My New Phone Is Not Magical

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous phone. I had to replace my much-loved Galaxy Note 4 because it was shutting off unexpectedly, even when the battery still had a charge, even when it was plugged in overnight. A factory reset was no help.

So for reasons, I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. And it’s bigger yet slimmer, faster, and much more expensive.

My wife inconceivably actually wanted me to get a new phone .

The camera is great, though not a DSLR. It has a stylus which I’ve gotten accustomed to in my last few phones, for those times when you just want to be able to write a note, or draw, or tap on the screen with more precision. There are some cool tricks, but for me, it lets the phone input be more organic. I love it.*

And there are features missing. To make it waterproof it’s now sealed, so I can’t replace the battery when it goes bad. My last phone had infrared in a way I could use as a remote control. I didn’t use it but it was there.

This phone has infrared on the front facing camera so I can use dumb live stickers. Well, the face recognition and iris scanning is cool….

And the camera is fine improvement with two rear lenses and image stabilization, even a 2X optical zoom. But features I like were easier to get to on the old phone, as they were less buried.

So I have mixed feelings. And I plan to have this phone for a long time and I will love it to death, but like always when I replace it: I miss my old phone.

Animated messages are neat but you have to limit how many lines you draw.

But it’s not magical. It’s a great tool, but that’s what I expected. And my potential disappointment in “dazzle points” is well-tempered by the fact that instead I can focus and use the features that help me communicate and schedule and live better, without being a gushing fanboy who needs to play with all of the shiny new toy apps instead of using the phone for what I bought it for.


P.S. And I know that the Note 9 is weeks away from being released, but I don’t know that it is going to be a magical improvement, and it will certainly cost more than what I paid to upgrade now on a discount, and saving money is a feature I will always appreciate.

* My favorite thing about the stylus is that you can pull it out of the phone and just write immediately on the screen even with the phone locked (screen off memo), which is amazing in the middle of the night when you have a song idea or annoying thought in your head that you want to leave for a reminder in the morning, because you can make a note just like you have done for years without even turning on a light.

Okay, that’s a little magical, even though my last phone did it.

My New Phone Is Not Magical was originally published on Creative Uploads

Filtered Through A Prisma

I have a love-hate relationship with my Android phone camera as you may know. Well, love-irritated relationship. I like my iPad Air camera even less since they didn’t bother putting a better camera in the iPad for far too long. It’s always lagged behind the iPhone in specs.

But I have been enjoying it today because of the Prisma app, only on iOS at the moment, from Using neural net and artificial intelligence, according to the developers, it repaints your photo in your choice of numerous artistic Styles in seconds, which you can save, post easily Instagram or Facebook, or forward to another app or site connected to your device. 

It’s not exactly a filter, but you can blend the Style result with your original by swiping, and when going into Instagram you can apply their filters as well. It saves your original if you take photos in the app, or you can open something from your camera roll. It works in square format only, so there’s a crop tool, which you can size with and rotate by 90° at a time. I urge you to consider the styles you might apply while you were planning and shooting the pictures because this can lead to some very excellent results.

It’s an iPhone app so it’s not sized to take advantage of the real estate on the iPad and I haven’t checked on the output resolution yet, but I won’t expect to print giant posters. Still it’s fun and inspires you to take different kinds of photos and edit and share. And that’s the kind of thing that inspired this blog.

So check it out.

I’ll probably talk more about it later, the Android version is planned for the end of July. Price: Free. Probably will have in-app purchases for more features — they have to pay for this stuff somehow — but very little info on the website at the moment. There seems to be a sponsored filter/feature from Palmolive right now.


P.S. Here’s a gushy review with some cool info that I found while looking for the main website (which is not, a strange little site has other gushy stuff about them….)

P.P.S. They make no ownership claims  on your work and I don’t see a line about not using the results commercially yourself though I may have missed it. They do get a license to use your creations royalty free without paying you, in pretty much any way they like, and forbid you from using otherwise copyrighted materials to start your creation, so no Mickey Mouse or Obama Hope photos, right? Just so you know going in. But that boilerplate is usually in place so they can promote their app and publish your material online in the first place. The Devil’s bargain we make to play on the Internet. 

Filtered Through A Prisma was originally published on Creative Uploads