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Archive for General

Live Photos—Who Knew?

Until recently, I carried an iPhone 6 and was quite sure that Live Photos were basically a gimmick in sheep’s clothing. I saw them taken by other people or in Apple’s advertising and thought, “Meh. That’s neat, but it’s like 3D in movies—gimmicky and superfluous.”Recently, I upgraded to an iPhone 7 Plus, and I’m here to tell you, I’m a Live Photo convert. If you have kids, pets, or both, Live Photos were made for you. Even if you don’t, moving landscape shots with a river, waterfall, or a train rolling by become something entirely different. Three seconds of video doesn’t sound like a lot, but those few seconds add an infinite amount of context. It brings the sounds and motion of the moment into the picture, capturing a piece of the past exactly as it unfolded.

Clearly I’m late to the game, since Live Photos started with the 6S line of iPhones, but there are still a number of people in the Apple ecosystem who have upgraded to neither the 6S nor the 7 yet, and for them, Live Photos will be another “new” feature to enjoy.

With Live Photos, Apple did what it’s best at doing—adding human emotion into technology. Live Photos aren’t about the pixels or the stitched-together video/photo/video constructs; they’re about bringing a smile to your face when you recall the moment that the sights and sounds of a Live Photo captured. They’re about the life outside your phone at a time when so much of your day is spent inside it.

For that, Live Photos are amazing. You just need to experience it for yourself.

Office Talk Version 3.0

I’ve just submitted Office Talk version 3.0 to the App Store for review. When approved, your new version of the Office Talk sticker pack for Messages will include:

  • A muted green color replaces the bright green color for the positive stickers. The older color, while technically “green” was blinding on newer devices.
  • Voiceover support has been added for all stickers so people with low vision can use them to insult their coworkers, too!
  • Stickers representing the DISC Profile Types have been added so that High Ds can tell everyone proudly that they’re High Ds.
  • One or two additional stickers have found their way into the pack. Enjoy!

The new sticker pack should be available within the next few days, depending upon Apple’s review load.


The Next Web published a piece highlighting five of the “most ridiculous iMessage sticker packs for iOS 10,” and I have the proud distinction of making the last pack mentioned on the list. Hey, any press is good press, so I’m thankful to the author for including me.

The sticker pack experiment has been a fun one; it’s a testament to Apple’s thought that “anyone” could make a sticker pack for sale in the App Store. I have very little programming background, I can basically only spell Xcode, and I have almost no artistic ability whatsoever, but I still managed to create a sticker pack, get over Apple’s somewhat arcane certification and version control hurdles, and get it uploaded for sale into the App Store. I call this a win for me personally (sales aren’t putting my kids through college, but they’ll get me a set of AirPods), and I think it’s a win for Apple too in that they have brought down the barrier to entry for real creatives to have a place to offer their works. I think anything that opens up channels for commerce for different types of people in different professions with different skill sets is a win for everyone, not just Apple.

My sticker pack called “Office Talk” is available here.

Define “Irony”

Ironically, the FBI’s public push in the courts to force Apple to modify their operating system to allow easier brute force entry has caused a huge number of technical articles to be written by the tech press about how to use the increased security protocols on one’s iPhone.  Many people I’ve seen post to the comment section of those articles didn’t already know they could improve security beyond the four or six digit passcode, but now they do.