5 features every app needs.

Dear App Developers,
I would really appreciate it if you had incorporated these features within that sick app you’re dropping this year. These are just basic privacy and nice little touches, so if you do listen to me and basically what the internet is trying to tell you for the past oh I dunno, existence of apps, we will notice that. And we will praise you.

1. Privacy settings

Everything you know, you must tell me. The ability to see what dirt the app/company has on you is important, and it should be your choice whether you allow that or not.

And don’t try hiding it in the T&C jargon, I speak English.

I see that for safety reasons, you may need some of my personal details, but I want to know how much you’re snooping into. The fact that Snapchat saves your stories before that creep down the road does is a definite cause for concern.

2. Email me for confirmation!

When someone (or even myself) enters my Google account with another device, I instantly get an email on my recovery email and the email that got entered, saying that it has been accessed. I like that feature a lot, you can see the area and device used to enter at that specific time.

What would be better, though, is if you send a “confirm this entry” message to my recovery email (otherwise known as your backup email) just like LastPass does. It’s saved me from having important passwords nearly breached into and it gives a sense of confirmation.

Google does add a “Secure your Account” section but confirmation is both quicker and personally accessible.

3. Changing default email addresses

Trello does this nice feature where they allow you to add more email addresses, change the default one and enables the ability to redirect their subscriptions emails to another address, which is basically the icing on the cake.

Some other apps do this too, but it’s a rule of thumb that the more control you give the user, the better the experience. The balance needs to be there, though, but it works mainly because it is tailored to the user’s preference.

4. Show me the devices (I was gonna make a Jerry Maguire joke, but that would have made me sound old and JM week was a while ago too)

Now most popular apps do this, like Google and Trello. And this is helpful to keep an eye on who has control over you account, whether it’s with different devices or around the world.

The better addition would be the ability to revoke any devices if I want, like Trello – because Trello is amazing.

But if you are an Admin, a team leader or just a normal hipster being with a lot of iPads, you want that feature to make your account secure and away from prying eyes. It’s a little thing, but it helps.

5. Disability-friendly modes

So for people who can’t hear very well or have visual impairments, this would should be a vital one implemented into all apps however possible.

Here’s an infographic on the do’s and don’ts of design for those with disabilities.

BONUS: C U S T O M I S E

Tuck this little addition into your settings, and I’m sure people will appreciate the treat.

If I were you, I’d have different colour palettes that are compatible with your app so you don’t have hot pink text and illegible typefaces vandalising the project you painstakingly slaved away on.

Just give the people a little breathing space to make the app more comfortable to use.

And scene

Every little thing does actually help, and it does go noticed, and it does make life a lot more easier. If you add these, app devs, I appreciate you.

#MakeFlickrGreatAgain

Ever since March 2016, when Flickr’s greatest features were only available if you paid. The incredible Auto-Uploadr is gone, and I still damn miss it.

I think this was a business move, to accentuate the portrayal of Flickr being a photographer’s social network, not a backup to dump memes in. I see their point, but a hobbyist like me and my brother just can’t be bothered to spend £57.72 (during time of writing this blog) annually. And if you’re giving us 1TB of free storage, I’m sure people will still be committed to upload junk there – whatever clears up their phone at least.

Auto-Uploadr was such a huge convenience to us, and even though we have fast internet, the web upload tool is such a pain in the *** and it’s almost as if they purposefully did this to entice us to pay.

That’s why I’m enraged, because I’m trying to put up some of my best work and this uploader is screwing things up for me. It’s either the photos timing out, or the upload bar not moving a single inch.

I’ve literally waited a whole weekend for just 1 batch to upload. I’M SICK OF THESE DAMN STRATEGIC MONEY-MAKING MOVES ON THIS DAMN WEBSITE.

New camera bag!

So recently, I bought the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D100 AW and to be honest, there were better choices – like the Tenba DNA 8 (should have got that one dammit). But to think optimistically, I think it’s best, especially being my first ever camera bag, to have the bag with flaws because when I get a better one because then, boom. You can tell the difference distinctly.

That’s really all I had to say. You can continue with your lives now. (review coming up soon!)

Photography = time + money

Photography is a really expensive hobby that you have to invest tons of hours into. I feel that people underestimate that, and aren’t prepared to go through those hardships. But then again, I don’t blame them. There is work, school, family basically life smacking you in the face. It sucks, and I don’t think you could ever claim yourself to be a true photographer because there are no standards like that (in my opinion).

Even the simplest of things can spiral out of control, like getting a good camera bag.

sees a really nice bag, finds out it’s £140. oh well. nevermind.

The Photographer’s Pouch from Photojojo: a nifty little thing but is it worth it?

The Photographer’s Pouch is made by Photojojo in the US of A. But it can get shipped internationally for quite a bit of a fee. It was designed by Will Kortum to make life a little easier for us. Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

The pros? It’s fits a lot of accessories. The size is perfect and wasn’t expected, so that was a pleasant surprise. It’s flexible enough to hold a lot without bulking up your bag, making it as light and compact as they claimed. I was able to fit 2 batteries (NP-FW50), a Hoya UV Filter, a Spudz microfibre cloth, a 2GB SanDisk (biggest mistake I ever made) and a compact flash for the NEX with enough space to include a filter.

