NC #599 iPhone 7+ Portrait Mode, 2016 MacBook Pros, Security Bits

Next week the show will be out early because we’ll be out of town on the weekend, so don’t try to go to the live show because there won’t be one! In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart taught us how to create a JavaScript API in Programming By Stealth 24. I did some experiments with the new iPhone 7+ feature called Portrait mode comparing the photos to a DSLR. The new MacBook Pros are coming and I’ll talk through the features and try to help you see if they’re good or bad choice for you. Bart Busschots is back with Security Bits where we do a deeper dive into DirtyCOW and Drammer along with important security updates, notable breaches and suggested reading.

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iPhone 7+ Portrait Mode Depth Effect

Allison forbes depth effectThis week Apple released iOS 10.1, which included the beta of the new Portrait mode for the iPhone 7+. Portrait mode applies what they call a depth effect, blurring things in the background while keeping the focus sharp on faces in the foreground. The effect is limited to the 7+ because it uses the dual cameras to produce this effect. Two lenses, and a LOT of math.

I’m a huge fan of portrait photography, so this effect was a big contributor to my decision to go with the 7+. Spoiler: I love Portrait mode. I’ve taken dozens of portraits so far of adults and children, and the crisp focus on peoples’ faces really makes them pop out of the photos.

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Easy Pill Medication Tracker and Reminder

Guest Blog Post by Mark Pouley

Easy Pill logoHello Allison and fellow castaways, this is Mark Pouley with a review of an iOS app that I discovered last year and have been using ever since. The app is called Easy Pill for iOS by Until recently I didn’t regularly take medications so tracking when to take a pill was never an issue, but that changed last year when I was prescribed a number of medications and supplements. Being a geeky castaway I took this as an opportunity to find a technological solution, hopefully one that involved my iPhone and AppleWatch.

Easy Pill is an iOS app that tracks all of your medications and sends you reminders when it’s time to take a pill. This was exactly what I was looking for. Continue reading “Easy Pill Medication Tracker and Reminder”

Go Caseless on Your Phone with egrips

Tech21 evo mesh iphone case
You know that feeling when you first get a new iPhone? When you pull it out of the box, and it feels so sleek and shiny? You carefully cradle it in your hand and feel great joy. But then something changes. The joy turns to fear when you realize you’re standing over a hard floor. You grip the phone with both hands and carefully tip toe over to the couch where it will be safe if it falls a few inches.

We love these phones, but they’re slippery like trying to hold a goldfish. When Lindsay, Kyle and I got the iPhone 6, within one week all three of us had dropped our phones, and only two of us got lucky.

So here I have the new hotness, the iPhone 7 Plus, and I had to put a case on it. Pat Dengler picked out a very nice case for me from a company called tech21. It’s called the Evo Mesh Case for iPhone 7 Plus and it’s $40 at Apple. I was looking for something that would show off the gold and white of my new phone, and the Evo Mesh is perfect for that. It’s got a white rubbery bumper, and a clear back with dimples in the clear back that made it look really cool. But. It’s not sleek, it’s not smooth, it’s practical.

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NC #594 iPhone 7 Plus Camera Comparison, X-Plane, Apple Watch Series 2, Podfeet Sticker Pack

I compare the wide-angle camera on the new iPhone 7 Plus to that of the iPhone 6. I’m hoping it will help you decide if the new camera alone is worth the upgrade. I include a really good sample set of good and low light samples in a downloadable for the comparison so you can follow along. Tom Stewart joins us for a review of the flight simulator called X-Plane from Next up I’ll walk you through the differences between the original Apple Watch and the new Apple Watch Series 2, again to help you decide if it’s worth the upgrade. Finally we’ll hear a quick message from Allister Jenks as he tells us how he created a Podfeet Sticker Pack for the new iMessage in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.

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How Much Better is the iPhone 7 Plus Wide-Angle Camera Than the iPhone 6?

Busybee 2x 7+There’s a lot of reasons we use to justify how much money we spend on our technology. One of my personal favorites is how we justify new phones. “My contract is up”, “It’s been 2 years” and “It’s my turn” are amongst the more popular versions of this silliness.

