Ivan E. Rodriguez

Tech, Apple, iOS development and Stuff!

Google Photos

Millions of photos and videos are taken every day (specially selfies) to immortalize trips, birthdays, parties, company events, etc. and after that we just share the best ones on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and the rest just ends up in an external hard drive that we use for backups; we don’t print them anymore, which is causing photography retailers to go out of business.

Every year new cameras are released and they all come with crazy specs: gigantic resolutions for our photos, 4k video, etc., they are also getting smaller and smaller, but there is one key thing they are not getting: Storage! yes we have these amazing cameras that can take ridiculously huge photos and super hi-res videos but where do we store all this information?

I recently went to a beach in Mexico and took a scuba diving lesson which was around 45min, since it was my first time I obviously recorded the entire thing; it was a 6GB+ video! and that is just 1 of the 47 videos that I took in that trip. I love reliving my trips by watching the videos and photos I take; but I know that if I just save all of these in a hard drive I’ll never plug it into my computer just to play them, I rather have them on my phone and whenever have some time just play them. I imported the videos and photos from the trip from the GoPro to my Mac using the new Photos app but after a few of them where imported I saw the “iCloud Storage is Full” message. Apple gives you 5GB for free on iCloud, but I was importing a lot of photos and videos and quickly filled up my quota.

Google PhotosLuckily I remembered that Google released a new Google Photos service that gives you unlimited media storage for Free! yes for FREE! obviously there are T&C, if you are concerned about those you can read them here. This solved my storage problem and I’ll be able to keep taken lengthy videos and countless photos and still be able to store them in a cloud service and can access them whenever I want on my Mac, iPhone or iPad.

There you go, you can now go to the Google Photos website and sign up for free with your Gmail account. If you don’t have a Gmail account you can create one (yes it is also free).

Some of the Google Photos features:

  • Upload Hi-Res photos and Videos
  • Unlimited storage
  • Folders (they are called collections)
  • Sharing to Facebook, Twitter or get a URL link
  • You can search (i.e. “photos taken in Canada”, “photos taken in a car”)
  • Google has an amazing algorithm that will automatically create “Stories” and “Movies” using your photos and videos, even stylized photos.

You can also read this cool wired article about these features and what the T&C mean for professional photographers.

This is an example of an automatically generated stylized photo:

Styled Photo


[Could Not Sign In] iOS 9b3 and watchOS 2b2

Last Wednesday Apple released the iOS 9 beta 3 and the watchOS 2 beta 3; sadly it has an issue with iMessage and iCloud authentication. This means that if you upgrade your phone before your watch, when you try to pair them you will get stuck on this screen:

Could Not Sign In

And won’t be able to login, don’t worry is not your password nor your internet connection, it’s an issue with iCloud authentication in iOS 9 beta 3, but you can bypass this by following this steps:

  1. Open your iPhone Settings app
  2. Go To Messages
  3. Disable “iMessage”
  4. Go back to the Watch App
  5. Start the pairing process
  6. When you get to the Apple ID screen, tap “Skip This Step
  7. Follow the steps to pair your watch
  8. Install the watchOS 2b3
  9. After the last reboot of the watch
  10. Go to your iPhone and enable iMessage again

Note: The step # 9 is really important, if you enable iMessage before the last reboot, when the Watch boots again will “lose” the connection with the phone and you’ll have to start over.

I hope this helps people with the same issue that I had.

1 month with the Apple Watch

IMG_3540Yes, I was one of the crazy people that woke up at 3am (EST) to pre-order the Apple Watch; now it’s been a month since I received mine and after this time of using it daily this is my personal opinion on the Watch:

It is not an iPhone replacement, you are not going to spend hours playing/reading/chatting on it like you do on your phone. In my opinion it’s the best extension that your iPhone has yet.

This are some of the best features that I’ve been using thus far:

  • Notifications: I love checking my notifications on my wrist, I know instantly if they are important or not; meaning that I can ignore SPAM emails but I can quickly reply to my wife when she asks me something.
  • Phone calls: I don’t need to take my phone out of my pocket to see who’s calling, if it’s an important call I’ll know right away or simply reply with a “call you later” sms while I’m in a meeting.
  • Workouts: I’m one of those people that need some kind of achievement system to go to the Gym, I need to know my progress and keep track of my past workout session. I’m find that it’s really accurate even if I don’t bring my phone to the Gym. I haven’t tested it outside the Gym or my leaving room (where I use the Xbox kinect with a Nike Game for my workouts) but indoors is awesome and the heart monitor gives me an accurate reading that I use for my goal: lose weight.
  • Public Transportation Information: I have an app called Transit that gives me the times of the buses, streetcars and subway trains on the nearby stops. I find this to be really convenient since, again, I don’t need my phone for this.
  • Controlling Music App: I live really close from work, so I usually just walk to the office; it’s a 20 min. walk where I listen to music while I enjoy the trip and I find that using the watch to change to a specific song right on my wrist is just perfect.
  • Replying to SMS: I have some pre-populated messages (usually for my wife) that I can just send from the watch without even opening an app on my phone.
  • Weather: Right before going out I check my watch for the weather to see if I need a jacket or an umbrella.

I’d say that in the end is an extension of the iPhone that gives us the opportunity to make quick actions without having to change context too much.

A lot of people are saying that we don’t need them -smartwatches- and that right now they are just toys; I completely disagree, a lot of people said the same thing when the laptop computers came out, same with the MP3 players, same with the smartphones and now with the smartwatches. Technology walks at a really fast pace and sometimes is hard to keep up but we’ll see what happens in the new era of the wearables!

P.S. Rumour has it that we’ll be able to buy the Apple Watch in stores by end of the month (Not all styles though).