iPhoneography Social Media

Vine vs. Takes vs. Qwiki

When Vine came out, I read reviews and watched a musical rant by the talented Toby Turner and decided I was too long-winded to use it effectively. Takes came out in March and I fell in love! Qwiki jumped in and I’m s-o-o-o happy!

I just downloaded Vine so I could try it out for this story. It’s quite limiting and I haven’t been pleased with my efforts. There are about a dozen song clips already loaded, plus you can use the original audio or music from your library. Some of the Vines are nice, like when @erskin and his daughter, Emma, Buy a Rainbow. I’m a sucker for cute kids and puppy dogs. One Vine, Nordstrom’s tie tying, is so abrupt that after a few loops, it gave me motion sickness. Too, I was warned that Vine allows offensive and possibly inappropriate postings. Takes and Qwiki, so far, have been wonderful family friendly experiences with no unpleasant surprises.

Takes is a string of 3 second clips that you can link (up to 15) into a video. After picking clips to use, you can easily change the order by dragging and dropping them in the bottom sequence strip. It starts taking video before you even take the shot. You can get about 3 seconds of action before pressing the shutter for the still shot. The still shot is automatically saved to your camera roll. Those photos are usually snapped at the end of a movement and are often not as clear as a true still shot. When possible, I’ve quickly switched to the regular camera to take a still shot. There are 18 different song snippets already loaded, in addition to using original audio or music from your library. It uses facebook and I don’t, but my private Takes can be tweeted or emailed. The Takes below is from my YouTube channel, SooSooSees.

Qwiki pulls photos and videos from your phone’s camera roll to create a fun collage with lots of personality! It can create a random collage or you can take over creative control. It will only pull a snippet from videos longer than a few seconds, but you can actually edit it down to the part you want to show! It has 9 free music choices, plus library options. Click the little timer icon on the right of the video and you can set it to play in one of three speeds – slow, normal or fast. Another cool feature: six different exposures you can play your Qwiki in, such as Sepia and X-Process! It’s not as easy (as Takes) to move photos and videos around. I found that loading each photo/video in its own slot and loading from the last to first shot you want to see, makes it easier to move things around. I can combine some to create group collages within the Qwiki and add titles to different sections of footage. It allows a nice amount of photos and videos to construct a wider, fuller view of the event.

What I LOVE about Qwiki is the option of pulling photos and video from my camera roll. I shot lots of Takes of a colorful Asian celebration and didn’t immediately create videos to save to my camera roll. BIG mistake! Takes caught a bug and locked me out. I contacted them and got a quick reply. They sent out an update with a bug fix the next day, but I had to uninstall, then reinstall. Everything was GONE, save for the photos that are auto-saved in the camera roll. That’s when Qwiki came to the rescue! I was able to create a nice collage. If not for that, I would have been really sad. The only negative is that I can’t get original audio.  Come on, Qwiki, you can do it!

Below, I shot the same scene with Vine, Takes and Qwiki. It gives you an idea of which works best for you in any given situation:

Vine of Fish Gotta Swim

Takes of  Swimming by a Sea of Titles

Qwiki of  Swimming by The Little Mermaid

So, it doesn’t hurt to have several photo apps that offer different options. Do you have an app you LOVE that others should have too???


Security Social Media

Kids and iPad Security

I have known Charles Swihart for many years. He owns Sugar Land PC, an onsite computer repair service. The company also removes viruses and spyware! Charles was nice enough to agree to let me re-post the article below from his column, The Computer Corner :

I see lots of parents handing off their iPads to the kids to play on, but if they are connected to a Wi-Fi connection, they have just as much access to inappropriate material from the iPad as they do on the home computer.

Here is a built-in method to lock down their iPad activities. Go to Settings, then General, then Restrictions. Tap “Enable Restrictions” and set a 4 digit Passcode. Within the Restrictions, you can disable the ability to install or delete apps. You can set the age rating for apps so that your 9 year old cannot run apps rated for an adult and disable in-app purchases and iTunes so a child cannot make purchases.

You can also set rating restrictions for music, movies and TV shows. You can turn off the camera, face time, safari, Facebook and multiplayer games.

There are also many other things you can restrict. Look it over. Be careful with the app ratings. When you disable an app, it disappears from the screen. When you bring it back, it will no longer be in its group. So if you disable and enable a lot of apps based on rating, you may find yourself reorganizing icons.

iPads are all standard. This means that they all have this Restrictions feature. iPhones and other iOS devices also have the Restrictions feature. Android devices are each customized by their manufacturer so some may come with parental controls and others without, but you can search the Google Play Store for “Parental Controls” to find several different apps for restricting access on an Android device.

For the home computer, Windows 7 has a built-in Parental Controls feature. Just click on the start button and type “Parental Controls” to set it up. On a Mac you can enable Parental Controls under System Preferences and Accounts.

It is very easy for a child to stumble upon things online that they should not be exposed to so take the time to protect them on the devices they use. If you have questions about parental controls or tracking online history, give us a call. Feel free to pass this along to your friends.

Charles Swihart, Sugar Land PC;