Has iCloud Photo Library’s “Optimize Storage” Option Gotten Better?

 

iCloud photo library_optimize storage_4

While testing Lightroom, I’ve decided to set my iCloud Photo Library to Optimize Storage. That way, it won’t take up very much space on my devices because it will dynamically decide which photos to keep at full resolution, while still retaining the benefits of automatically syncing photos between my iPhone and iPad in the background.

Optimize Storage, if done right, is actually what I’d like most from a cloud photo service. I want the benefit of having my pictures within easy reach, but I don’t want to necessarily store everything at full resolution locally. What would make the most sense to me would be to have thumbnails of my images that are sized exactly to the device screen, which means 2732×2048 for the 12.9” iPad Pro and 1920×1080 for my iPhone 6S Plus.

This is the way I understand Photos on OS X and Lightroom to work. They don’t just display a small thumbnail and a medium thumbnail, they generate these extra files in advance to speed up the experience of browsing through a large library of photos. I know that iOS generates the tiny thumbnails that are seen in the Years, Collections, and Moments views, but I’d love to see Optimize Storage also generate fullscreen previews for every single photo in my library. This would let me view any photo in my library regardless of online status, but it wouldn’t take nearly the same amount of space as an actual 6000×4000 (24 Megapixel) shot.

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Deals: iKlips DUO iOS Flash Storage Solution at 20% off

iKlips DUO iOS Flash StorageToday’s featured deal is especially useful for those who love to take as much of their data with them as possible, without having to worry about how much space they have available on their iPad or iPhone.  The iKlips DUO iOS Flash drive is an excellent tool that will allow you to transfer and store data between all of your compatible devices.  With access to the universal iOS app, you can easily mange and store up to 256 GB’s of data.  Now, for a limited time you can purchase an iKlips Flash drive at 20% off!  It’s a great deal that will run you only $71 – instead of its standard price of $89.  Here’s some info about the iKlips and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Speedy and compact, the iKlips is the easiest data storage and transfer solution for iOS devices. This flash drive will securely store your files and travels easily wherever you go, allowing you to access your music, photos, documents, and more at a moment’s notice. Plus its packed with new features: a newly designed Lightning connector body that fits even more iPhone and iPad cases, a silicone body sleeve for total protection, a handy key ring, and more.

  • Efficiently & quickly transmit data between iOS & other devices
  • Access media files: photos, documents, music, TV shows, etc.
  • Stream movies & music without using the internal storage of your iOS device
  • Transfer single files larger than 4GB w/ support for ex-FAT format
  • Use w/ the free universal iOS app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
  • Easily store w/ new key ring protector
  • Enjoy the ultra-slim aluminum construction
  • Expand storage capacity up to 256GB

This is for the 32GB iKlips Flash Duo in Gray. For more options, view drop-down menu.

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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How to Reduce your iPad screen brightness beyond standard control limits

brightness-up

This is one of those how-to tips that, while very useful to some, will not be for everyone .  For the most part, the ability to dim your iPad or iPhone screen beyond standard control limitations can be a helpful tool.  However, if you are looking to keep your whole room from lighting up in the first place, you might want to reexamine your need to use your device in the dark in the first place.

Having said that, there’s no harm in the quick glance at your device from time to time.  Perhaps you are waiting to get some important information, or you forgot to check an appointment time for early the next day that you wanted to verify.  For me, at night I use my iPad on my bedside table to display a digital clock.  The numbers are big and easy to read, even for my wife from the other side of the bed.  In addition, it keeps me from picking up my iPhone, where I would most certainly would get caught up in notifications and sports scores, and anything else that might distract me form getting back to sleep.

Even with the ability to dim the clock through a third party clock app in addition to using the controls on the iPad, I would still prefer to have the display brightness cranked down a level or two.  Our room is pretty much pitch dark, and the glow from the iPad can be a little unsettling when you first wake up.  Luckily there’s an easy process to tweak the brightness of your iOS device a little father than the default control settings available through your device–and here’s how.

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Quick Look: Adobe Photoshop Fix

Adobe’s Photoshop Fix is a great, specialized app for quick touch-ups and spot healing. These tools are built right into Lightroom on the desktop, but they’re absent from Lightroom Mobile, so for now we require separate apps like Photoshop Fix and Photoshop Mix to achieve what would normally be possible in one app on the desktop. However, thanks to the sharing capabilities of apps in iOS 9, it’s pretty easy to send a picture from Lightroom into Photoshop Fix for touch-ups, and then send it right back.

The problem, until very recently, was that Photoshop Fix (and Mix) had some major issues with resolution. The app could import files at full resolution, but it would only save them at a maximum of 2000×2000 pixels. That’s far less than the 6000×4000 resolution that I was importing that. However, as of version 1.3, Photoshop Fix and Mix are able to export in full resolution. I took a little time earlier today to test this new functionality out.

While you can import files from Lightroom or the Camera Roll right into Photoshop Fix, the best workflow I’ve found so far is to start in Lightroom Mobile. I like to go through pictures in my catalog there and then use the Share Menu -> Edit In -> Healing in Photoshop Fix. I don’t do that much selective brightening (I usually use a tone curve for that), but I do like the Healing Tool in Photoshop Fix. This workflow works out especially nicely if I have Split View open. With Lightroom open on the left side of the screen, I can start to make selective edits to my shots in Photoshop Fix.

