iPhone accessibility – swipe to scroll

Having played with accessibility on the iPhone it is clear that iOS must be the most accessible device yet.
However I think I have discovered a weakness in the scrolling system and a solution for the flaw.

The following feedback was therefore recently given via the iPhone feedback form – let’s hope it gets seen

Three finger scrolling for the visually impaired could be dramatically improved by enabling the action that brings down the notification panel (unused during VoiceOver) to be used from each edge of the screen to scroll.
it is very easy for a blind user to feel each edge of the device and swipe across the screen rather than swiping with three fingers, which sometimes drag and don’t always perform the desired action.

For those who don’t need accessibility the same gestures from the left, right and bottom (but not the top due to notifications) could be used to move the cursor in a body of text as though using arrow keys.
Perhaps a swipe would move one character in the swipe direction. Swiping but then pausing mid swipe might cause the cursor to continue moving one character at a time until the finger was removed from the screen.

Offline Media with Lightroom broken in Windows 7 – You Couldn’t make this up!!

I have a client with years of images across a dozen or so large hard drives.
Long story short – after a few false starts I have taken to adding each drive of images to a Lightroom Catalog on a donated PC under Windows 7 before transferring them somehow to a Mac formatted 8TB drive (I can’t afford to tie up any of my Macs with this task and besides there seem to be some issues with copying large NTFS drives to the Mac)

Drive 1 was added to the catalog without incident, then disconnected in readiness for drive 2

Drive 2 was connected, import selected and images started to stream into the catalog.
WHOA!! wait a minute – the wonderful feature of Lightroom where offline drives and their capacity can easily be seen in the left sidebar is showing only one drive

It should be showing two drives (drive 1 should have a red light and every image and folder should have a question mark while drive 2 should have a green light)

Instead it is intermingling online and offline folders. A little experimenting shows that renaming the drives (they are both My Passport drives – of different capacity) does not help

I suspect that connecting all the drives at once would work, but that’s a lot of spaghetti (12+ drives)
I also suspect that connecting all 12 drives one at a time would have every drive intermingled within lightroom

Changing the drive letter and starting again seems to solve the issue. I just have to remember to choose a different letter for each drive

This is crazy – how are normal people supposed to deal with these types of issues?
(the Mac has always been able to distinguish between even identical drives)

Still, I’m sure the problem doesn’t exist in Windows 8

Can memory on the new iMac be upgraded after purchase

Yes – but only in the 27″
See here – LINK

The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB. On the 27-inch iMac, 8GB of memory comes standard, and you can upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. Configure and buy your iMac at the Apple Online Store and it will arrive with the memory already installed. Or add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back.

Create like a professional. Pay like a student.

The title of this post is the subject field from an item landing in my inbox a few days ago.

Adobe have announced pricing of just $14.99/month for students or teachers to access their entire library of software.

Join Adobe Creative Cloud™ to get access to every Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 desktop application, plus online services* and other new apps. All this for less than the cost of Adobe Photoshop® CS6 alone!

Make an impression with awesome portfolios and projects across print, web and video. For a limited time, you can have it all with an Adobe Creative Cloud™ Student and Teacher Edition membership at just $14.99 per month for the first year.† Hurry, offer ends November 30, 2012.

Creative Cloud includes;
Photoshop Extended
Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Muse
Acrobat X Pro
Flash Professional
Flash Builder
Edge Animate
Adobe Premiere Pro
After Effects
Adobe Audition
Adobe Prelude
Bridge (included with download of other apps)
Media Encoder (included with download of other apps)

Device and PC sync
Cloud storage
Business Catalyst
Story Plus

Wow. I think this is a great step for adobe and will stop a lot of students starting off as software pirates.

Until now it has been prohibitively painful for students to setup a licence for adobe products, not to mention expensive.

Learn more at the following links;
Creative Cloud
Buying guide

Not a student?
Click here

Lightning fast?

My iPhone 5 just charged from 63% to 83% in 20 minutes
This was using the included charger and lightning cable – I can’t remember my 4s charging so quickly.
It’s risen another 4% in the last 4 minutes. Further testing is required

I can’t wait to see how fast the next iPad charges (I imagine Apple were not delighted with the ten hour charge time of the current model)

Update: I will keep posting unscientific observations here
1. Monday Oct 1st – at least an hour off the charger and still at 99%
2. Eight hours off the charger now and my battery is at 84%
3. Tuesday Oct 2nd – 17 hours off the charger now and we are only down to 70% (a lot of this had to do with not leaving the house, but it shows how good the battery life can be when the iPhone isn’t struggling to amplify its connection)
4. 40 minutes charging and we are up to 92%
5. Tuesday Oct 9th – Charge the client iPhone 4S today, 10 minutes to charge to 2%
6. Saturday Oct 13th – From 28% to 90% in 61 minutes

I haven’t given this much thought for a while, but my iPhone was on 5% today at 8:34pm.
I put it on charge and by 8:46pm it reported 30%. In the last 4minutes it has added another 6%
That’s pretty amazing – Lightning by name…

Typing fractions on iOS, iPhone, iPad the easy way

While iOS can display a full range of characters the iOS keyboard is unable to type many of them.
There are several methods to work around this limitation, the easiest of which uses the built-in keyboard shortcuts.

