There’s something that happens to a certain kind of person when it comes to hobbies: The acquisition of gear becomes more important than the hobby itself. Take photography, for instance.
One short trip to the Internet will fill your browser with awful, pointless photos taken by men with cameras that cost them a fortune. You’ll see truly lame family snapshots taken on an $8,000 Leica Monochrom, posted with notes about the tonality and the bokeh, as if the gear makes these snapshooters into great photographers.
And you’ll see accessories. All kinds of crazy accessories that do little but fuel the need to upgrade to ever more specialized and expensive models.
Back when I worked a Saturday job in a camera store, we’d joke about the men who’d spend so much on a camera that they could only afford the cheap off-brand film. For these folks, there’s the Artisan Obscura shutter release, a tiny, $30 circle of wood that screws into a camera’s shutter release.
This is the iPhone Shutter Grip. Can you guess what it does? That’s right: It adds a handgrip and a shutter release to your iPhone, letting you snap pictures one handed, and generally take photos without dropping the iPhone.
It even has a built-in tripod mount, and a secret second button.
Laaaaaaaaaaadies and Gentlemen, welcome to Friday Night Fights, a new series of weekly deathmatches between two no-mercy brawlers who will fight to the death — or at least agree to disagree — about which is better: Apple or Google, iOS or Android?
After this week’s topic, someone’s going to be spitting teeth. Our question: Which is better? Android’s three virtual buttons or iOS’s physical home button?
In one corner, we have the 900 pound gorilla, Cult of Mac; in the opposite corner, wearing the green trunks, we have the plucky upstart, Cult of Android!
Place your bets, gentlemen! This is going be a bloody one.
There’s an interesting change in the way iOS 4.2 handles orientation lock on the iPad… one that indicates a curious design backpedal on the part of Cupertino.
Previously, orientation lock on the iPad was handled with a physical hardware switch on the side of the device, but in iOS 4.2, it has been repurposed as a physical “Mute” button, with the orientation lock achieved the same way it is on the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch under iOS 4: through the multitasking tray.
It’s a minor but significant change that, I suspect, portends the elimination of the mute/screen orientation button on the second-generation iPad. For famously minimal and streamlined Apple, a physical mute button doesn’t make a lot of sense on an iOS device that isn’t a phone.