Sourced from: Photojojo

Surprisingly enough, it left quite a small footprint with a little effort. You even have enough space to slide in a lens cap between the strap and boom, never lose them again.

The cons? The velcro at the back was one of the main selling points, but only works with certain camera bags. One of such would be the Billingham Hadley Pro, which already comes at a hefty price. Also, it’s $15. There are some alternatives out there on Amazon which can also serve the same function.

I recommend still buying this as it’s supplied by a trustworthy company. It’s true when they say you shouldn’t invest in gear that is sold by 1st parties as that only bumps up the price, but Photojojo is based on accessories and aren’t really like that.

it’s like the smiggle of photography

They’re a company based off of California and are dedicated towards photography, they have their own blog too! But it’s a really nice community that they’ve established. I even got a little “Stow-away-a-saurus” along with the package.

So at the end of the day, it is something that you should get once you’ve got your gear down. It’s compact, light and a nifty little thing.

Bobby by XD Designs: the only backpack I’d ever have

I’m a messenger bag type of person. If you’ve seen my previous post, you know I am looking for a cheap one to hold my camera and lunch without looking like I want to get mugged. I spoke to wedding/event photographer Eric Rossi (awesome dude by the way) and he recommended to me the AmazonBasics camera bag.

I thought, “yeah, that’ll do.” Then I saw this during those procrastination breaks I have.

It looks like a backpack that had the shape of a sports car. Bobby look damn beautiful, and I think it’s everything I wanted. Xd Designs nailed it on the head with this one, combining looks and functionality together, as not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s theft-proof. I keep gushing over perfect it is but I hope it delivers when it comes out.

The three main selling points it claims to deliver on is night safety, anti-theft and cut proof. From what they’ve shown us, it looks like it ticks all the boxes there. It serves its ability with light bars that can be spotted from 100 metres away. Plus, the zipper is neatly tucked in so your average pickpocket dude is stumped as well as marvelled at the beauty of this thing.

On the inside, it’s got nice compartments to put your laptop, tablet and other tech necessities. It’s padded well enough for you to sneak in a camera and lens. Bobby is great for everyone, not just the minimalist tech YouTuber, like students and commuters due to the space left in between the sections for books or lunch!

For travel, it’s simple. There’s a channel to plug-in your battery pack from inside the bag and charge your devices from the outside. You have your quick access pockets to reach things easily, like a little space to hide your phone and even invisible slots in your strap to place your travel card or credit card.

But my God, this is only a small, vague section. There’s a buttload more features that Xd Designs included, check that out in their Kickstarter. It’s actually genius, and it’s the only bag that fits the bill.

You see, I’ve had the endless struggle of finding a bag that is anti-theft, waterproof, has dividers for camera-related schtuff and has space for me to improvise all in a good-looking, cheap bag that has a small form factor. Do you know how damn hard that is? This is the one. Best YouTube video that I’ve stumbled on by accident.

As I type up this blog, Bobby is only £56 and available for pre-order on Kickstarter. Yes, it will be out by November but hey, there are no risks or scams in buying this. What’s even better is that it’s 30% off from it’s retail price of 80%. Production is already under way, and I think you should absolutely go for it, no matter who you are. I know I am!

Making a cheap, DIY mini photo studio

I’m currently in the middle of making a review for a product. Being me, I thought it would be fun to make my own professional shots with a little handiwork and Photoshop. It’s really nice to do things with your own hands for once, so I suggest you try it as well.

I would do a step-by-step tutorial, but I suck at that stuff. So just watch this section from Buzzfeed. You don’t need to get a clamp light or an X-Acto knife thingy, just get your everyday fluorescent light/torch and a box knife.

Start from 0:51 seconds in and then enjoy.

 

 

Newmowa Battery Charger Review: An absolute necessity

Cameras require batteries to run, if you hadn’t noticed. Unfortunately, not many battery chargers are supplied, like Sony and their mirrorless series. I found the perfect solution, and perfect upgrade.

The Newmowa Dual Battery Charger consists of a 2-port station with a long Micro-USB. It’s a simple as a plug-and-play onto your laptop or powerbank. Probably one of my favourite features is the subtle light that shines green when it’s filled up to 100%. But it’s SO EASY, even the click of inserting 2 camera batteries is satisfying.

way too simple for us complex beings.

The only problem would be that it takes a few seconds for the lights appear and show that it’s charging up. Though I don’t have any exact measurements, it charges up quick from my experience. Do you know what’s even better? It’s available for several batteries (I picked up the NP-FW50) and it’s only £7.99!

Overall, it’s a great addition to your photography gear. It’s nothing flashy but it’s the unsung hero that got yo’ back. A true lifesaver for the everyday photographer, a robbery in broad daylight.