Posted in Apple, Design, Hardware

And now for something completely different…

Embrace yourselves… I have an iPhone. Yes, a restrictive non-jailbreaked close source Iphone. I love it so far.

I’m not a huge fan of smartphones, I don’t use them as extensively as others do.  In my opinion nothing beats a laptop or a netbook. In fact, I change phones only when my previous device gets broken.

But this is the very first time iPhone falls in my hands, so I’m pretty lost. Certain things are the same, it’s like a standard for all phone brands. But others, too many, are completely different. And let’s face it, Apple isn’t very helpful when it comes to newbies. It’s always assumed that you’re already an Apple user and you’re just changing/upgrading system or device.  The concept of  “newcomer” it’s completely unknown to Apple and its users.  I guess they think that God was using an iPod to listen music before creating the universe….

So I’m writing some stuff for beginners here…

 

ios6_ios7_home_screens
iOS 6 & 7

Battery stuff

First thing you need to know, iPhone doesn’t warn you when the battery is fully charged. Apparently older versions did but from iOS 7 and up, it doesn’t anymore. No change of icons, no sound or alert, just an Spartan  “100% charged”.

There’s a legend among Apple users that says that the lightning bolt icon will disappear when battery is fully charged. I can’t confirm.

By default, iPhone has everything on. Bluetooth, GPS, etc.  This will cause the battery to run dry quickly and while charging it may overheat. Turn everything you’re not using off. Warm is okay, but if it gets hot to the touch then it’s better to unplug it and see what’s wrong. Let it cool off before resume charging. Also avoid heavy game play or similar stuff while charging as that increases temperature.

If the device is second hand or you have been using it for a good while, check its cycles. The more cycles a battery has the shorter its life and capacity will be.

If you fully charge your phone over night and it’s on about 30/40% at the end of the day when you put it back on charge that’s good enough. Don’t expose it to extreme temperature conditions particularly while charging; too hot and too cold are equally bad for your device and can be dangerous for everyone else.
Letting it drain down to 1% occasionally to reset the battery memory is a good idea, but don’t do it all the time nor too often.

Your phone won’t explode because you leave it alone charging overnight. But won’t benefit it either. Also, if the battery is old or the place is too warm it may result in a accident.

Usually you get the equivalent of around 5% battery before they drop to 99%. From a full charge an iPhone does around 40 minutes usage sitting on 100%

Another legend says that a mysterious app named Coconut will help you to keep your battery healthy.  I think it’s like the Grail, everybody talked about it but nobody saw it.

 

Settings

When it comes to configure stuff iOS is the master race, at least at smartphone level. There’s a lot of refinement you can achieve just lurking in Settings. But some features and buttons are mysterious. E.g.: the Ring button. Because… you see, it’s not a button, it’s a switch. But the manual doesn’t say it, so you can keep trying to press it because buttons were made for being pressed, isn’t it?

So the easiest way to turn the iPhone ringer off is to flip a switch. On the left-hand side of the iPhone, there’s a small switch just above the two volume buttons. To turn the iPhone ringer off and put the phone into silent mode, simply flip this switch down towards the back of the phone.

BTW, you can also configure the volume buttons to work as such for ringing or only for general volume or music.

If you don’t like iOS appearance you can search on App Store, there are a handful of interesting apps to customise your interface. Maybe not at the extreme of Android but enough to not get bored.

 

Further reading

Five tips to for a better battery life   www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-tips-for-extending-lithium-ion-battery-life

Get the most out of Lithium batteries   www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-get-the-most-from-li-ion-batteries

Don’t panic if your iPhone seems to run out of battery too quickly. Or not yet   http://bgr.com/2016/09/13/ios-10-battery-life-iphone-ipad

Popular Mechanics on batteries www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a15731/best-way-to-keep-li-ion-batteries-charged

 

Thanks for reading. Next article:  Security and improvements

 

 

Posted in Design, Design tools

Pictures comparison

As a plus and to help you to see what might be the best option for you, I leave here the same pictures after treated with the different methods I posted.

 

Cavalier 03 (PhS)
With Photoshop Unsharp Mask

 

Cavalier 02 (PhS)
With Photoshop High Pass Filter

 

Cavalier 02 (G)
With Gimp

 

Note:  The High Pass photo is grey because I preferred to leave it this way.  The original colour of these statues is greyish, they look sepia because of the candles light  (it’s a monument inside a church).

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Design, Design tools

Sharpening a pic

Sometimes it may happen that you may want to fix a mistake in the focus of a picture.  This can be done in three ways, two with Photoshop and one with Gimp.  I will explain them all, but be warned  it won’t fix serious problems.

 

Banner P04

 

First method

  • Duplicate layer  (Layer => Duplicate layer).  Now you have two layers looking exactly the same.  You’ll work on the top layer, been the original picture the background.
  • Apply the  “unsharp”  filter  (Filters => Sharpen => Unsharp Mask).  Despite the name, what it does is sharpening the image according certain parameters you select.
  • Regulate Amount, Radius, & Threshold.
  • Save the image by exporting to your favourite  (preferably JPEG).  This will flatten merging the two layers into one picture.

Second method

  • Duplicate layer  (same as before).
  • Convert the duplicated layer into a Smart Object  (Layer => Smart Object => Convert).
  • Apply High Pass filter  (Filters => Others => High Pass Filter).  Regulate the strength and accept.
  • Be careful when set the radius, too much will make the image look odd.  But don’t worry, if you make a mistake, just undo it and apply the filter again.
  • Now the image look all grey but this is easy to be fixed, whether applying a Photo filter  (Image => Photo filter)  or setting High Pass to Overlay mode  (see picture below).  Additionally, you can regulate the opacity
  • Export the image as explained before.

smart-filter-blending-options-icon

 

Banner G04

Just one…

  • Apply the sharpening filter  (Filter => Enhance => Sharpen).
  • Play with the controls at will.  If you don’t like the result, just undo and start over.
  • Export your image as JPEG  (or other format)  with the highest quality.

photo_2017-05-04_11-45-00

 

Yes, I did it on purpose.  I left the easier an more effective for the end.  Choose wisely.