iOS 8 and iPhone 4s

Despite all the doom and gloom over the prospect of installing iOS 8 on an iPhone 4S, the installation was painless and successful. Started at 12pm pdt, the initial OTA download of iOS 8 took about 90 minutes and the actual verification and installation about 40 minutes on a 32gb iPhone 4s with 6gb of free space. While animations are not as smooth as with iOS 7.1.2, they aren’t chunky enough to be a major distractions and load times are only slightly degraded. If past history is any indication, Apple will tweak the performance of the OS in future updates.

As to whether the update is “worth it” is personal preference. Battery life will be a huge determinant as to the foture of iOS 8 on the 4s.

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Lytro Technology on iPhone?

I was intrigued by a post by Chris Foresman on ARS Technica earlier today. Apparently, Steve Jobs was interested in incorporating imaging technology from Lytro into future iPhone cameras. While the article contains multiple links on how the technology works, Chris details the gist of the technology in the following blurb:

Lytro’s technology relies on capturing far more information about a scene than a fixed grid of colored pixels. Using high resolution sensors combined with a specially designed micro lens array, the sensor captures the intensity, color, and direction of light rays entering a camera through a lens. That data can then be processed into the kind of flat, two-dimensional image that many of us are accustomed to.

However, that data can be mathematically manipulated to change various aspects of the image, including focus point, focal length, depth of field, and even perspective shift. All these details can be recalculated after the image is captured, removing the need to think about them while shooting.

What I find interesting about such technology is that it would potentially both simplify both the iPhone physical lens mechanism and make taking pictures easier at the same time. Such a combination would be a tough act to follow.

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iPhone 4S

I’ve been a Verizon customer ever since my wife and I combined our cell phone plans a while ago.  As a service provider, Verizon met our needs with stable voice service in our apartment (a long time AT&T dead zone).

When I wanted a smartphone, AT&T still had exclusive rights to iPhone in the U.S. so I went with an HTC Incredible.  While the device worked well enough for many things, it did have some problems with my complex data desires.  I wanted to be able to grab mail from both my work account and my gmail account, but only wanted to grab contacts from my gmail.  While it was probably possible for some, I couldn’t figure out how to do it with native apps, and even after buying a dedicated client for my work account.  Then I ended up with multiple copies of my contacts in my device address book which I had to manually link per contact.

I ran my HTC through the washing machine and dryer after getting back from vacation (no not intentionally), and my wife authorized a purchase of an iPhone 4S.  After having the phone for a few weeks, I’m amazed at how easy things seem to be with it compared to hoops that needed to be jumped through with the Incredible.  Multiple ActiveSync accounts natively?  Check.  Easy selection of where to draw contacts from?  Check.  Stable Gui and OS?  Check.

People may argue over which phone OS is better based on the software model and companies behind the technologies.   I’ve bantered on in the past about how unnecessarily restrictive Apple’s software approval model is, and how maintaining flexibility in terms of phone features and GUI implementations will ultimately give people what they want.  But I’ve come to see that, at least in my case, that flexibility means little if none can master it to the point of making it usable or stable.

I can’t say I am a complete Apple convert, but I am a satisfied Apple 4S customer.  The technology just works.

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