Triple Click iPhone Home Button Trick

Trying to get back into the blogging habit after a long hiatus.  Too many distractions with the amazing summer weather we’ve been having this year!  I’m working on a recap of what we’ve been up to & should have it up here in a week or so.

BUT, for now I’ll publish a draft I had sitting in the queue and hopefully it’ll come in handy for some of you.

I don’t know about you but in my world manufacturers and restaurants have this silly habit of using smaller and smaller fonts everywhere.  Case in point, try looking at the IMEI number on the back of your iPhone.  It’s TINY!

BUT, I have a solution to share with you that I’ve used for a while now.  It’s call the Triple-Click-Magnifyer and it’s amazing!

1. Touch the “Settings” icon on your iPhone’s home screen.

2. Touch the “General” button followed by the “Accessibility” button.

3. Touch “Triple-click Home” (or “Accessibility Shortcut”) located at the very bottom of the Accessibility screen.

4. Tap any of the accessibility options to assign that option to the Triple-click Home function. A check appears next to the option to indicate you selected it. If you select more than one option, the iPhone will ask you which one you want to activate when you use the Triple-click Home feature.

I only use the Magnifier option at this time and it works amazingly well.  It’s not the same as firing up the camera and zooming in.  It allows for much closer focus and an almost unbelievable amount of zoom.

Now all you need to do is unlock your phone and quickly press the home button 3-times.  That’s it!

If you found this tip helpful let me know in the comments section.

Apple AirPods – One Month Later

It’s been a little over month since the AirPod First Impressions post (and a month since I’ve updated the Blog, wow!) and the AirPods have earned a place in my Every Day Carry kit.

I was a little concerned about the battery life at first but it’s turned out to be a non-issue.  I’m only charging the case about once a week and rarely have the actual AirPods in my ears for more than an hour at any one time.

For some reason the AirPods seem to feel ever so lightly larger in my ears than the wired EarBuds but without ay kind of precision measuring tools I can’t confirm that’s the case.  Once thing I did start to notice is the seams where the halves come together had an ever so small sharp edge to them that I could start to feel after about 30-minutes of use.  I was able to smooth the ridge out with a very fine sponge backed emery board and now it’s not an issue at all.

As far as sound goes they sound better than the EarPods with just a little more bass that’s noticeable with most types of music.  Microphone pickup is very sensitive and I was told during one of my tests the other party could hear me breathing.  Sound quality on both ends is more than acceptable and is similar to what you would find when using the phone.

I have an iPhone 7 Plus and occasionally find it hard to line the phone up with my ear to get good sound.  That’s where the AirPods become my favorite method for making and receiving calls.

Evidently the AirPods are sill in short supply and as of this writing Apple is still showing a 6-week lead time on shipping.  I have yet to see another person wearing a pair of AirPods which I find surprising.

If you want to spend the $150 on a set of truly wireless headphones and you’re willing to wait a few weeks I still think these are a good purchase.

First Impressions – Apple AirPods

After purchasing Christmas presents for everyone on my list this year I decided to get myself a gift.  After 3-weeks of waiting the package finally arrived…  Apple AirPods!

I love listening to music (mostly Spotify) whenever I can and after seeing the AirPods announcement last fall I was curious about how they performed.  Thanks to a lot of media outlets getting advanced units the reviews were out there before the AirPods were even available for order. For the most part they were very positive.

I’ve tried the inexpensive Bluetooth earbuds connected with a cord that is supposed to go behind your head and I’m not a fan.  The cord gets caught up in your clothing and makes the entire process rather uncomfortable and annoying.  Now, with the AirPods, you can actually go completely wireless and it addresses all the issues I was frustrated with.

The AirPods sound better than the EarPods that come with the iPhones.  They are just slightly larger and, in my case, fit very comfortably in my ears.  The bass is noticeably improved and the overall sound is very nice.  Battery life and bluetooth range is very impressive too.

These are not going to replace my Bose noise canceling over-the-ear headphones that I use when I want to tune the world out but they will be part of my daily carry for those times where I need a little music to make the day go a little better.

It’s to early to say if they were worth the $159 asking price but so far I haven’t regretted the purchase!

Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Bluetooth Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2

Wow, that title is long!  I’ve used the Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Bluetooth Keyboard Case (Qode for short) since last December and it’s been put into service on a daily basis.

I get pulled into a lot of meetings at work and client sites and I always grab my iPad to take notes in Evernote.  Having a fully functional keyboard makes that task so much easier.  I can type pretty well with the on-screen iPad keyboard but the physical alternative is so much better.

The Qode offers good protection of the iPad, front and back.  One of the things I really like about the keyboard is it’s a separate piece so you can easily detach it and use the iPad on its own.  You can also attach the Apple Smart Cover as an alternative while leaving the back of the iPad covered and protected.

As with any portable device there are usually some compromises.  The only one I can think of with the Qode is the keys are a little on the small side, but nothing drastic.  Switching back and forth between the MacBook Pro and the Qode is pretty effortless.

