iPhone Camera trick

June 12, 2012By jayapplications, technology

This weekend I stumbled upon a very useful camera feature when I was trying to zoom into a scene: left swipe right.

When you are in the Camera app, with one finger, wipe the camera screen to the right. What happens, as seen below, is that the camera roll is revealed.

This is extremely useful for a quick look at your last photo.

What is even nicer? Once you have slid into the camera roll, right swipe left. The Camera app is back.

The annoying part? If I button press into the camera roll there is no swiping that gets you back to the Camera app.

Try it out I bet you’ll like it.

Chill, I Got Fever.

July 2, 2011By jayapplications, miscelany, review, technology

Recently, I wrote about making the switch from Google Reader to Fever. In that post I explained that I would write a more comprehensive review later. Here is it.

Fever is a webapp. To use Fever, on my desktop, outside of a “browser” I use ChillPill. So, I hope not to confuse the two in this review. Primarily, I will be writing about the webapp.

Fever is mostly intuitive. It isn’t as straight forward as Google Reader (GR)—with GRs non-metaphoric category names. (Fever, uses names like Kindling, Hot, and Sparks which can be daunting for a new user. But, don’t worry they are easily explained.) But, a new user, to Fever, can get up and running in about 10(ish) minutes and have a good idea of what to do. The nice thing about Fever is that there isn’t a bunch of controls just the necessary ones. GR had so many controls that a new user can easily get lost. (I rarely used the web interface simply because I couldn’t stand to look at it.) In my opinion GR is cluttered. Fever isn’t. Fever is much more minimalist and allows the user to do one primary thing—read.

Technically speaking, I was able to get up and running in about 5-10 minutes. All I needed was my database credentials (which, was easy to find in my host’s control panel), a FTP program (I use Transmit), the Fever files, oh, and most importantly a hosted domain (ie. my own website). I use 1and1.com.

  1. If you already have a website (Which, if you are interested in Fever I would imagine that you do.) and a FTP program then you will need to go to the FeedaFever.com site and download the package.
  2. Once you have it downloaded, then you will need to upload it to your website.
  3. When it is uploaded you will need to follow the easy setup instructions to create your account. You can find these instructions under the Download/Add a License section.

    Download, unzip and upload to your server. Change the permissions of the /fever/ directory to 777 and visit /fever/boot.php in your browser to run the Suite.

  4. (While that may not sound easy. It is. I didn’t have to change the permissions because they uploaded as 777, but you will want to check them just in case. In Transmit you just command-i the folder, an info window pops-up, and you change the permissions there.)

  5. When this is finished, import your current RSS feed OPML file and then you are ready to go. (You will have to export this from GR.)

I really haven’t, directly, used the web app—much. I say “directly” because the ChillPill app that I use appears just to be a Fluid app.


My first impressions?
As soon as I understood the Hot vs. Kindling features better, my attachment to Fever has grown. “Hot” feeds are supplementary feeds that I won’t read everyday, but that I am interested in because of the information they might supply. So, in my “Sparks” category (this is where I store my supplementary feeds which are used to determine the temperature of the topics of the day.) I have Engadget, MacRumors, TechCrunch, and TightWind. Because of the articles they are posting in my “Hot” section today, July 1st, I have: MacStories, Open letter to BlackBerry Bosses, and information on Nortel Patents—as well as some other titles.

I don’t read Hot. I scan it. It allows me to see the hot news without having to sort through a bunch of posts. Kindling, on the other hand, are the posts that I am interested in following each day. Ones that I want to read everything (or nearly everything) they are writing on a daily basis. I have art, writing, and some tech feeds stored in Kindling.

Fever is refreshing. I have almost 200 feeds and I am able to focus on just those feeds I really want to keep up with. To me Fever is a near-perfect blogger’s friend. “Near-perfect” because it allows the user to quickly scan the primary topics of concern in their news circles. If I want to see what the main topics of the day for Apple, place the Apple feeds in Sparks and check out the hot, hotter, and hottest items for the day. I would love to see it add some features to allow the user to post snippets better, but that is me nitpicking.



  • It’s mine. I control it.
  • Setup is easy.
  • Hot is an excellent way to filter “important” matters of the day.
  • I have a webapp as well as a desktop app.
  • If you have an iPhone (or other smartphone) the webapp formats nicely.
  • It has some interaction with Instapaper, delicious, and twitter.



  • The ChillPill app takes up too much memory (it’s just a webkit browser—as near as I can tell.)
  • Could take advantage of the desktop experience a bit more.
  • Sometimes Fever can’t figure out the rss feed of a particular site (even a blogspot one I am not sure what’s the deal.)
  • Needs better integration with Instapaper. I would prefer to have Instapaper pop-in rather than being redirected to a different page.
  • On refresh the list I am viewing refreshes. Not usually a problem, but when I am half-way (or more) down a list and I am refreshed to the top that is very frustrating.


On the whole?
Fever is an excellent offering. I would love to see it come with a better desktop app. I would love to see it better integrate with other tools in a more revolutionary “webtop*” experience harnessing the power of the native UI and the power of the web. But, in the end I am happy with it. Yes, there are some gripes, I am picky. But, I am pleased with the product and have yet to have buyer’s remorse. I suggest you check it out, if you want to control your own.


