even if you have the cable your camera came with to invest in a longer one like the one linked above from Amazon.  6 Feet for five dollars.  You’ll thank me later.

I’ve used the app on a number of occasions.  I would say the most valuable part of this app is when you’re shooting video.  I like to use prime lenses to shoot video with a shallow depth of field.  So for me it’s important to know that I’m in focus and having a 9.7″ screen on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 really helps with that.

Wireless Options

Welcome to 2017 where almost everything can be done wirelessly.

Well Digital SLRs in most cases are no exception.  First thing you’ll want to find out is if your camera body has WiFi capabilities built in.

Here is a quick list:
Canon T6 Rebel
Canon T6i Rebel
Canon T6s Rebel
Canon T7i Rebel
Canon 70D
Canon 77D
Canon 80D
Canon 6D
Canon 5D Mark IV

Nikon D5600
Nikon D7200
Nikon D750
Nikon D500
Nikon Df
Nikon D810
Nikon D810A
Nikon D5

If you don’t see your camera body here don’t worry, you’re not completely out of luck but fist let me focus on these bodies.

Canon and Nikon both have mobile apps for both iOS and Android operating systems that you can download for free.  These apps will walk you through exactly how to pair you’re camera to that device.  Once connected you have a ton of control over your camera including but not limited to Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, and most importantly viewing the shots that you’ve taken and uploading them to your mobile device.  iOS 10 even supports photos in RAW now making your editing even more precise.  Don’t worry we’ll drive into editing tools soon as well.

I’ve found that pairing these devices after the initial pair isn’t as simple as it should be.  This causes me to avoid using it much.  I only find it worth the pain of re-pairing the device when I really want to share a photo in the moment.

Wireless Options for Bodies That Do Not Have Wireless Built In

As I mentioned earlier some bodies simply do not have wireless built in but that doesn’t completely cripple you from doing this thanks to our friends at EyeFi.  EyeFi is an SD card with wireless capabilities built in, making any camera that shoots to SD cards now WiFi capable.  EyeFi can send photos to any iOS, Android, or even desktop operating systems including raw files.  Now you’re not going to get the controllability of the camera like you do when WiFi is built in but you can still view and transfer your photos very easily on the go.  The one major drawback is the speeds aren’t incredibly fast and you cannot shoot with your camera while the photos are transferring.

Canon also has an add on wireless option via SD card known as their W-Ei WiFi Adapter. Keep in mind to use a system like this you need to have a dual slot cards like the Canon 7D MkII.  Early reviews on this have not been good at all.  I’m hearing that it’s very slow and really just not worth the hassle.  I’d steer toward the EyeFi if you absolutely need that option.

Mobile Software

IMG_6060Editing on the fly has become extremely simple and there are some great options to use out there.  I personally use Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  Subscription based softwares are becoming more popular and Adobe offers some pretty great options.  For as little as $10 a month you can get going with Photoshop and Lightroom on your desktop and mobile devices.

Lightroom for iOS and Android is actually free to test out and edit photos.  As someone who doesn’t do much re-touching and focuses more on exposure and color correction these apps are amazing for editing on the fly.

There are way too many apps out there to go through all of them.  If you’re using one that you love leave a comment below and I’ll try it out for sure.

 

My First Ever Impressions with Android

I’ve been tasked with developing basic troubleshooting tips and tricks for mobile devices by my employer.IMG_1747

Now, outside of two short and awful Android experiences, I’ve had no real world use with one of these devices but clearly I was going to have to become a pro with them very quickly.

So I ordered a Samsung Tab S2 tablet.  Why?  Well first off because it currently runs Android Marshmallow (Android’s 2nd most adopted OS to date), it will have the ability to upgrade to Nougat (Andriod’s latest but not yet adopted OS), and lastly it won’t have much of the garbage software that carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile install on Android devices before being sold.

First Impressions

Where the hell is the back arrow?  Using the back button located on the lower right hand side of the device is taking a lot getting used to.  With iOS when we need to go back we typically look to the top left hand corner of the app or simply swipe backward.

Why do I need multiple user accounts? (Google and Samsung)  One thing I learned at Apple is, people can’t remember their usernames and or passwords to save their lives.  Upon booting up my new tablet I was prompted to enter my gmail account for the Google Play Store (where you get all your apps) PLUS they wanted me to create a Samsung user name and password separate from my Gmail account.  I’m not exactly sure what they use this for but I’ve been getting prompted every so often to do so, so that I can take advantage of some “Samsung Essential Apps”.  This is very annoying and pops up on my screen regularly.

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Live Widgets are Fantastic.  Apple attempted to use live widgets but decided to put them in hidden places like Notification Center.  Android really allows you to customize your home screen for all of your up to date information.  I really hope Apple finds a non battery draining way to do this.

The Vibrance of the Display.  The “Super AMOLED” display is extremely vibrant.  It oddly does seem to be a magnet for dust and fingerprints though.  I find myself cleaning the screen extremely often.  I almost never have to on my iPad Pro.  Also it seems like many of the third party apps aren’t prepared to use such an available color palette.  Most of the third party apps have a very bland look and feel.

