Why I love Instagram

I started writing this post last weekend, before the big Facebook sale was announced, as I wanted to talk about – in light of the recent Android-owners backlash – I use (and enjoy) Instagram. It’s funny now though how that very same backlash has not only continued but also now includes all things Facebook. Incredible. C’est la vie.

_______________________________________________

I love Instagram. There, I said it.
I also don’t own an iPhone.

So how?

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any amount of time knows that I am a Nokia fan. My current phone du jour is the Nokia Lumia 800 and before I now I have waxed lyrical about its predecessors the N8 and the N86. Similarly, regular readers will also know that I am an iPad-owner also. Of that too, I am also a fan.

I am a social media junkie; If something is new and shiny, I take a(n educated and measured) interest and, in all honesty, the lure of Instagram was too much.

The next logical step? Install Instagram onto the iPad.

2012-04-09-21-34-36_8106A5AB-D46E-4CE2-B9F9-4D03BB8B824B

While there isn’t an official Instagram iPad app, the iPhone version doubles up just fine. Problem solved, right? Well, yes but that’s not enough. I own an iPad 2 y’see and, while it does have an onboard camera, you may as well give a packet of crayons to a pack of blind monkeys for all the use it’ll do you. A decent image it produces, not.

The great thing about Nokia devices however, is that the top end bad boys tend to come packing high-end mobile camera technology. Which is great, and as 99% of the images I snap with my Lumia end up on my Flickr account – all I need is a method of getting those images into Instagram.

Well, that’s where Flickr Studio comes in –

2012-04-09-21-37-09_5A593C92-3E6B-4B95-806B-0C8E6D9C7006

I can browse my Flickr photostream and download the images I want/need onto my iPad (you can see where this is going can’t you) which closes the circle nicely –

Lumia – >; Flickr
Flickr – iPad
iPad – >; Instagram

Yes, it’s a lengthy process and yes it’s not exactly ideal either but like I said, I like the network and I like the people I follow there. I installed Instagram onto my Nexus S a couple of days ago and I’ve hardly used it. I prefer the iPad experience. Plus, my pictures are infinitely better.

Since the Android release last week it’s almost too funny how much the elitist iPhone-owners have spat back at the network [EDIT: even more so now after the sale]. Apparently some slighted iPhone-Instagrammers are even flocking to new services to escape the influx of ‘tasteless’ Android-ers. Hilarious.

I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Instagram community and have never uploaded an iPhone-created picture, ever. That makes me happy inside and that’s how I use (and why I love) Instagram.

_______________________________________________

PS. As I said earlier this week, post-sale, Instagram will be fine

;

__

Fixing your Flickr photostream

Watching the Watchmen with @pakysse #g20voice

If, like me, you’re a Flickr photo nazi, then you’re probably one of those people who goes nuts when images or videos aren’t tagged correctly or you get minor headaches when certain uploads aren’t placed in the right sets etc. Right?

One bugbear of mine (that I’ve recently solved the problem of), is that of my photos being out of order within my Flickr photostream.

Simply put; Flickr keeps users’ streams in order of DATE UPLOADED not DATE TAKEN. This can be annoying at best and at worse, quite possibly the most frustrating thing in THE ENTIRE WORLD.

To put this into context, a couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I went to the rather awesome Big Chill festival. We took a multitude of imaging equipment (admittedly, mainly phones), and between us we must’ve shot about 2-300 photos.

If, when we got back home, we uploaded these to the same account one after the other, then that is exactly how they would appear. One set, after the other. But what if I don’t want them like that? What if I want them ALL in chronological order?!

Question – “How do you change the chronology of your Flickr photostream?”

Answer – You use h4ppier photos

With this handy app you can go back and change ALL of your photos date by using one handy little button.

To get to this point, first select ‘Very h4ppy’ at the top of the page, then put in your upload dates and then hit the search button. Once h4ppier photos has found the images it’s looking for, this button (amongst many others) will present itself.

Yes you need to let the app to access your Flickr account. Yes it can be dangerous. But I’m telling you; this is by far and away my favourite 3rd party Flickr app, ever.

Use it. Today.

…..

..

.

At this point I kind of feel obliged to point out that Flickr isn’t all bad. In fact, most of the time, I absolutely LOVE Flickr. When they introduced some new UI changes recently it was quite possibly the coolest… oh wait, hang on – just watch this –

Why isn’t my MP3 more like Flickr?

The last great MP3 player (and I’m obviously talking about phones here) was the N73. I’m not talking about any old N73 either. I’m talking pre-internet edition, pre-music edition, I’m talking the original, the beautiful N73 v2 firmware.

Why? Because this player gave you a glimpse of the future – as well as the present.

But why is this important? And how does it relate to the question of the title?

Allow me to explain…

Continue reading “Why isn’t my MP3 more like Flickr?”

MIR: How-to: N95 + ShoZu + Geotags + Flickr + GeoRSS + Google Maps = Mash Up Central!

