Mobile photoblogging with iOS and WordPress

I’ve been photoblogging here on my blog for a few years now. This blog serves as the single point of publishing for my photos – they get posted here, then pushed to Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. I’ve posted over 4,000 photos here (with the most recent shown as thumbnails on the Photos page). Almost all of them have been done through the WordPress iOS app on my phone (and some published from the desktop, through the browser or MarsEdit).

I’ve made a few tweaks to streamline the process – the default category for posts is “Ephemera” – and unless I intervene to set another category (and remove Ephemera), posts don’t get displayed on the front page of this site, nor in the main RSS feeds. This way, I don’t have to worry about spamming the 3 RSS subscribers when I post a bunch of puppy photos.

The process works pretty well, but man, there are a lot of clicks. I did a quick recording to show what it took to post this photo – the process of mobile photoblogging from a phone to WordPress could use some streamlining…

ghost media in iOS8 photos

I’ve been noticing this for awhile under iOS7, but had been hoping it was a storage bug that would have been fixed in iOS8. Nope.

I “cheaped out” by only springing for the 16GB iPhone5, which means that I effectively get 12GB of space for stuff like apps, music, photos, etc… Shouldn’t be a problem, but I’ve been hitting the cap pretty regularly now. I’ve resorted to deleting big apps, deleting all of the music that I’d put on the phone (thankfully the train ride is very short now), but still the danged phone reports no free storage.

Looking at the General > Usage reports, it looked like I was chewing up a couple of gigs just for photos. After grabbing then from my iCloud photostream, they’re all in Aperture anyway, so I figured I’d just turn off Photostream temporarily to flush stuff out. After deleting all local photos manually, and then deleting the “recently deleted” items, I still get:

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(3GB of the free space came from nuking the music I’d downloaded onto the phone)

Tethering the phone by USB and firing up Image Capture, it reports the iPhone completely empty of photos/video.

834 MB used for something, somewhere. But I can’t seem to find it, and I can’t seem to free it up. That’s about 7% of the storage space eaten up by mystery ghost media files. Hopefully there’s a way to force-nuke these mystery files so I have enough room for music on my phone (as well as room for software updates without having to delete stuff first).

Looks like when I eventually upgrade my phone, I’ll have to spring for the extra cash to have more than 16GB (well, 12GB) available. The Cloud™ was supposed to make onboard storage less critical, no? Anyway. I’ll keep trying to figure this out, and will post an update if I ever manage to clear up the phantom space…

UPDATE: @poploser recommended PhoneClean. I ran it, and it freed up over a gig of space (awesome!) but didn’t seem to do anything about the phantom media files. Progress, though…

map war

A quick test, to compare Apple’s Maps app from iOS6 with the new Google Maps iOS app that was released today. All screenshots are roughly centred on the same spot around my office on the UofC campus, taken on a godphone 5.

normal map view. Apple iOS Maps on left, Google iOS Maps on right…

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satellite view, Apple iOS Maps on left, Google iOS Maps on right…

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3D view, Apple iOS Maps on left, Google iOS Maps on right…

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Street View, Apple iOS Maps on left, Google iOS Maps on right…

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gruber on control of software vs. privacy

John Gruber, commenting on Dave Winer’s post on why he uses Android rather than iOS:

Fear of Apple is about losing control over the software on our computers. Fear of Google is about losing control over our privacy.

That’s the best, clearest description of the difference I’ve seen. I don’t care what anyone else uses. But I value my privacy more than I value the ability to compile the kernel behind my operating system.

And, I’d also suggest that the control over the software in Android etc… is an illusion for most people. The vast majority of people will not be writing their own software, nor are they going to be compiling anything from source. They’re at the mercy of software developers and corporations just as much as those using non-Open software.

I believe that openness has more do with a person’s ability to do what they want to do, rather than with who gets to compile the software they use. Part of that ability-to-do-what-you-want involves not having to sell your digital soul as part of the process, which is what Google wants you to do.