I’m setting up a video “studio” in my small home office. No matter the setup, having a traditional tripod with those wide legs just wasn’t working. This gadget just arrived, and it’s perfect. It’s a desktop tripod mount.
It clamps onto my desk, and has a tripod mount that works with my iPhone case (it has a tripod connector).
I still haven’t decided on my video platform, but with one more problem solved, I’ll figure it out soon.
I love gadgets that make my life easier or more fun. I have a full category on this blog for them. But I don’t just buy technology unless I need it, and need it right then. My latest is a Bluetooth headset.
Why I Wanted It
The three main reasons I wanted this device: Listen to music or watch a video on my iPad, but not be wired to it; hear my iPhone ring when it’s in another part of the house (especially since I don’t have a landline); enjoy being in the same room with a football game but not have to hear it.
I didn’t want one of those tiny earpieces because they’re too easy to lose. I ended up buying an unbranded headset on Amazon. In addition to having great sound, it also has these great features.
Comfortable. This smooth earpiece fits around my neck and is forgotten.
Easy storage. It’s easy to pack and go because the entire piece folds into three sections.
Retractable wires. Push a button on each side, and the wires slide right back into place.
Volume control. Up and down buttons right at your fingertips.
Phone control. Answer, end, reject calls. You can also call the last number dialed.
Music control. Adjust volume, change songs, and pause.
Siri integration. Double-tap the Up volume control and Siri is activated.
You’ve probably set a password to access your iPhone or iPad (Settings/Passcode), and also have Auto-Lock set to kick in after so many minutes of non-use (Settings/General/Auto-Lock). This can be inconvenient when you have someone using your device to take photos (or record videos) of you while you’re speaking.
Instead of turning off Auto-Lock, do this. From the Lock screen (not the Home screen), look in the lower-right corner. You’ll see an almost transparent icon of the Camera app. Put a finger on it and flick up (not slide) to access the camera and video functions. They will not be able to access your other photos.
It’s easy to add Websites you visit often to your device Home Screen.
Open the Web page using the Safari browser.
Tap the Share icon, then tap Add to Home Screen.
Tap inside the title box, and rename the link if desired.
I needed a very long URL with /s that was too difficult to type in the browser bar (it’s also a link that wouldn’t have shown up if I’d Googled it). I copied the link and emailed it to my iCloud email address (or whatever email account you’ve set up on your device). When the email came in (on the iPad), I tapped the link to open it in Safari. Then added to Home Screen as outlined above.?
When someone responds to an email message that “yes” they’re going to do something and I see it comes from their phone, I have just about zero confidence that they’re going to remember to do it. Here’s why.
At my computer, I’m inside Outlook, and a new message arrives. I immediately drag it to my calendar or tasks with a reminder or an appointment. And depending on the situation, I might flag that message for follow-up. On the other hand, when I check email on my iPhone, I’m not going to do all that. Neither will you. You most likely look at the email, respond with a quick “yes,” and make no effort to put anything in place to help you remember.
When I MONITOR email, I’m just checking for anything I need to respond to right away (e.g., an inquiry from a reporter on a deadline, a cancelled meeting, etc.). Otherwise, I’ll deal with everything else when I’m in front of my computer because I can MANAGE better and easier.
Moving around in my new city of Charlotte, I totally depend on GPS. I have zero sense of direction and without it, I’m clueless. Yesterday, I was cruising along but realized something wasn’t right. I’d been riding too long and wasn’t seeing any exit names that I recognized. I glanced at my iPhone and saw this. I had on my sunglasses and couldn’t read the warning. I knew it wasn’t good though so I pulled into a service station, put on my glasses and read the alert.
BAM! My iPhone (and GPS) had stopped working because the car was too warm (I don’t use a lot of AC and had windows up). As it turns out, I was on my way to South Carolina!
Life Lesson: When you don’t know where you are or where you’re going, you don’t know when you’re lost. This applies to your life and business too.
As someone with absolutely zero sense of direction, I need all the help I can get. I’ve created some maps at maps.google.com, and was anxious to use these saved locations. I downloaded the Chrome browser to my iPhone so I could see my saved maps (only way I know how…if you know otherwise, please leave a comment).
Getting to my maps via Chrome didn’t feel convenient enough so I started creating Saved Locations directly on the iPhone. Here’s how I’m doing it. If you know of a better way, please leave a comment (I know about tapping and holding down the map pin, but I ended up saving addresses I didn’t want).
Create Saved Locations
On iPhone and inside Google Maps app:
Search for desired address. Map will appear with location name at the bottom.
Tap location at the bottom and tap Save. Star turns gold when saved.
Now when I want to go somewhere and need voice commands:
Tap the Profile icon in the Google Maps app. You’ll see all your Saved Locations listed under Home/Work in the “Recently Saved and Shared” section.
Tap desired location, then tap travel time to display your current location along with where you’re going.
Tap travel time again then, tap Start.
When I’m headed back home, I click the up/down arrows for reverse directions. Nice! I don’t see how to describe the locations, but at least now I’ll have driving directions a tap or two away.
UPDATE: I’ve figured out how to add location name (description) to a saved map. When I search for a location, I add the business name to the search. Then when I click to save it, that name is there too! For example, I wanted to add my closest post office to maps. When I searched, I typed “Post Office, then the street address, city and state.” When I saved the directions, the words “Post Office” appeared with the address. Hope this makes sense.
Edit Saved Locations
You can edit, including delete, your saved locations using Maps history. To view your Maps history on the iPhone:
Navigate to the Maps history page (My Profile , Settings , Maps history).
Touch the Edit button in the upper right to enter editing mode.
Touch the red minus sign next to the entry you wish to delete, and click Delete in the confirmation window.
Once you’re done editing, click the checkmark icon in the top-right corner of the screen to exit out of editing mode.
Remember to let me know if you know some shortcuts.
Have you wanted great action shots and took a ton of photos and still didn’t get exactly what you wanted? Try video instead, and set up a do-it-yourself photo shoot. With my iPhone and tripod, I was set. I looked at frames from the video and created high res photos. With frames, you can capture just the right move.
The first time I created the video, I opened the video in RealPlayer, and clicked Trim. I clicked on each frame using the right arrow key on my keyboard. When I saw something I liked, I held my mouse over the video, and clicked Save Picture. However, I didn’t like the quality of the pictures, so instead of saving the pictures in RealPlayer, I did regular screen captures. I inserted the pictures onto a PowerPoint slide, cropped them, and created high res output using ImageExport (I have a video series here with more information.
After I had all the pictures I wanted, I uploaded them to Animoto.com to snazzy up the photos and turn them into a video (I paid $6 to download that video as high res). Then I opened the MP4 video in Sony Vegas Studio 11 to trim off the Animoto logo at the end and add my Subscribe video at the end. After that, I rendered to the MP4, HD video format.
After I uploaded the video to YouTube, I created a spotlight annotation on the Subscribe button that links to my YouTube Subscribe page. This was fun!