This week Whatley is going all Web 2.0 on your ass. It’s all very well having these magnificent tools at our disposal — but how do you actually get them working? I’ve always liked the concept of geotagging my images — but haven’t quite got round to working out how to do it. It’s actually refreshingly simple. Here’s James with the overview:

– – –

There’s been a lot of buzz online lately about Nokia Beta Labs‘ latest software release – the Nokia Location Tagger.

A quick overview from Nokia:

‘With Nokia Location Tagger, you can automatically tag your location data to your pictures. As you take a picture, your GPS coordinates are saved to the EXIF header of the JPEG file. You can use this data later, for example, to locate your pictures on a map.

That’s a great feature – Fantastic!
(more on the application of this functionality later)

Nokia also go on to say:

‘In the near future, we hope to make location tagging a seamlessly integrated part of your Nokia experience. Until then, Nokia Location Tagger is a small standalone application that gives you a sneak preview. We are not planning to productize this application as such, but we’d love to hear your thoughts already now, so that we have time to take it into account in the mainstream development.

EVEN BETTER!

However, I will not be using this application. I have absolutely no need for it whatsoever. Installing the Nokia Location Tagger onto my handset would be a complete and utter waste of time.

Why? Well, since downloading and installing Share Online 3.0 (another Nokia Beta Labs product) the Web Upload part of my N95 has been rendered useless. I’m told this is probably something to with http protocols on Vodafone; an early Jaiku beta release had similar problems. However the difference is I could uninstall Jaiku. This is not the case with Share Online 3.0. Grr…

So how do I upload media from my N95? Answer: ShoZu.

Yes it does all the cool things like photo/video uploads to all my sharing sites etc but Ricky covered most of that yesterday.

The ‘other’ cool thing that ShoZu does is… *drum roll please* …Geo Tagging!

That’s right. Exactly the same thing that Nokia’s Location Tagger! ShoZu however announced this feature at LAST YEAR’S 3GSM! …nearly a full year ago.

But I’m not here to moan about Nokia playing catch up AGAIN…

I mean, that thing that the iPhone does when you turn it like *that*?
SO cool.
Wouldn’t it be great if the N95 could do that?! If only it had something like a built-in accelerometer…

No wait.
😉

As I said – I’m not here to moan about that – I’m here to show you what this kinda stuff can DO!

Right then.

First you need a GPS enabled phone – an N95 for example.
Then you need ShoZu, (with the GPS tagging switched to ‘on’).

Once you’ve got those two sorted get yourself a Flickr account and enable the two following options:

1. Import EXIF Location Data – http://flickr.com/account/geo/exif/?from=privacy
2. Import Geotagged Photos – http://flickr.com/account/geo/import

All done? Good. Now take a few photos and upload as you like. Got that far? Excellent.

Now go to your Flickr page – here’s mine http://flickr.com/photos/whatleydude

Scroll to the bottom and you should see some feeds – you want the geoFeed.

Image

Right click on that and then ‘copy link location’.

Once you’ve done that – get off to www.google.com/maps and right click, paste into the search box and ‘search maps’.

You SHOULD end up with something like this:

N95 + ShoZu + Geotags + Flickr + GeoRSS + Google Maps = Mash Up Central!

Give it a go and see what you come up with. I was chuffed to bits when I finally got mine together and working correctly. Hence the desire to impart knowledge I guess. Two quick notes before I sign off. First a big thanks to the my Jaiku buddies who inspired me to put this post together and second to point out another great use of ShoZu.

Enjoy!

Network Throttling

Ok – so a few of us N95 users at Refresh Mobile have noticed a thing called ‘Network Throttling’.

Basically, when browsing the mobile internet your operator chooses what kind of kb per image you can download.. This is usually a low number.. So that when you first get to a webpage, more often than not, the pictures on said site are usually grainy and horrible..

Now, this wouldn’t normally matter on a small-screened phone – but on the N95, it is VERY noticable indeed!

Ok.. The example I’m going to use is when I was chatting away on Jaiku earlier on today and my friend Chibbigirl uploaded a link to her m.flickr account.. (i’d tell you what it was – but you’re about to see it anyway!).

So, said link appears in my (fantastic) Jaiku client, I click it to go through and see the pic..
And what do I see?

A grainy rubbishly loaded version. Grr!

However, a simple ‘reload page’ fixes this issue..
Which is fine..

Until you realise you have to double load EVERY PAGE YOU GO TO!
Aaargh!

See below for before & after shots…

Do you see what I mean?!
Shocking…

And following up on Adonis’ comment:

Dude! I’ve got auto-reload on already and I still get this problem!
Rubbish!

To My Blog Readers

Morning loyal readers,

First off – apologies for not following up with Thailand stuff…

I’m off to Glasto this weekend and I’ll be blogging as much as I feasibly can….

Cool beans – I’ll post back here again when I’ve sorted out my web arrangements…
See you soon,

(and thanks again for reading)

James. x