Smartcameras, Apple, and the future of photography


samsungI’ve got an article at the website Connect (part of Digital Photography Review) about what I see as a dilemma for fans of Apple’s iOS and iPhone photography apps. Smartcameras are starting to appear — that is, point-and-shoot cameras with the Android operating system and photo apps — and I fear that Android, and not iOS, will dominate this smartcamera trend. I’d love to buy a smartcamera at some point, but I would want it to be a camera with iOS apps — that is, all of the photography apps I’ve got on my iPhone. Will that happen? I’m not quite sure, and in my Connect article I come up with a bunch of scenarios (Apple buys Nikon, Apple introduces its own digital SLR, etc.) for how things will shake out. Realistic ideas? Not always, but it’s fun to speculate.

If you’re wondering about the smartcamera trend, check out my posts about smartcameras and Android cameras at What I See Now.


Fewer gadgets, but more accessories: 10 accessories for your mobile device

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Like lots of people, I love to accessorize my iPhone. Our smart phones have made it possible to carry fewer gadgets (no camera, no iPod, no organizer), but we carry lots of accessories. In a recent column, I wrote about the craze for accessories for mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers. There are plenty of over-the-top accessories, and lots of handmade ones — just visit Etsy for a look at those. I note ten accessories to consider — an idiosyncratic mix of the useful and the unusual.

As I say in the column:

An entire industry has emerged to accessorize the latest generation of mobile devices. You can easily spend far more money on accessories, some of them made out of rare woods and handcrafted leather, than you spent on your gadgets. Some accessories are available for just about any mobile device, but many are tailored to a specific model: In general, there are more options for Apple’s popular iOS devices — that is, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch — because there’s none of the fragmentation resulting from having multiple device manufacturers and models.

My favorite? It’s the Aquapac, a $30 enclosure for taking your phone in the water. Want to see it in action? Here’s a video where I take my iPhone into the ocean.


The iPhone is my new favorite writing tool


I know this will sound crazy to a lot of people, but I’m really into using my iPhone for writing.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’ve developed some fancy method to use my fingers and thumbs with the virtual keyboard. For writing on my iPhone, I use Apple’s wireless Bluetooth keyboard — my favorite keyboard, ever (yes, it’ll also connect to my MacBook and my iPad). It took a while for Apple to allow you to connect a keyboard to an iPhone, and I love it. The keyboard’s just great, and iPhone screen’s got plenty of space to see your text. For years, I’ve been carting a laptop around, often because I want to have the ability to (a) do some writing, (b) handle email, or (c) take interview notes. But now? Well, I don’t need the laptop, because I can do all of that with my iPhone and a Bluetooth keyboard.

As for apps for writing, that depends on the task — right now I’m typing directly into the iPhone’s WordPress app (this website runs on WordPress) — but I also like the SimpleNote app for notes and general writing. That said, if anyone’s got tips on writing apps for the iPhone, I’d love to know about them.