THE COMING OF THE iPhone – Marilyn Armstrong

My son talked me into it. It was the best deal I was ever going to get. My cousin’s son and my best friends’ sons did the same for them — all at the same time. It’s probably the quarantine that did it. They said that we were seriously in need of good telephones and, it was time they did something about it.

I guess we’ve reached the point when our kids are in the lead which is great. I needed a break!

I also needed to learn to text. Owen didn’t care so much about the rest of it, but he needed me to text because whenever I called him at work, even if the rest of the day had been boring and nothing happened, the moment I called there would be ten people lined up waiting for him. One of Murphy’s Laws.

So now I have an iPhone 11. That’s the small one (I don’t need a giant phone — at that point, I might as well get an iPad and I don’t like them, either, but Garry has one and he does like it so maybe I’m just not a Mac person.

I also got a new set of regular phones for our regular number. I will happily give my cell number to people I want to hear from, but I’d be just as happy to not have everyone calling me all the time.

I don’t understand most of how it works, but I can, reluctantly text. He’d buy and pay for the phone and the monthly “rent” if I would learn to text.

As far as cameras go, it’s a pain in the butt to transfer pictures from the phone to the PC. I don’t know if it would be easier to transfer them to the Mac, but my Mac has no decent photo software and I don’t have the money to buy it right now.

To use the pictures, I have to mail them to myself. Since I take a lot of pictures at a time, I usually have at least a few dozen to download. The photographs are physically large but only 72 pixels — which I find odd. For all that, they are sharp. I wonder who makes the lenses?

For unknown reasons, the camera doesn’t recognize the difference between a short movie and a photo. When you press “photo,” you get whatever it feels like giving you. It’s an existential photographic implement. It probably was raised in France.

It is useful to have something that is small, light and can take respectable pictures, but if you really want art, you need a camera. Focusing on an iPhone is slow compared to a camera. I suspect most people just take the picture and edit later (if they bother to edit). Most snapshooters don’t edit and all they are going to do with the picture is mail it to friends or family. That’s easy. Anything else is klutzy and ponderous.

Still, having something in your bag with which you can take pictures is useful, especially when you are someplace you weren’t planning to take pictures. But LOOK! There’s the most handsome squirrel or duck you’ve ever seen giving you his or her “good side” from a nearby branch. Assuming you can get the camera set up in time, you’ll get a clear, sharp photograph. For me, it will always be a way to shoot when I wasn’t planning to take pictures. I can see how for people who don’t post photographs online or on a blog, it is the “Brownie camera” with a far better lens and some cumbersome wide-angle and telephoto capabilities.

That is always the problem with something that does everything. It never does one thing perfectly but does many things pretty well (if you are lucky).

I took pictures at the dam the day before yesterday. I didn’t take my camera because it’s so heavy, but the day was beautiful and we were actually outside in The Big World.

The pictures are surprisingly good. It also took me the better part of the afternoon emailing them to myself. You can email them individually or as a compressed file, but one way or another, there’s a good deal of work you will need to do from the computer end of the process.

I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to hold the phone without my thumb in the middle of the shot. I still haven’t fully downloaded all the pictures. I probably never will. It’s too much like work.

I can text — slowly — and as a telephone, it’s loud enough for Garry to hear comfortably and that’s a big plus for him. It’s the first time he’s had a cell loud enough to hear clearly since we owned our first Blackberries. Those were classy phones! No photographs, but great sound, a clear signal, plus a usable keyboard. A great portable “office” to carry with you wherever you went. Lacking bells and whistles, but a fine working unit.

So, in summary, for a cell phone, it’s a good camera for grabbing a snapshot on the go.



Categories: Blackstone River, Cameras, Computers, iPhone, Marilyn Armstrong, Mumford River, Photography, Wi-Fi

Tags: , , ,

23 replies

  1. I love my iPhone for texting, video chatting with my family, emailing, blogging, web-surfing, Google search, etc. I use it for my online banking and to pay my bills, to buy stuff from Amazon and other online stores, and from Chewy (for my dog and cat). I get articles on my newsfeeds throughout the day, I check the local temperature on my weather app, I play solitaire, I listen to music, and I take pictures with it. There are some great [free] photo editing apps you can get from the App Store. Oh, I occasionally even use my iPhone to talk on the phone.

