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NC #667 August Smart Lock, LIZN Hearpieces, Focos, Wagz Smart Collar, MirraViz, GE Connected Lighting, Security Bits

It’s another action-packed episode this week. I’ll start by telling you about the August Smart Lock Pro and how Steve and I got prepared psychologically for such a scary idea. Then we’ll hear a CES interview about the LIZN Wireless Hearpieces, Bluetooth headphones that could improve your hearing. Then we’ll head back to CES to hear about the Wagz Smart Pet Collar. If you’ve ever wanted to sit with someone but watch something completely different from them on TV, you’ll be interested in our CES interview about the MirraViz Multiview Displays. Everything has to be smart these days, and GE tells us how their Connected Lighting products fulfill that dream. As if that wasn’t enough goodness, we have Bart back with another great Security Bits segment.

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Focos Tutorial on ScreenCasts Online

This week Don McAllister published my video tutorial of the iOS app Focos on ScreenCasts Online. This is an amazing app that works with dual-lens iPhones: iPhone 7+, 8+, and X. I’m really proud of this particular tutorial and the feedback has been amazing on it.

Remember the Lytro camera that took the world by storm because it’s proprietary image format allowed you to change what was in focus after the fact? It never became really popular because it was proprietary. Focos allows you to do the same thing (change the focus point) on portrait-mode photos taken by one of these dual-lens phones.

That’s not all though, you can change the virtual aperture of the image, thereby changing the depth of field. You can simulate an f/1.4 lens up to f/22. You can change how the background (fuzzy) bokeh looks by simulating famous lenses, you can change how far forward and backward the fuzzy part is in the image using an amazing visual representation of the depth data, and you can even change the shape of bright lights in the background to new shapes up to and including Apple logos.

I’ve embedded the video preview into the shownotes, but you can proceed over to ScreenCasts Online from the provided link to watch it for free with his 14 day free trial. Don’t do it though, you’ll get hooked when you see how much amazing content is there and you’ll want a subscription.

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NC #663 Analogix SlimPort, Digital Zoom vs Optical Crop, Netgear Orbi, Klok, Acronis Backup, L’Oréal UV Sense, Security Bits

It’s another big big show, with four CES interviews with Analogix SlimPort video connectors, Netgear about their outdoor Orbi, Acronis backup solution, and L’Oréal’s UV Sense product. We’ve also got a photography tip by Rally about digital zoom vs cropping (followed by some fun experiments by me) and a review of the free iOS app Klok by Helma. Bart brings us up to speed with the latest on Security Bits.

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Can Digital Zoom be Better than Optical Zoom?

Rally Barnard sent in a photo tip I really like, especially because he’s actually quoting me in it! After he sent this in I made some observations that may change my advice. First, let’s hear from Rally.


A while ago Allison in one of her talks on the MacMania Solar-Eclipse cruise said that the best way to take photos with iOS devices was to never zoom the image by pinching on the screen. Always take photos with the default field of view. If you wanted to zoom the picture, do it with Photos or other editing app after you have taken the picture.

Well, as I always dutifully follow Allison’s advice, I always take photos that way. If others aren’t aware of this photographic gem, or want to know the reasoning behind this diktat, I guess that’s the problem to be solved.

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Snapchat Spectacles by Denise

Snapchat spectacles closeupGreetings fellow Castaways, Denise Crown here with a review of Snapchat Spectacles. In a nutshell, Spectacles are sunglasses with a built-in camera.

We do not violate the Podfeet Terms of Service, so, regulations require we start with the problem to be solved. Say you’re out walking the dog, hanging out with friends, at a festival or amusement park, or doing some other fun outdoor activity, you can capture some of that without carrying your phone or bolting a go-pro to your head. Before you dismiss this as something only for the millennials, these things are FUN. I tried them outdoors, while driving, and even in my office and they worked well as both sunglasses and a video camera. I plan to take them to an upcoming trade show. Continue reading “Snapchat Spectacles by Denise”

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NC #638 Due for Mac, Tencro Boom Arm, Unsharp Mask, Byword, Memo, Apple Photos Alternatives, FoodStuff, RAV 4 Hybrid, Security Bits

In this special show guest-hosted by me, Bart Busschots, we’ll start with some quick first impressions of Due for Mac from listener Helma, then I’ll give you a quick review of my new Tenro mic boom, then we get to enjoy a conversation Allison had with Rob Wood about Unsharp Masks at MacStock, then I tell you about two Mac Apps I’ve recently started using, the Markdown editor Byword and the stickies app Memo, next listener Shai tells us about some of them alternatives to the Photos app and Adobe Lightroom, then I recommend the FoodStuff podcast before listener George from Tulsa shares a review of some cool safety features in his new Rav 4 Hybrid, and finally, I do my best to do a solo Security Bits.

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4 Tiny Tips – Affinity Photo for iPad

Affinity Photo for iPad is a glorious app. I’ve done my two part series on it, I’ve created a 45 minute screencast for ScreenCasts Online (not out yet) and I’ve started doing the user group circuit to demonstrate its awesomeness. Last weekend I presented at SMOG (Southern California Macintosh Owners | Users Group). While I was teaching it, I realized I’d figured out a few tricks to how to effectively use the tool. Continue reading “4 Tiny Tips – Affinity Photo for iPad”

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NC #635 Conversation of Things, Photo Albums People Want to See, Subscription Models for Software, Security Bits

I was on the inaugural episode of the Conversations of Things podcast with Joe Dugandzic. I’ll explain how to make photo albums with Apple Photos that people actually want to see (spoiler, it’s about keywords). I’ll challenge some assumptions Bart Busschots made in his Let’s Talk Photography podcast about subscription models for software. And Bart is back with another fine edition of Security Bits.

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Make Apple Photo Albums People Actually Want to See

Apple Photos is a lot more capable than many people realize. I’m sure I still don’t use a great deal of the functionality myself, because I keep discovering new things it can do and new ways to use the capabilities that I already knew about. I just discovered a couple of cool uses of keywords in Apple Photos that I’d like to tell you about.

Before I dig into this, it is important to realize that Apple Photos does not by any stretch of the imagination, have the kind of keywording depth that you’ll find in something like Adobe Lightroom or the old Aperture program from Apple. The Allister Jenks type of people, who love to have embedded folders of keywords to a level that might require a clinical diagnosis, will not be even vaguely interested in what I’m going to teach you. For the rest of you, I think I’ve got some tips that might come in handy.

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NC #633 macOS Too New, Tiny Tip Delete Me, Affinity Photo for iPad Type 2, Security Bits

David Ginsburg of the In Touch with iOS podcast sent in a recording describing the unusual problem he had where Apple shipped him with an operating system actually newer than the one you can download. I’ve started a series called Tiny Tips, and the first one is why you should create a folder called Delete Me. I’ve got part 2 of my Affinity Photo for iPad review/walk through and then we’ve got Security Bits with Bart Busschots.


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