On behalf of Erik, Jason and myself we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season! Thanks for all of your support.
I love shooting wirelessly from my Nikon DSLRs to my iPad or iPhone. Recently I upgraded from a Nikon D7000 to a D600 as my travel body. The D600 has an optional wireless adapter affectionately call the WU-1b (see my review here). With this module attached to your camera it creates an ad-hoc WiFi network that you can join via your iPhone. Once you join it you can use the Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility to either wirelessly transfer the images to your iPhone as you take them or use the App to do a Live View right in the App and fire the shutter remotely.
The App works, but…
While the App works as advertised, it’s pretty bare bones. While in remote mode you do get a Live View of the what the camera is pointed at, but you have no control over the camera’s settings. Tapping on the screen allows you to focus on the subject and then you fire the shutter. Once you do, the shot you just took will be recorded to the memory card AND wirelessly transfered to your iPhone. It will be placed right on the camera roll and therefore available to any of your Apps. You have the option of emailing, sharing on Twitter or Facebook or opening an image in another App directly from the Nikon App. This is all great, but it’s missing a few things. First and foremost there is no native iPad version, which is a shame as the larger iPad display is perfect for reviewing shots (it would also be nice to see it optimized for the larger 4″ displays on iPhone 5 and iPod touch). The shots coming in from your camera don’t display until they are all done transferring and you tap the grid to see them. In other words they don’t display one by one as you take them. The good thing is that the transfer speed is pretty good and actually faster than I expected it to be.
The Bottom Line
This “utility” is just that, a “utility”. No real bells and whistles and is designed to serve a purpose. It’s a FREE App and there’s not much to complain about for free. If you’re looking for more, then you should check out Shuttersnitch. It works directly with these Nikon Wireless Modules and offers a host of additional features not the least being that it’s a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Google seems to be on roll recently. The long awaited Google Maps App debuted and now Google has surprised us with a new App called YouTube Capture. Your iPhone can already capture video and once you shoot it you can go find it in the camera roll and share it to YouTube. The YouTube Capture App aims to streamline that process much like the way the Instagram App does for posting shots directly to Instagram. Just fire up YouTube Capture rotate your iPhone to landscape orientation (a good idea) and start shooting. Once you stop the capture you can immediately post it to YouTube and share it to Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Again, this could all be done in iOS 6 without a special App, but it would take several steps more. Especially the part of sharing it to Google+, Facebook and Twitter. You can also choose to upload your video as Public, Unlisted or Private.
How well does it work?
I only did a quick test and found it to work as advertised although surprisingly the only problem I had was with Google+. It wouldn’t even let me activate Google+ until I relaunched the App. After I captured my video it told me that my Google+ circles were not available, but Facebook and Twitter were available and ready to use. Although my iPhone can capture 1080p video this App is limited to 720p. That’s probably fine for most quick videos that people want to capture and immediately post to YouTube. Speaking of which the App also gives you the option to upload any videos you have in your camera roll whether you shot them with the App or not. You can also shoot with the App and upload later. Once you shoot a video with the App you can also enhance it with Color Correction, Image Stabilization, Trimming and even YouTube SoundTracks for background music. Also in typical Google fashion, there is no iPad version yet. The funny thing is that I’m seeing more and more people shooting video with their iPads. Something I thought that wouldn’t catch on.
The Bottom Line
Although this App was a surprise and I wasn’t really asking for it, it will definitely be a nice to have. I expect to see a lot more videos on YouTube now as the process before took a few more steps than the casual user was probably willing to go through. Now you’ll see people shoot and share more videos and this is just in time for the holidays.
Thanks Google. (also please fix the Google+ issues)
I travel quite a bit and when I do it often means taking everything from subways to taxis to private cars to get around from meeting to meeting and client to client. I’ve reviewed Taxi Magic in the past and stil use it. However, sometimes I need something a little better or more reliable. Even with booking a taxi through Taxi Magic, you are at the mercy of the dispatcher and worse the driver to actually show up. Over the past few months I’ve been using Uber as well. Uber seems to be MUCH MORE RELIABLE. I’ve never had a car take more than 5 minutes to show up and the drivers are usually very professional.
How does it work?
Download the Uber App and add your credit card to it. They even have a nifty ability to take a picture of your credit card in the app to have it input the numbers. That’s it. You’re ready to use the App. Now if you’re in an area covered by Uber, (at my last count they cover 22 major metropolitan areas across the US and in cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney) fire up the App and you’ll instantly see your location on the map and how far the nearest Uber car is away from you. Since I started using the App they’ve added Taxis to the list besides Town Cars and SUVs. Admittedly I haven’t tried them yet for a taxi to see if they are any better than Taxi Magic. However, when it comes to their cars and SUVs their great. You’ll receive a SMS text message confirmation that your driver is on the way as well as another message when your driver arrives. Hop in and tell them where you want to go. Once you arrive just get out and go! Nothing to sign, no tip to worry about. It’s all baked into the price. You’ll see the app update with your charges and the ability to rate your driver 1-5 stars.