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What was that noise?  I’ve got my notifications set to minimum but I find that the device is almost always beeping about something.  You really don’t know what it is until you pull up your notifications.

Oh I get to nerd out?  Unlike iOS, Android gives you a ton of control over the device.  You can see RAM and CPU usage and how the impact battery life.  This is nice if you’re very tech savvy and want to know those things but don’t have a whole lot of real world use.  There are ways to completely customize this open source device which I haven’t really jumped into just yet.

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User accounts. Being able to have multiple user accounts (locally) seems pretty wonderful.  Our computers have been doing this for decades but mobile device haven’t.  If this device were to be shared with anyone that feature is amazing.

Day to Day Experiences

I found the tablet pretty easy to pick up for most day to day things.  Notification management can be a bit tricky and it LOVES to make noises whenever it can but I’ve just found that putting it in Airplane mode when I’m not using it, solves that issue.  Or does it?

One thing that drives me crazy is when it is in Airplane mode, it treats your notifications like water trying to get through a kinked hose.  We all know what happens when you un-kink that hose.  All the notifications come flying in at once making a horrible long lasting noise of notification awareness.  Even if I’ve addressed these notifications, such as email, from another device.

One big surprise was how well Android plays with Apple’s AirPods.  Apple specifically designed them to work optimally with iOS devices.  Now that doesn’t mean that they don’t play nice at all but it’s a different process.

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To recap how they work with Apple devices, any iOS or Mac with the same Apple ID remembers your AirPods even if they’ve never been connected through traditional pairing processes.  This makes it very easy to switch between devices.

With Android you just need to follow the traditional bluetooth pairing procedures and they work just fine.  I was surprised that the AirPods did not have to be re-paired traditionally with my Apple devices after being paired with my tablet.

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I miss the easily addable accessories such as my magnetic cover for my iPad and my keyboard cover that uses Apple’s smart connector.  I never realized how important they were to me and since I’d rather not carry around a separate keyboard this device is basically unusable for any long amounts of typing.  It seems Samsung is attempting to resolve this with the Tab S3.

Overall

I’m surprised how much I enjoy this device.  Being someone who has never ventured outside of iOS I was worried of the potential for culture shock.

The Samsung Tab S2 is extremely thin and light but I’m constantly afraid I’m going to scratch it.  I guess I’ve learned to trust what Apple devices can withstand as far as physical abuse over the years so this might change.

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I haven’t even really scratched the surface as to what this device can do but I’ll certainly get more technical with it as time goes on.  For anyone considering, maybe take a look into the more affordable devices and see for yourself.

Take it from someone who’s never ventured outside the box until now.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

Can iPad Pro Replace a Laptop?

I typically use my 13″ MacBook Pro for everything.  It links into my desk and becomes a desktop and follows me to most meetings outside of my office.  I use the iPad Pro 9.7″ for taking a lot of notes and research on the fly.

Since I’ve been using Microsoft Office 365 and BOX, I have been able to really utilize the cloud more .  With all of my documents available there and all of my systems being web based I’m going to ditch the MacBook Pro for a week and use the iPad Pro exclusively for both personal, educational, and professional use.

Now let me say that as far as computing power goes the iPad Pro is no where near my MacBook Pro but everyone uses their technology differently.  My initial thought is that an iPad can replace a laptop for very basic users.  So as someone who is much more needy than your basic user I’m going to put it to the test and let you know what I find.

Work

Thanks to Apple’s vast App Store I’m able to load up the apps I use the most on my MacBook Pro.  This includes, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote, Canvas, and BOX  Keep in mind I use built in apps such as Messages and Safari a ton as well.

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I struggled a bit with one of my employers websites getting to a source we use to take meeting minutes but with some cleaver multi-touch gestures I was able to get where I was going.

The Microsoft Suite of apps works brilliantly and makes saving within O365 and BOX very easy.  This means I’ll be able to pull them up on my laptop next week when I come back to it.

The iPad Pro Smart Keyboard is fantastic and has become very easy to type on very quickly.  I would say it’s about 80% to scale of the keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

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Since my office work isn’t very demanding the iPad Pro handles a lot of my 9-5 duties extremely well.

Photography

Now one of the things I use my laptop for the most is for my Photography.  I use Adobe’s Creative Cloud with Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom .  Much of what I do with those applications is simple color and light corrections.  I do little or no touching up of photos so perhaps Adobe’s Lightroom for iOS is enough.

 

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Adobe Lightroom on the iPad Pro


Just like my new MacBook Pro my iPad is all about dongles…  Since we’ve only got the Lightning port I needed to get a SD to Lightning adapter to be able to upload my photos on the go.  The preview and upload speeds of the lightning to SD card reader is dreadfully slow.  This is huge drawback even if I just want to preview some photos on a larger screen. I understand that I’m asking for 30Mb Raw images to load fast but again this is a real world test against my MacBook Pro.

 

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The iPad Pro is a decent tool to have but it by no means is ready to completely replace my MacBook Pro for photo use.  I was really hoping to even just have it to dump photos off of my SD cards on the go but since it’s so slow, I don’t think I’ll be doing much of it.

