Category Archives: Site Reviews

Instagram – thank you for new Landscape, Portrait and Layouts

instagram logo

Instagram has finally listened to users and now allows you to post landscape and portrait mode photos. While you could previously do this using other applications, the whole act of going into another app made no sense and was obvious in the timeline.

Instagram landscape mode

As you can see, the picture on the left is the old way where you had to select a specific portion of a picture and crop it down to make it fit.  With the new button in the lower left corner it easily drops the photo to the landscape or portrait size and then you can slide and zoom as needed.  The final result shows on the right of the sample image.

Previously you had to launch a third party app that you authorize to post on Instagram under your account and do the work there.  It then tossed the picture over to Instagram for the final filters and description. This not only saves a step but removes you authorizing numerous third party applications.

Instagram also took matters into it;s own hands months ago and introduced Layout, it’s own companion app for making collages and other formatted pictures.  In Layouts you can take up to 9 photos (some 3rd party apps do 15) and choose the layout design and post to Instagram.

Hopefully they soon add the ability to put multiple photos into a single scrollable posting like advertisers are allowed to do. This could mean uploading a few shots of an event into a single post.  I have to see the developers at Instagram/Facebook would want this ability to come together for users as well much like they did with tagging photos.

Let’s hope everyone gets the update and posts some great landscape shots.  Leave some links to your best ones in the comments.

Goodbye Google Plus – that was fun while it lasted

Google Plus logo

Google Plus has been an underground social network, for lack of any other good definition. Those that wanted longer prose, better images and actual conversations used it constantly. With some changes being made I think the idea of Google Plus as a network is doomed.

It has been just over three years since Google dreamed big and went for a merger of services to hopefully mash together their seemingly endless supply of new applications and products. There was then the fight for the best Google Plus profile URL in case Google did win the network wars. Everyone has learned that no one is really winning the network wars. Facebook is flat, Twitter is flat, Instagram still has some growth but no real way to monetize without being totally Facebook and SnapChat is just growing along with no real plan.

According to Wired magazine  (and now ReadWrite), some changes inside of Google and some sources they use say that the name Google Plus will not disappear anytime soon but what makes it a cohesive product may be stripped down.

Western Digital is closing MioNet – personal private network

MioNet logo

Western Digital has announced that the MioNet service wrapped around their WD Network Storage is being closed. Western Digital offered remote access via any browser or their mobile app to your files stored on their WD storage devices. Unfortunately this appears not be a sustainable business model per this announcement yesterday. You could find the MioNet service with the My Book Live and My Book World drives.

MioNet Customers with Month-to-Month Subscriptions

Beginning in March 2015, WD will no longer accept monthly subscriptions for the MioNet Service. The MioNet Service, though, will continue to be available free of charge to month-to-month subscribers until March 31, 2016, at which time the MioNet Service will be discontinued.

MioNet Customers with Annual Subscriptions

Beginning in March 2015, WD will no longer accept annual subscriptions for the MioNet Service. Customers with annual subscriptions will receive the MioNet service for the remainder of their subscription period, and will then continue to have access to the MioNet Service free of charge through March 31, 2016.

StarStar MyInfo – contact sharing with no app required

StarStar My Info

StarStar MyInfo has taken a new approach to contact and business card sharing for mobile devices. There is no app to download, no bumping of cell phones and no sending contacts via SMS.  The person simply dials ** (followed by your phone number) and they are told that they will get a link to your shared contact card. Your phone then gets a text message, with a link, saying who has requested your contact information to confirm the sending.

StarStar MyInfo experience

After clicking the link., you are then able to choose sending a personal or business profile card (or both) to the requester. This allows you to have a couple personas established depending on if it is business or friendly encounter.  What I did not like is the inability to simply reply via text to approve the sending of my card. Why could I not have responded with a 1,2 or 3 saying send personal, business or both. Instead I always have to launch a web browser. That made it a bit cumbersome and multiple clicks needed.