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Deals: AluPen Digital Fine-Point Stylus at 30% off

AluPen Digital Fine-Point Stylus

Today’s featured deal is especially useful for those who love to use their iPad, but still desire the control and precision of a stylus.  The AluPen Digital Fine-Point Stylus is the smooth digital equivalent to drawing with a pen on paper or notepad.  With the AluPen, there is no need to pair with a Bluetooth connection, so you can start sketching or taking notes on the fly.  Now, for a limited time you can purchase an AluPen at 30% off!  It’s a great deal that will run you only $34.95 – instead of its standard price of $50.  Here’s some info about the AluPen and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Use the AluPen Digital Stylus to write and sketch on any touchscreen with unparalleled precision. The stylus requires no setup, so you won’t have to connect it via Bluetooth or download a proprietary app before getting to work. Just twist the stylus to reveal the nib and use it with painting, note-taking, and other apps. You’ll find yourself knee deep in creativity and productivity like never before.

iLounge ‘The Best iPad Stylus Award’ 2014

  • Write & sketch on your screen w/ ease & precision
  • Write on your device screen as naturally as you would w/ pen & paper
  • Protect the tip w/ a retractable head
  • Twist the body to reveal the nib
  • Use immediately: no Bluetooth pairing or use of proprietary apps required
  • Save battery w/ auto-sleep feature: turns off after 3 minutes on idle

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Quick Look: Apple Pencil Pocket from GearCase

GearCase Pencil Pocket review_1

GearCase reached out after my previous post about my storage option for the Apple Pencil, and I’m really glad that they did. As accessible as my co-opted Pencil clip was for usage at a desk, it did feel a little precarious for storage in a full bag. The Pencil usually stayed in place, but it could easily get caught on other objects in my bag during transit because it was only secured to the iPad at one point.

The Pencil Pocket from GearCase is secure and keeps the Pencil snug against the iPad Pro during transit. I don’t have any concerns about the stylus falling out or getting scratched by other items in my bag.

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How to manage ad tracking on your iPad

iAdsAds, a necessary perceived evil that are the compilation  of information collected anonymously about us and our behavior while using our iOS devices.  This information is gathered by countless entities that include everything from search engines, to hardware and software companies, to websites that provide services, often free of charge in exchange for your personal information.  The way in which they gather information about you and your usage habits range from full disclosure to any number of ninja-like behind the scenes farming, to completely anonymous exchanges of information.  Regardless of the tactic or process used to collect your information, it is important to know what options you may have, if any, and how you can best protect yourself and your personal information.

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Deals: Le VPN: Lifetime Subscription at 88% off

LeVPN Deal

Today’s featured deal is especially useful for those who would like to navigate the web in complete privacy with the freedom to stream when you want, and have access to a massive VPN network on all your devices.  The Le VPN does just that, keeping all the data sent and received between your device and the host network secure when using the internet. If this sounds like you, we’ve got your solution at a great price. For a limited time you can purchase a Le VPN Lifetime  Subscription at 88% off!  It’s a great deal that will run you only $69 – instead of its standard price of $597!  Here’s some info about the Le VPN and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Navigate the Web in complete privacy, and enjoy the security of military-strong encryption with Le VPN. This top service has one of the widest global networks out there with 700+ servers in 114 countries. Switch to any one of them in order to unblock geographically-restricted content. Plus with custom client software for Windows, Mac, and iOS, you can benefit from Le VPN on all your devices.

  • High speed VPN connection & unlimited bandwidth
  • Reliable VPN servers w/ IPs in 114 countries
  • SmartDNS to unblock TV & streaming services on any device
  • Innovative HybridVPN service for fast media streaming with any server
  • Easy to use iOS app and compatibility with Android
  • Guaranteed confidentiality: no traffic logs are kept
  • Top-secret level encryption of your VPN connection (AES-256)

Available to new Le VPN Customers Only

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

 

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How to manage background activity on your iPad

background app refresh

When you’re looking to find ways to extend the battery life of your iPad, one of the easiest ways to chip away at battery drain is to examine background activity–process that are going on behind the scenes and aren’t forward facing.  By managing the background activity you will be better prepared to understand how your battery life is adversely affected by what’s going on behind the scenes.  Every time you launch an app on your iPad, you begin the process of draining the battery.  In addition, many apps continue to run in the background.  Luckily, iOS has a process where you can manage this background activity, and selectively reduce the amount each app is allowed to utilize.

No matter how small the activity might seem to be, a reduction is a reduction.  In turn the background activity will ultimately decline as well.  So where do you begin to access this information you can manage the background activity on your iPad?

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Taking It Easy With The iPad Pro


Considering the price of an iPad Pro, there can be an internal pressure to maximize the usage of the device. There’s a compulsion in me to try to do as much as I can on the iPad Pro: to edit more videos, manage photos, watch movies, and browse on the Pro. In order to do all of that, I need to bring the Pro everywhere. Well, I felt I needed to, anyway.

Everywhere was the de facto location of my last iPad, the iPad Air 2. That tablet had a 10–inch screen and weighed just a pound on its own. It was light enough that it was still a viable companion if I was bringing my laptop around for the day. In fact, the iPad Air 2 could really complement my 13–inch MacBook Pro as a great secondary screen for tasks or chats. The iPad Pro is different in this regard because it’s actually as wide as most laptops, which means that it will fill the width of a laptop bag, even though it isn’t very thick. The sheer size does make a discernible difference in how easy it is to carry the iPad Pro alongside my other daily carry items (canvas pouch with cables, camera).
However, a few weeks ago I decided to just relax more when it comes to my iPad usage, and I’ve been enjoying the device more ever since. Relaxing means that I don’t bring the iPad Pro with me everywhere that the Air 2 would have come, and that’s okay. Aside from having a stupendously large iPad, I also own a stupendously large iPhone 6S Plus. That’s more than enough for reading and browsing while I’m on transit, and it’s also great for editing photos on-the-go.

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