* By which I mean: A better hybrid web/desktop UI. Something more iTunesish in nature without all of the clutter of iTunes.



Instagram’s Drawback

June 30, 2011By jayapplications, art, miscelany, technology

What do I do with Instagram (IG) post-iPhone?




I can’t close my account from the webapp. (At least there is no easily recognizable way.) I can’t upload more images via my desktop. So, now I have this account that is floating—floating and unusable.

I understand building a solid app around the best smartphone. What I don’t understand is making it the only way to fully experience the app. I know that IG has an API, but that API doesn’t allow other apps to upload (not yet). So, for now and the foreseeable future—I have an IG account that I cannot do anything with. That is a drawback.

A Year of Blogging

June 14, 2011By jayart, miscelany, religion, technology, Writing

Thanks to Ray, over at Elowrah, I found out that the fifth of June was exactly my one year mark. I began with a post, entitled: Randomly Organized—I used the dummy hello-world and forgot to rename the link, but it was mildly appropriate. And, on June fifth of this year I completed a cycle with a posting, entitled: Pandas—also mildly appropriate as it explains how I un-stump myself. Since it has been a year of stumping and un-stumping.

I didn’t start out strong and there were many gaps in between, but I have succeeded in doing what I intended with it: posting about technology (mainly Apple and Adobe), about illustrations, religion, and last but not least writing. (In case you aren’t sure what that picture is about: it is my tag cloud. In short, it displays the content I have tagged the most. So, it appears that technology is my most written about subject; quickly followed by writing and apple.)

So, now that a year has passed, I think it might be good to reevaluate and randomize a bit more—not really. My random musings are in fact the intention of this blog. What I would like to do is write more; share my illustrations more; and, post more random technology and religious material. I have a few posts in the making and am excited to see them published.

Looking forward to tomorrow—while enjoying today.

Thanks for reading, Ray.

FaceTime Bug

April 6, 2011By jayapplications, miscelany, technology

From The Brooks Review

Creepy iPhone 4 FaceTime Bug

MrGQ in the Apple discussion board on the FaceTime bug:

I am experiencing the exact same issue recently. Most notably just minutes ago when i called my GF and i saw a “picture” of myself from today when i was at the office. I know it was from today because i had the exact same shirt. The weirdest thing is that picture is not stored on my iphone.

You may be thinking that, while this is weird, it isn’t that creepy. Nasetron adds the creepy though:

Some of the images that have been coming up on mine are from times and places when I know without a doubt that I haven’t been using facetime.

Luckily it seems the images are not being shown to any one but the iPhone owner — but still, why is it taking these pictures at all?

This speaks to a lot of people’s fears about having cameras so prevalent. Pop out your electrical tape.

A Tale of Two Apps

April 3, 2011By jayapplications, grammar, technology, Writing

As a writer and an iPhone user I am usually keeping an eye open for the best writer app. Add to this my interaction design side and what comes out? A quick review of two apps: Essay and TextWriter.

I will begin with my review of TextWriter (TW) written within TW.

this is my newest text. my first impression is that it lacks sentence cap recognition.

also, there are arrows showing up and down that don’t do anything and shouldnt be shown or should be greyed out.

it doesnt auto correct either.

note: the up down arrows navigate paragraphs. not clear at all.

I am not satisfied with the interface at all. It is clunky and appears to be quickly thrown together. I “purchased” this app when it was on sale for free. Had it not been for that I would have wanted my money back.


I am testing out essay. It is an awesome app sentence caps abound. Autocorrect works on all most contractions.

It has a nice toolbar that is easy to press and navigate.

It has dropbox support.

There are some bugs. The sentence caps don’t always function the way they should and as I said before the contractions are mostly enabled.

Also, at issue is the linking ability. The link field has a prewritten http://. However, when selected it doesn’t empty nor was I able to delete it. Then I pasted a link that already had http in it and I had two. This needs to be fixed.

One more note: trying to copy. Trying to copy was furstrating. I tried to select all—which was easily accomplished, but the copy/cut popup window never showed. (Side note: my misspelling of frustrating never showed a dotted redline and exposing the misspelled word.

Overall, though, I liked look and feel of this app much, much, more than TextWriter. But, it does have some very annoying bugs.

Bugs aside just looking at how I feel in both apps I prefer Essay’s interface and functions over TextWriter’s it feels more Mac/iOS like and it much more visually palatable.

Nursery Rhymes with Storytime iPad app

March 18, 2011By jayapplications, art, miscelany, technology

This app combo shows the amazing capabilities that we now have in the mobile environment.

While I don’t have an iPad, from the video, I would love the app just for the design. Although I want it, there are a couple of things I would like added:

  1. some sort of Facetime connectivity rather than just voice
  2. and because I can’t tell from the video: interaction from one device affecting the other.

Nursery Rhymes with Storytime [TechCrunch link]

Nursery Rhymes with Storytime [iTunes link]