Sunday, October 23, 2011
Over the past six weeks or so I have totally converted to Steve Job's innovative computer technology. It began over Labor Day weekend when my son and I went to the Apple store. The purpose of that trip was to help me discern which product I might choose for my Christmas wish list. Needless to say, two hours later I left the store with a new MacBook Pro. Brian's rationale was that I wanted a new computer that could handle PhotoShop editing, and I should seize that opportunity now while my interest in working on the Paris pictures was still high. In addition, the educator special which provided a $100 credit to the Apple Apps store would terminate at the end of the month. So.... I took his advice and used the store credit to download PhotoShop Elements 9.
I was afraid that the learning curve would be frustrating and time consuming, since I have been a PC girl for decades - but in reality, I have found the MacBook Pro to be quite intuitive. In fact when I now use a PC I become frustrated that I can't just swipe the mouse to move the page up and down.
While I haven't done much with PhotoShop, I have enjoyed using the iPhoto software that was preloaded on the machine. Again, it is quite intuitive and will allow me to quickly upload any edited picture into my Flickr account (my user name is Mstermind1 if you'd like to connect). So far I have whittled down my original 3,500 Paris pictures to about 900 and those have all been sorted and categorized in iPhoto. I have only edited a few, but hope to work on more in the upcoming weeks.
iPhone 4S. I must confess that my attraction to this phone was mainly due to its powerful 8 megapixel built-in camera rather than its communication abilities. Once again I gave in and rather than wait for a Christmas gift - I purchased the phone. I ordered it on Friday night and was told that I should have it within 3-8 business days. It was sitting on my pouch Monday afternoon when I returned home from school. And that was the start of what has quickly become my iPhone obsession.
Fortunately I did not have a rigorous work week, because I have spent nearly every free moment on the phone - researching apps to download or features to try. While I did not think that I would use the Siri function at all - I must say that I am duly impressed with her assistance. She can type a text message faster than anyone - and her accuracy is about 90% (she did confuse iPhone 4S with iPhone 4 ass - but fortunately I caught the error before I sent it). And I love the fact that I can talk or text someone while driving without taking my hands off the steering wheel.
I have absolutely LOVED reviewing all the different apps available - especially the photography apps, but have only allowed myself to download those that are free or cost $.99 (although I have quite a wish list developed for more expensive ones). My favorite app so far is King Camera. It is amazingly simple to use and yet allows me to edit the picture in so many different ways. Of course, I have downloaded other apps as well, including a scanner which will allow me to scan a barcode and check the price at other locations online - the kindle app (still boggles my mind that I can read a novel on my phone) - and of course the ever popular game, Angry Birds (although I much prefer a word game or sudoku).
Scrivener writing software - which I was able to purchase at a 50% discount because I successfully completed NaNoWriMo 2010 - can actually be synced with a free word text app called SimpleNote. While it took me about an hour to navigate the intricacies of this partnership, the end result is fantastic. I can upload sections of the book that I might like to work on while away from my computer - actually use my iPhone to write a chapter - and then upload those revisions to Scrivener again. In essence, my iPhone can be a netbook computer. I'm not sure how I will enjoy using the touch pad keyboard for an extensive period of time, but perhaps I will figure out a way to have Siri be my scribe (while I am writing this "tongue in cheek" somehow I have a feeling that there is more truth to this statement than I realize).
While I am sure I have only scratched the surface of the wonderful world of Apple products, I want to close by saying the iCloud function is beyond comprehension. I can take a picture with my iPhone and it will automatically sync with my iPhoto folder on my mac. So not only will I now have a camera with me at all times, but I will be confident that those pictures can be easily found at the location that is most convenient for me.
So I am curious about those of you have been Apple fanatics for a while, what tips do you have to share or favorite apps that you would recommend? I am anticipating that my productivity will be once again curtailed this week as I learn more about my new toys.