A few question and a thought

Written on 10 December 2014, 10:50pm

Tagged with: , ,

iPhone sensors

1. proximity sensor (to turn off the screen when you talk)
2. ambient light sensor(to dim the screen on low light)
3. barometer (to determine pressure/altitude; starting iPhone 6)
4. accelerometer (measures acceleration; analyze the direction in which the device is moving)
5. gyroscope (measure rotation/orientation)
6. magnetometer (measure the strength or direction of magnetic fields)
In addition to that there is the GPS signal receiver. Read more about
the differences between accelero/gyro/magneto sensors.

That being said, I would like to know:
1. Which sensors are turned off in airplane mode (accelero/gyro/magneto/GPS)
Apparently only the GPS. Even though even that is not really necessary, since it only receives signal. In fact, some Android-powered phones do not turn off GPS in airplane mode.
Note: Apple says that airplane mode disables cellular, wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS and location services. Saying that airplane mode disables location services is a bit redundant since the location services uses a combination of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS to determine your location.

2. which sensors are used by the compass app (app partially works in airplane mode)
According to my tests (so based on empirical data 🙂 ) – the compass app works with a combination of 3 (accelero/gyro/magneto) sensors available in airplane mode. If GPS is also available, then the latitude/longitude are also displayed.

3. which sensors are used by Room Scan app (app works fine in airplane mode)
Again, based on empirical data – a combination of accelero/gyro/magneto. No GPS use.

I did not find the answer yet. Keep digging.

Can machines determine what’s beautiful?

Services like Foap or EyeEm try to sell your casual smartphone pictures. Not a bad idea, considering the huge number of ‘mobile’ photos and the success of instagram.
But what I find a bit over the line is this:

Now that the company has the layer of machine learning up and running (and learning new concepts every day), EyeEm is “training” its algorithms to identify which photos actually look good. By looking at things like which objects are in focus and blurred, what’s located at each third of a photo, and other identifiers of “beauty,” the ranking algorithms determine an EyeRank of aesthetic quality for each photo and applies an aggregated score to each photographer.

Because sure, let’s leave the machines tell us what’s beautiful. Humans are not good at it anymore. Makes sense.
On a completely unrelated news, some smart people see the threat in the Artificial Intelligence and forecast that the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.

moon steps

I am not buying the new iPhone 6

Written on 18 September 2014, 09:41pm

Tagged with: ,

For some reason I will have to get another smartphone pretty soon. Since switching the platform is not an option, I was expecting that the new iPhone 6 would be just the right thing.
Turns out, it isn’t.

Here’s why:

1. The battery: On iPhone 6 it’s more or less the same as on the 5s (on 6 Plus is marginally better, but 5.5′ size does not appeal to me at all). We are in 2014, we get excited about the new shiny iPhones, but at the end of the day their battery is dead. Can we please put less effort into drawing hearts and emoji on a watch and more into a technology to replace the decades-old Li-Ion one? Pretty pretty please?


2. The pill-shaped design with protruding camera: I love the iPhone 4/5 flat-sided form. I got used to it, it’s much more useful when taking pictures and it just feels right. The pill-shaped form reminding of the original iPhones and the current iPads seems less appealing to me. And the protruding camera… it’s simply not understandable from a design-centric company like Apple. I personally would have preferred the extra millimeter and a few more grams to have the camera inside the phone plus a bigger battery. Apple does its best to make it less visible in their presentation photos:

With clever lighting and placement Apple hides that bump in profile view where it clearly would ruin the clean line and sleek looks. That doesn’t make the iPhone 6 bad, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If you are embarassed about the bump then don’t have it, but if you have a bump I think you need to own the bump.
Ben Brooks via cultofmac.com

iphone 6

3. The price: Until now I was pretty comfortable with the 16GB version. However, sometimes I feel the need of extra storage, but 64Gb would be too much. 32Gb would have been just right. But wait, there is no iPhone 6 with 32Gb…
I feel the same as John Gruber:

I don’t understand why the entry level storage tier remained at a meager 16 GB. That seems downright punitive given how big panoramic photos and slo-mo HD videos are, and it sticks out like a sore thumb when you look at the three storage tiers together: 32/64/128 looks natural; 16/64/128 looks like a mistake. The original iPhone, seven years and eight product generations ago, had an 8 GB storage tier. The entry-level iPhones 6 are 85 times faster than that original iPhone, but have only twice the storage capacity. That’s just wrong. This is the single-most disappointing aspect of the new phones.
One more thing

Adding up to the list above:
– for the moment I don’t feel the need for a bigger screen
– the Apple Pay would have been a selling point for me, but it will take another year or so until it will land to Belgium.

So iPhone 5 it’ll be. 32Gb gold if possible 🙂

PS – here is how Steve would have introduced the iPhones 6 and the Apple watches: http://jiggity.com/steve.html