Well, it’s my turn to get a new phone this year. Steve is on the s track and I’m on the non-s track for the iPhone. We pay full price for our iPhones now so there’s no logic whatsoever to this, but at least it keeps us from each buying a new phone we don’t need every year. I mentioned earlier that I decided it was time to upgrade to the big girl iPhone, so I opted for the iPhone 7 Plus. My decision was made easier by the new dual cameras. Continue reading “How Much Better is the iPhone 7 Plus Wide-Angle Camera Than the iPhone 6?”

First Few Days with the iPhone 7 Plus – Size Matters

Iphone 7plusOne of the hard things about reviewing gadgets is to remember to use the words, “for me” and “I feel” and not make categorical judgments. I hear a lot of male podcasters who talk about gadgets from their own point of view and don’t take into account that another gender might have a different perspective. If I hear one more time, “it has to fit in a pocket”, I’m going to scream. You wouldn’t think much of me as a reviewer if I said, “it fits in a purse so it’s perfect for everyone”, right?

Men are more likely to have pockets, men are more likely to have big pockets. Women are more likely to have small or no pockets, and women are more likely to carry a purse. I make no value judgment on this, I’m just stating facts.

With that in mind, I started thinking about going up in size from the iPhone 6 to the 7 Plus well before it was officially announced. Continue reading “First Few Days with the iPhone 7 Plus – Size Matters”

Activity Tracking is Really Improved with watchOS 3 and iOS 10

Activity sharingI entitled this segment “Activity Tracking is Really Improved with watchOS 3 and iOS 10” but I’ll leave it up to you whether are all are of these are truly improvements.

Activity Sharing

One of the reasons that Fitbit has been so successful has been because of the ability to share your activity with your friends. Peer pressure or encouragement, whichever works for you, you get it from sharing exercise with your friends. When I left Fitbit for the Apple Watch, I really missed smack talking with my friends on Fitbit. Now, with IOS 10 and watchOS 3, activity sharing has come to the Apple Watch.

On the iPhone, in the Activity app, tap the Sharing button on the bottom. Next you’ll see a plus button in the upper right where you can add friends. It only lists those in your contacts list who have Apple Watch’s. If you try to add someone who has an iPhone but no Apple Watch, it will tell you that you cannot share activity with them. That seems kind of shortsighted to me since many people track their activity with the phone. Maybe they’ll explain that later.

Sharing with someone causes several things. The coolest part is that in the Sharing tab on Activity you can see their active calories burned against their goals. The list isn’t sorted by the most calories burned, it’s by percentage of each person’s goal. I think that’s actually a better way to do it, otherwise I’d have no friends at all! Continue reading “Activity Tracking is Really Improved with watchOS 3 and iOS 10”

CCATP #454 Lynda Gousha on Apple Announcements

This week our guest is Lynda Gousha and she’s here to talk about the big Apple announcements with me. We’ll talk Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, discuss camera specs and revel in “the best iPhone” they’ve ever made. You may have heard her on other fine podcasts, like Let’s Talk Apple with Bart Busschots

You can connect with Lynda on Twitter @llg4cdg

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Tunity to Hear Broadcast TV on Your Phone

Tunity scanning golfHave you ever been at the airport and there’s breaking news on the TV but you can’t hear it? How about you’re out at a bar and there’s a game on and you’d love to be able to hear it? What if you could get the audio sent to your smartphone? Well that’s exactly what Tunity from can do for you.

Tunity is available for free in the iOS App Store and the Google Play store. When you launch Tunity for the first time, you’ll be asked to create a free login or you can use Facebook to log in. Next you’ll be required to turn on location services for the app. I’ll explain in a minute why that makes sense.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a simple screen that says “tap to scan” and there’s a rectangle you’re supposed to align your phone or tablet’s camera to the frame of the TV. You have to hold the phone still while it scans, then it will say detecting, and if it recognizes the channel you’re watching it will come back and say “Syncing to” and the name of the channel. A second or two after that, you’ll hear the TV channel’s audio coming out of your phone! Seriously. It’s like magic.
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