The Qode offers multiple backlight levels as well as two angles of viewing for the iPad screen.  Battery life is rated at 1-year with normal use and I can honestly say that claim is conservative.  9-months of regular use and I’m sitting at around 50% battery capacity.

When activated (by propping the iPad into one of two magnetic slots) the Qode instantly connects to the iPad.  It has a lot of shortcut keys you can program as well as dedicated keys for cut/copy/paste/volume etc.  You can even pair it up with a second device (phone?) and toggle back and fourth with dedicated buttons.

All in the Qode ads about 1-pound of additional weight to the iPad.  not bad when you consider you are getting a nicely padded rear shell and a fully functional backlit and aluminum clad keyboard on the front.

This has been an awesome addition to my daily carry and you can pick one up yourself for around $100 on Amazon.

4-Months of Dead Air?

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 4-months since I last published a post on IndyScan.com.  A lot’s been happening and I’ve obviously not been documenting it here!

My activity on Facebook has increased and I’m giving Instagram another try so the details are out there for those of you who know where to look!  I’m currently testing a plugin that will increase the activity on the blog by posting my favorite Instagram pictures here (just tested it right before this post!).  One of these days I’ll have things streamlined where I can share things with everyone everywhere with a single submission (getting really close to that now).

One of the new activities I’m taking part of this year is kayaking.  I grew up canoeing and have always loved the water.  This year was the year to get back out there.  In May I took advantage of the Rusted Moon Outfitters annual sale (20% off!) and picked up a new Dagger Axis 12-foot kayak.  I used the savings to offset the cost of a really nice carbon/fiberglass paddle and kayak specific life vest.

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Dagger-Axis-120-Molten-Side

Having gone on several lake and river paddles I can honestly say this is one hell of a boat.  Very comfortable positioning and ride as well as highly maneuverable.  The retractable Skeg (basically a fixed rudder) makes tracking on open water dead straight and when retracted the boat turns on a dime.

I went on a 2-day overnight (camping) trip with some of the guys from work and I had plenty of room for all my equipment, even though I totally over packed!

Since kayaking has become my preferred form of exercise I decided to add one more piece of gear to the mix.  The Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS/Smartwatch.  Previously I tried out an Apple Watch and was less than impressed.  After reading the reviews I really wanted to give the Garmin a try.

Garmin-Fenix-F3-HRWell this thing is a completely different animal.  It’s rugged as all get out and does many things very well.  You get all the notifications of a Smartwatch but you also get a ton of tracking info for outdoor activities and it’s completely configurable to match your needs.  From running to hiking to water sports and cycling.  This watch does it all and I could not be happier with the purchase.  It’s great to have an electronic dashboard on your wrist with all of your exercise stats as well as full navigation of where you’ve been and how to get back.  It even has weather alerts (web and barometer based) so you don’t get caught off guard when mother nature decides to storm on your outing.

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The image above shows a solo kayak run from Lafayette Trace (near Bongies in Perkinsville) to White River Canoe Company just south of Noblesville.  15+ miles in just under 5 hours.  It was the first time I got to put the Garmin to use and it performed flawlessly.  All of my distance, speed, and heart rate stats were compiled throughout the trip.  I can use the info to gauge my fitness level as well as track improvements or areas that need worked on.

So it’s obvious my new extra curricular activities have shifted focus away from blogging but at least I’m getting exercise!  Look for more posts in the future along with a few trip reports from upcoming kayaking adventures I plan to have before the snow starts flying.

Until next time…

My Week With The Apple Watch

Thought it might be a good idea to take some time out on this Friday night*** and post a much-needed update to the Blog.  Amazing how life gets in the way and posts end up being weeks apart…  You should see the number of drafts I have queued up so it’s not like I’m not thinking about blogging!

I stopped in the Apple store a few weeks ago just to look around and all the new toys and get a hands on demo of the Apple Watch.  The employee assisting us was very helpful and he did such a good job I ended up making an impulse buy of an Apple Watch Sport (and a night stand dock).

I’ll admit it, I fell for the hype and it was totally an impulse buy (happens more than I like to admit).  I justified the purchase to myself as an updated FitBit that did a lot more than just track my steps.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!

If youu_10138874 haven’t checked out the Apple Watch it’s worth it just to see the design, fit, finish, and how it looks on your wrist.  It’s a beautifully designed piece of electronics (as most Apple products are).  The watch/band combinations are numerous and I’m a little surprised they didn’t package the watch by itself with the bands being an add-on accessory.
There are 3 watch models (in several colors) and 2 watch sizes all with the SAME internal components.  The prices are all over the map when you pair the watch with the various bands.  I opted for the $399 “Sport” model in brushed gold with a dark blue band (my shopping companion quickly identified it as the Notre Dame model).

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After arriving home I had to charge the watch for about an hour before I could fire it up.  Initial setup takes about 20 minutes while the companion apps are loaded from your phone.  It took another 24-36 hours before things are totally synced and you are able to get all the alerts you would normally get on your phone (way longer than I expected).