The only thing I’d like to see is the ability to schedule in advance. Taxi Magic added this and it has worked great. If you know you’re leaving your meeting and going to the airport at a specific time why not have the ability to book the car in advance?
The Bottom Line
Uber makes it really easy to get a dependable ride from point A to point B. However, this convenience comes at a price. Uber is not cheap! Prices start with a base fare. After that, they charge depending on speed. When travelling at over 11mph, they charge a distance fee. Below 11mph, they charge a time fee. It could easily be twice that of a taxi. This is why I believe they added a taxi service to their offering. If they can provide dependability with the lower cost of a taxi then it’s a win-win! Either way, I’m loving Uber. Thankfully this new version allows you to input a destination and get a fare estimate. This way you can see if it’s worth it rather than getting sticker shock at the end of your ride. The App is free and you don’t pay anything unless you actually get a ride. So it’s worth having on your iPhone as a just in case if nothing else.
I have over 400 Apps on my iOS devices, however there are a few that I use every single day and rely on. 1Password is one of those Apps. I couldn’t imagine life without it. For starters I used to be like many of you in that I was using the same password for just about everything. Then it hit me! What if one the sites that I do business with was hacked (oh that could never happen right?) and my user name and password was exposed to the wild. The damage could be quite severe. Not only would that site be compromised, but it wouldn’t take a genius to figure “hey I wonder if he uses that password on other sites?” Off they go stealing my identity, money, credit rating, and more… A couple of years ago I decided that this had to stop. I wanted custom passwords for each site AND I didn’t want them to be easy to figure out. Basically random letters, numbers and symbols. Of course the only problem with that is remember which random password I used on which site. There was no way I’d remember, so I invested in 1Password. I liked it so much that I bought the Mac version too and since it syncs the encrypted password file with Dropbox.com, I was in heaven. My passwords were accessible on all my devices and I’ll I’d have to do is remember the one complicated “master password” that I setup.
1Password version 4.0 is here
1Password version 4 has been rewritten from the ground up with lots of little enhancements. First off there is no more separate versions for regular, pro, universal, etc. Now there’s just one Universal version to buy that works on any iOS device running IOS 6 or later. 1Password 4 is a brand new App and therefore it’s a new purchase. You can still use 3.x, but if you want the new features you’ll have to pony up a few bucks. Speaking of which it’s on sale for a limited time at 50% Off as basically a way of thanking existing users and letting them get the new version at half price (or you can look at it as the upgrade price). The redesign is visually pleasing and probably my favorite new feature is the Favorites Tab. Since I have hundreds of entries in the App for everything from website logins, to credit card numbers, to email passwords, to FTP passwords to software serial numbers, it can be quite a pain looking for the ones I use all the time. The Favorites feature lets me add my frequently used passwords to one spot so that I can always get to them faster.
The next welcomed addition is iCloud sync. In addition to Dropbox you can have it sync your encrypted password file between your devices using iCloud. Not sure that I see an advantage over Dropbox, but it’s nice to have the option. The only downside to iCloud sync is that the desktop clients haven’t been updated yet therefore you’ll only be syncing via iCloud between iOS devices at this point.
A smooth transition – You install version 4 right alongside version 3. Once you launch it you can bring all your data over via Dropbox or an import. Version 4 also works fine with the Desktop versions for Mac/Win which are still at version 3.
Built-in Password Generator in more places – one of my other favorite features of 1Password is that it can generate those random passwords for me. You can tell it how long the password should be and it makes one for you and of course offers you the ability to save it in the login you’re creating.
Take advantage of the web browser – It wasn’t obvious to a lot of people how to use 1Password. Once you have all those password in the App, then what? The most frequently used way to access your password was probably to tap on it then tap copy and paste it in where ever you needed it. However, 1Password has always had a built-in web browser that is password aware. When you create a web login at say mybank.com you can also include the URL. Now in 1Password when you tap to go to mybank.com it will launch the built-in browser, take you to the site and fill in your user name and password for you. You can do everything in that browser on the site securely and without any history concerns because you’re not using Safari. Now the browser is a little more prevalent because you can swipe to bring it up at any time.
I like the new version a lot, but there is one big thing they changed that I think I prefer the old way better. In the old 1Password for iOS you had both a Master Password and a PIN. You could choose on an entry by entry basis to make it require the master password or not. So for your more sensitive entries for say your bank site, someone that knew your pin still wouldn’t be able to access your account without also knowing the master password. Now the Master Password works for everything and while there is a “quick pin” to gain access to the App it’s only for use when you’ve already unlocked the App with the master password and perhaps your device goes to sleep and you want to quickly get back in. You can just type the 4 digit pin. Once it locks at the regular timed interval, you’ll need to enter your (long and probably hard to type on an iOS keyboard) master password. The other small thing I’d like to see is a search field at the root level of the Categories tab. The only issue I’ve had is that in the desktop version I have about 5 email accounts defined, however in this new version only one shows up as an “email acct”. The others are showing up as generic accounts.
The Bottom Line
If you’re still using the same password for most of the stuff you do, then you’re simply asking for trouble. If you’re ready to be more secure then step up to 1Password for iOS version 4 and sleep at night.