Tag Archives: tricks

Video Tutorial: How to Blur the Background of Your Phone Photos Without Apps or Filters

Got a great viewer question on my Instagram feed from follower kill.the.spiders who asks:

“Do you edit your photos or are they the way they are? The focus is amazing and the blur effect is impressive, also is it possible to make similar shots with phones, like the G3 for example?”

Let’s take a quick look at cameras, sensor size, and depth of field! This video should be watched full screen for the best experience, and don’t forget to increase the quality to 4K!

Android Wear: What is Sync Loop? How to Unlock Developer Options, Take Screen Shots!

I’m just starting to find my sea legs on Android Wear, and one of the things that puzzled me was the persistent notification on my phone. What the hell does “Connected, running sync loop” mean? Here’s the answer!

Shop Android Wear on Amazon.
Shop Android Wear on Google Play.

Review: Asus ZenWatch
Review: LG G Watch
Review: Moto 360
Review: LG G Watch R

Viewer Question: What’s Up With the Black Bars When Photos are Shown on Video?

iphone photo camera review crop pillar box 4x3 somegadgetguyGot a question on my iPhone Camera review from viewer Huber, who writes:

What’s up with the black bars when taking a picture with the iPhone?There are two black bars making the picture small, kind of like a square. All of the other phones the image takes up the whole screen.

That’s called “pillar boxing”. You know how some movies are SUPER wide screen and you see thin horizontal black strips on the top and bottom of your TV? That’s called “letter boxing”. Pillar boxing happens when the aspect ratio of a photo or video isn’t wide enough to completely fill the format it’s being displayed in.

In this case, the video window is 16×9, which is a pretty wide rectangle, but the iPhone shoots photos in 4×3, which is a really squarish rectangle. As that chunky pic can’t fill the whole video window, the software showing the photo adds the pillar boxing. If it didn’t do that, you would either have to crop and zoom in (which would defeat the purpose of me showing the pics in this video) or you would have to warp and stretch the photo to fill the widescreen view.

Cameras like those found on Samsung phones use natively 16×9 image sensors, so both photos and videos are automagically wide screen. Most other phones use an almost square sensor, so any widescreen photos or videos are the result of a crop.

Hope that answers your question Huber, and for more examples of pics and vids taken from all the phones we test here, make sure to follow on Youtube and Instagram!

Pro Tips: How I would fix the cameras on Nokia Smartphones (Post Cyan Update)

The cameras found on Nokia flagship phones are certainly formidable, but no gadget is perfect, and there’s ALWAYS room for improvement.

Here’s how I (and others who have commented on this blog) would tinker with Nokia’s camera software.

App Review: Protect your Android Phone or Tablet with Device Manager

We recently covered the news that California will become the second state to mandate a smartphone kill switch on all new smartphones sold after July 1, 2015.

Of course, that’s almost a year away, and for you folks¬†using an Android here’s how you can better protect your phone or tablet today!

Pro Tip: How I would Fix the Camera on the LG G3 (Exposure and Metering Tutorial)

The LG G3 is a monster phone on paper, with bleeding edge specs for a flagship. While we’ve really liked the improvements to the camera, there’s always room for improvement.

How would we fix LG’s camera? Let’s have a quick conversation about Metering and Exposure controls…

Shop the LG G3 on Amazon.

Why You Should Upgrade Your Memory Card When Buying a New Phone (Transcend 600X MicroSD Review)!

It’s something we don’t often think of, but after using a phone for a couple years, and buying a new one, many of us will just yank out our old SD Card and pop it into our brand new phones.¬†As phones have become more powerful, we might also want to consider upgrading our cards when upgrading our phones.

Transcend sent us a new Class 10 UHS-1 MicroSD card to run a speed test!


Continue reading Why You Should Upgrade Your Memory Card When Buying a New Phone (Transcend 600X MicroSD Review)!

Viewer Pro Tip: Transfer Apps from Your Phone to an SD Card in Windows Phone 8.1

Got a great viewer tip from the comments on one of my other videos! This is how you can move an app from your phone’s storage to a memory card in Windows Phone’s Storage Sense!

This is why I love the comments you folks post!