Personal Use

I’d have to say what I miss so far about the MacBook Pro is the true multitasking.  Sure the iPad Pro allows you have two windows open at once (3 if one of them is a video) but it just doesn’t feel as fluent.  Now granted when I’m in the office I’m connected to two 27″ displays with my MacBook Pro so it’s not entirely fair to compare but this is something iv’e gotten very use to.  This may be just growing pains at the moment but it does slow down my productivity.

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True Multi-Tasking on iPad Pro (Safari, Photos, and Watch ESPN)

The iPad is a nice addition to my laptop but I feel much more productive using my MacBook Pro as my primary device.

School Work

There are a lot of times I still prefer hand write my notes with pen and paper.

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Apple Pencil working in Microsoft OneNote

Sure it really defeats the purpose to having a keyboard but the Apple Pencil does allow me to do more than just write.  Being able to annotate and highlight readings I have for class has been a HUGE help for me.

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iPad Pro and Apple Pencil using Microsoft OneNote

I store ever reading that I’ll need to do for class digitally so I can take advantage of this technique.  It’s really helped me stay prepared for class lectures and discussions.

Multitasking when using the Microsoft Office makes a bit more sense than it does for most other applications.  I admit I really don’t use the split screen option very often.

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Split Screen using Microsoft OneNote and Word

I know students that use this device as their only device for school.  I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with this because you’re relying a lot on the cloud.  Call me old school but I still prefer to store much of my data locally.  I frequently have to pull things off of my computer via a USB flash drive and move it over to a classroom machine for presentations.  This would be much more difficult only using the iPad Pro.

To sum up, the iPad Pro is an extremely capable device.  For some people I think it really could be their only device.  Me on the other hand have too many needs and am set in my ways too much to make this type of change to a completely mobile based operating system.

 

iOS Battery Test for a Full Day

Today I’ll be frequently updating this post in testing the true “All Day Battery Life” of Apple’s, iPhone 7 (on T-Mobile), Apple Smart Battery Case, Apple Watch, and Apple AirPods to see if how they last in real life scenerios .  I will not be charging at all throughout the day unless need be.  Based on Apple’s stats this combo of products should easily as me all day.  Keep checking back for updates!

Here is what Apple expects from each of it’s products:
 iPhone 7 – Standby up to 10 days, LTE Usage 12 hours, Wifi Usage 14 Hours, Audio Playback 40 Hours.
iPhone Smart Battery Pack – Talk Time up to 24 Hours, Internet Usage 22 Hours on LTE,
Apple Watch – Up to 18 hours of Battery
 Apple AirPods – Single AirPod charge is 5 Hours, AirPod Case up to 24 Hour charge.

7:02am today.  Each of the devices is fully charged.

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UPDATE: (9:32am)

I just got done committing and settling in at work.  Listened to all online & high quality streams off Spotify on the commute in.  I like how the Apple Smart Case always dumps it’s power into the phone as soon as it needs a single percent.  This way if I ever need to ditch the case I’m at 100%.  AirPods battery is ridiculous.  This is about an hour of use.  As for Apple Watch I haven’t done a whole lot of activity with it other than switch the song a few times.

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Update (12:51pm)

I was in meetings most of the last few hours so not a whole lot has changed but I’m headed out to lunch now where LTE usage should be up so we’ll see how it goes.

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Update (4:05pm)

After a bunch of use during lunch and streaming music I’m still really impressed with the AirPods battery life.  Not so much with the battery case.  For a case that advertises 22 hours of LTE browsing I would venture to guess this is less than half that.  I’m a pretty heavy user but I’ve been on wifi most of the day and it’s been sitting idle a lot.  When I start working job #2 around 6pm it’ll be dead for sure and I’ll be relying on just the internal phone battery.

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Update (4:48pm)

Oh well the battery case didn’t even make it 10 hours after being advertised as 22 hours of LTE browsing.  Pretty disappointing.  The AirPods are still killing it but they’ll get much more use throughout the rest of the evening.  Hope the iPhone 7 battery can get me through my data and gps heavy 2nd job.  (Postmates)

Final Update (9:31pm)

Well here we are at the end of the day and some of the products really lived up and others truly tanked.  Apple Watch performed just as I thought it would with about 30% or so remaining.  Not bad considering that I didn’t use the workout app and the Heart Rate monitor would use much more batter life.  AirPods are amazing.  As you can read in my tech review they blew my expectations out of the water.  I’d say I used them for about 5 hours today and they’ve still got 71% of the case charge available and the pods themselves running at 100%.  

Now for the not so good.  Apple Smart Battery Case and iPhone 7 itself.  Now I would consider myself a pretty heavy user.  But to have both the iPhone and the Smart Battery Case depleate before 10pm is hard for me.  If I were going out for beers I’d be walking home since I wouldn’t be able to request a Lyft.  I’ve mentioned Apple’s promises a few times throughout this ongoing blog but I really think it’s far off from what they’re estimating. 


Check back soon as I’ll be performing many other real world tests like “Can an iPad Pro Replace My Laptop” as well as reviews on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Thanks.  Let me know any othe real world tests you’d like to see.