The idea of having a mini phone display on your wrist, instantly accessible, is a good one in theory.  My biggest problem was holding my arm at the viewing angle for an extended period along with the issue of being able to focus on the small screen.

I’ll admit I’m getting older and my arms are sometimes not long enough to properly focus on things like books and menus without a little help from Foster Grant.

Tl_10138874_002his was an immediate problem that I didn’t really notice during the in-store demo.  I’m not going to whip out my reading glasses every time I want to look at my wrist candy (Strike 1).

Another issue I ran into is the information actually presented on the watch screen.  I get hundreds of emails a day and more times than not the message was unable able to be displayed on the screen because of the format.  Not to mention viewing attachments is out of the question (Strike 2).

Battery life during the first day, like with any new toy, was not impressive because I was fidgeting with my new toy all day long.  It improved in the days following as I used the watch less and less.  Apple advertises a full day of usage between charges and I was getting that (Ball 1).

The final issue was the fact you have to make a specific flip of your wrist to get the display to wake up.  Raising your arm works 50% of the time.  Other times you have to rotate your wrist in a weird way to get the watch to activate.  Hard to describe but anyone who has one of these devices knows exactly what I’m talking about (Strike 3).

seiko-divers-pepsi-bezel-blue-dial-automatic-stainless-steel-men_s-watch-skx009Apple offers a 10-day return policy on the watch and I ended up taking advantage of it 7 days into the experiment.  Returning it was totally painless and when I mentioned the viewing issues to the employee processing the return she indicated it’s not an uncommon complaint (and reason for return).

So my Apple Watch experiment is over (for now) and I can honestly say I don’t miss it.  I continue to enjoy my Seiko Automatic Dive Watch for its simplicity (no batteries) and I look forward to the next version of the Apple Watch that’s rumored to be announced sometime this year.

Do you have an Apple Watch?  What’s your experience been like?  Hit me up in the comment section below.

***While listening to The Very Best Of The Violent Femmes on Spotify

GoPro Amazement – Part 1

Decided to bite the bullet and purchase a GoPro this past weekend. I keep seeing all of these cool videos with interesting angles and pumping soundtracks. I’m no extreme athlete but I think I can put together some quality material of things I’m involved in and activities around the city.  Hell, driving to work some days is like a scene from an action movie.  Why not put that action to music!

gopro-hero4-lrgAlways a lover of photography I’ve never really done any videography (except for that one time I had a camcorder and my kids were babies). One of the biggest problems I remember about  the camcorder era was all the tapes you had to purchase and keep track of. With everything now being digital it’s not as much of physical space you’re worried about it’s virtual (hard drive) space. Same problem, different decade I guess.

The GoPro series of cameras have evolved pretty steadily since 2005 with the introduction of the “GoPro HERO 35mm, All-Season Sports Camera”. An update was introduced just about every year with the release of the latest “Session” model in 2015.

I picked up the late 2014 model called the Hero4 Silver. It’s not bleeding edge but it’s got some pretty good specs when it comes to shooting video and taking stills. Some features to note are:

  • 2704×1520 at 30 frames a second (2.7k) video*
  • 1920×1080 at 60 frames a second (1080p) video
  • 1280×720 at 120 frames a second (720p) video**
  • 4000 x 3000 12MP photo with a 30/sec frame burst mode***
  • Time Lapse (0.5-60 second intervals)
  • Night Lapse (low light capability)

*The Hero 4 will do 4k video but only 15 frames a second so I don’t see it being that useful.
**This is what I’ll be shooting at while I learn. Gives a decent picture, smaller file size and Slow-Mo capabilities.
***Could be useful for close up fast action sports but there is a noticeable shutter lag

gopro-hero4-lrg backSo after charging the Hero4 and inserting the MicroSD card I took off to shoot some random videos. Filling about half of the memory card with a lot of miscellaneous shots I headed back to the IndyScan HQ to see what I had and what I could do with it.

Then it (finally) hit me. This is nothing like photography where you’re dealing with a single image capturing a fraction of a second of time. This is a living picture (for lack of a better term) that not only has (many) images but audio!

Time to use technology to solve a technological problem (I bet our parents never said that). I hit up the Google Machine and within a few seconds I had all the tutorials I could ask for. One in particular I want to give props too is Village Park Source who has a great 42-part series that walks you through Go Pro Studio. The videos are short and to the point. Easy to follow along and test yourself on what you learned afterwards too.

So what I thought was going to be something I could just pickup and run with turned out to be anything but that. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new and interesting. It’ll be a while before I get up to a jog from this walk.

Time to get back to the tutorials and see what I can learn over the next few nights. I have some activities this weekend I want to shoot both photos and videos of. Look for Part 2 in a few days.  Videos coming soon too I hope!

P.S. I’m trying the “new” (to me) writing style where you don’t put 2 spaces between your sentences. Anyone older than 35 probably does this instinctively but evidently it’s frowned upon in the professional writing community. Thoughts?  Post them in the comments section below.