It does require a little bit of setting up to use this method, but once done will yield the quickest typed fractions possible.

1. Search the web for a page that includes the fractions and/or characters that are most important to you

2. Copy each character one at a time and perform the following steps

3. Go to settings, general, keyboard and finally shortcuts

4. Choose Add new shortcut

5. In the Phrase field paste the character. eg. ‘½’
In the shortcut Field type the shortcut. eg. 1/2
(return to step 2)

Other methods, all of which require copy and paste, include;

Creating a note (using the note app) that includes all the characters you might use, then copying and pasting from the note each time a fraction is needed.

Or, searching the web each time you need a character.

Or, using a webapp known as Glyphboard which allows fast access to a range of characters

Or, use text expander to create and store your shortcuts. (Text expander shortcuts can be shared and edited with multiple devices).

Unlocking the iPhone quickly and easily

So what’s the easiest way to unlock an iPhone after it has been released for use on another carrier?

Is it, as most will tell you – Apple included, to completely restore the phone through iTunes?

No. Simply insert a SIM card from another carrier and wait for a minute or two (use common sense with any prompts that may appear).
Note: carriers tell me that the unlock can take from 1 hour to two days, so if it doesn’t work it’s worth waiting a couple of hours and trying again.

As always, ensure you have backed up your iPhone first.


My first (improvised) poetry in more than 25 years.

When explaining depth of field to a client recently I showed a couple of comparison shots.

Molly the cat captured at a large aperture for shallow DOF Molly the cat captured at a smaller aperture for greater DOF

They asked “did you pose the cat” to which I smiled and said;

The cat sat, where the cat sat
and That was That


iPhone 5, iOS 6, Public Transit

Dear reader

Never mind the deterioration of map resolution, if you rely on the public transport capabilities of Maps in your iPhone you might want to think twice before you upgrade to iOS 6 or buy an iPhone 5

Apple’s switch to their own mapping technologies has left a gaping hole where useful transit directions once lived

If you have already upgraded What can you do (other than waiting until Apple catch up to where they were yesterday)

One option is simply to carry another older iOS device.

I’m lucky enough to have a first generation iPod touch lying around – this device is incapable of running iOS 6 and should continue to provide public transit times and directions well into the future

Another option while we pray that Google release a standalone Maps app is to visit maps.google.com and add their web app to your home screen

It’s clunkier (for example, you can’t search for directions until the page has finished loading), but at least it works

10 things you should know about your iPhone camera

Apple’s iPhone is one of the worlds most popular cameras, yet most users are unaware of many of the features Apple have included.
The following list offers a range of useful tips and tricks to help you shoot better and faster with the iPhone

1. Get to ‘Camera’ quickly when your iPhone is asleep

It is easy to get to your iPhone camera from sleep.
Just press the home or wake/sleep button, slide the camera icon (iOS 5+ required) and you are straight into your camera.

2. ‘Half Press’ – lock focus and get more immediate shutter response
Your iPhone camera can perform a ‘Half Press’ similar to a regular camera.

First, frame your shot.
Then press and hold the on screen shutter button and the iPhone will focus but will NOT release the shutter until you then release the shutter button.

3. Real Shutter Release button.
The + volume control button can act as a shutter release button affording a more secure grip and less chance of camera shake

4. Cable Release.
The + volume control button on your Apple headphones can act as a shutter release

5. Shooting at reduced resolution.
When file size is all that matters your iPhone camera is ready to take low resolution images.
Simply open the ‘Messages’ App, start a message and tap the camera icon – from here images will be captured at a low resolution (1024×768 on iPhone 4S at time of writing).
These images can be emailed from ‘Messages’
That’s right, the ‘Messages’ app can send to email addresses. Or they can be copied and pasted into mail, pages, keynote etc.

6. AE/AF Lock.
Often a camera will make an incorrect exposure decision due to an abundance of bright or dark tones in the image (it can also fail to focus correctly).
AE/AF Lock allows you lock the exposure based on the brightness values elsewhere in the scene and at the same time lock focus on that part of the scene.
To use AE/AF lock, tap and hold on dark objects to brighten and lock exposure (focus will be locked too).
If you tap and hold on light objects the image will darken instead.
Ideally you would locate objects that are the same distance as your subject and with balanced tones (neither too dark or too light), then touch and hold on the screen in this area to activate AE/AF Lock

7. ‘Rule of Thirds’ – Compositional aid.
Under the ‘Options’ button it is possible to activate a ‘Rule of Thirds’ grid. This grid overlays the screen and assists with composition (objects of interest should intersect with the lines rather than appearing within the boxes of the grid)

8. Stabilisation – avoiding camera shake.
There is a built-in stabiliser that is always active to minimise blur caused by camera shake.

9. Getting to ‘Camera’ when the iPhone is NOT asleep
The quickest way to get to the camera when the iPhone is not asleep is using a variation of the first tip.
Simply press the sleep/wake button twice and then slide the camera icon (this requires you to have the lock code active)

10. Zoom In
The iPhone camera has a little over 3x zoom Simply spread two fingers on screen to activate (unfortunately this is a digital zoom and will reduce your capture resolution to less than 1 Megapixel at maximum zoom before extrapolating back up to a 3264×2448 file)