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  2. And if you don’t want to slowly punch in your text one letter at a time, use the microphone and dictate them. Much faster. Figured that one out after shoulder surgery

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  3. Interesting post, Marilyn. I take most of my photographs using my iphone. I haven’t noticed a lag. You can change the setting so that you don’t get a photograph and a mini video. You should also be able to download all your photographs onto you computer at once. You should be able to plug your phone into the ports on your computer and just copy the photographs across.

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  4. No iPhones (or SmartPhones) here, BUT daughter sent me an iPad so we can FaceTime and I love that! I’ve taken some awesome photos with the iPad, but it is a pain to email them to myself etc. Still trying to figure out how to fully utilize the iPad… My camera (Canon PowerShot) is small, easy to carry and does a great job for me as an amateur, but can’t compare to what you produce, Marilyn. 🙂 Have a great day and happy camera shooting! xo

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    • Even one of those all-in-one cameras can take great pictures, as long as it has a decent lens, and most Canons have good lenses on them. My problem with the iPhones and Garry’s iPad is awkwardness. They really aren’t cameras. They take pictures and are good for communication, but they are not cameras, don’t feel like cameras, and being unable to easily move the pictures to the computer is a real pain.

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  5. I don’t know if it would be the same for iPhones as my phone is a Samsung but I found the easiest way to transfer my photos is via Dropbox. I just have a free account. I add them to Dropbox from the phone and then I can access them on any computer by logging in to the account.
    I can text and in a noisy place, I prefer it to talk. I get why Owen prefers you to contact him that way at work. I often text tradies initially because if they are in the middle of a job or driving they don’t need to be talking to me. They can call me back when it suits them. I’m still struggling with how not to get my thumb in the picture.

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    • That’s what makes them non-cameras. They are not ergonomic at all. They don’t fit in your hands easily and focusing is clumsy at best. And the NEW ones don’t have a “Home” key and I have no idea why they would remove. They are awkward to use even if the pictures are good. There are lots of things you can do on an iPad or iPhone, but becoming a world-class photographer isn’t one of them.

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      • I used mine like you do. If I’m out and see something I really want to photograph but don’t have a camera. Occasionally I take it if I’ve got Cindy just in case but it’s not a pleasurable experience using it.

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  6. If you have a MAC then you can sync your photos app on your MAC with your photos app on your phone and your photos will automatically be in both places. Your camera app has the choice of photo, video, portrait etc running right across the bottom, just slide across to choose what you want. Also Preview on your MAC does a basic decent job of editing and if you want a terrific photo editor for free (works on PC or MAC) try iPiccy.com. (I have an iPhone XR)

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    • I have a mac. But I don’t have any graphics software on the Mac. It’s all on the PC. And yes, the few pix I have on the Mac showed up on the phone, but sadly, that isn’t going to help me very much. The software is expensive and I don’t have the money. In fact, other that the WILDLY expensive Photoshop online, there’s not much for the Mac. I agree there ought to be, but there isn’t. I have spent HOURS looking for it, but what used to be there isn’t anymore.

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  7. I think gradually you will start enjoying the features of your new phone.

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  8. I have to laugh about your “existential photographic implement”. We still don’t have an smart phone. Think we’ll just stick with our old flip phone. It’s just one more thing to keep track of. Our cell is presently in the pocket of my winter coat.
    Leslie

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  9. I cannot remember the last time I spoke with my family on the phone. All we do is text. As long as I can do that, I’m happy. Yeah, emailing photos to yourself to download….a royal pain. I have a Samsung phone and the most I can do is send 2 photos at a time, give the phone a rest, and then send more. I really try not to use my phone as a camera–too much trouble. Congratulations on the new phone!

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    • It’s a good telephone and the speakers are decent, so Garry will be able to hear it well. Our regular “landline” has very soft speakers and I have trouble hearing on them. As a telephone, it’s good. As a camera, it’s better than not having a camera when you need a picture, but it’s NOT a camera.

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