Has 15.5 fixed My Photo Stream?

In a previous post I mentioned I was having issues with My Photo Stream having upgraded my iPhone 13 to iOS 15.4.

I noticed that photographs I had taken with my iPhone 13 were not being uploaded to My Photo Stream and shared across my other devices.

This was an annoying bug, as I did use this feature a lot, using photographs I had taken on my iPhone and then using them with my Mac.

I did try a temporary fix my changing the camera mode, it was set to High Efficiency, so I switched it to Most Compatible.

However this wasn’t a real fix, as though some photographs were uploaded to My Photo Stream, not all were.

I have now upgraded to iOS 15.5 and though there wasn’t a mention of fixing this bug, I did notice that yesterday all my photographs were uploaded to My Photo Stream, but I was still using Most Compatible mode. This morning I switched to High Efficiency and took a few photographs and allwere uploaded to My Photo Stream.

screengrab of iOS screen showing My Photo Stream working

So here’s hoping that bug is now fixed.

Temporarily resolving an issue with My Photo Stream on my iPhone 13

I have managed to resolve an issue having taken photographs with my iPhone that My Photo Stream was not then updating across my devices.

It was in the past week that I noticed that photographs I had taken with my iPhone 13 were not being uploaded to My Photo Stream and shared across my other devices.

I first did the usual trick of going into settings for the Photos app and turning My Photo Stream off and then back on again, however this made no difference.

What was weird was that the photograph I had taken weren’t been uploaded, but the edited versions from Snapseed or Instagram were being added to My Photo Stream.

This photo of the Bristol Harbourside didn’t upload.

This version I edited with Snapseed did.

I checked back through my iPhone camera roll and there was a range of photographs missing from My Photo Stream.

It was working fine on the 16th April, but had stopped updating on the 17th April.

Doing an initial Google search didn’t help, with most references referring to turning My Photo Stream off and back on again, which I knew didn’t work. I powered off the iPhone and back on again, that didn’t resolve the issue either.

My Photo Stream was working fine on other devices. Took a photo with the iPad and it was uploaded to My Photo Stream. On the iPhone if I created an image with Snapseed it was uploaded to My Photo Stream. 

That got me thinking that the issue wasn’t with My Photo Stream or the Photos app, but was with the Camera app.

Now doing a Google search I found that others were having a similar issue. It appeared to be related to the 15.4 iOS update.

Going through the settings for the Camera app I checked the formats setting.

Settings > Camera > Formats

To reduce file size, capture photos and videos in the High Efficiency HEIF/HEVC format. Most Compatible will always use JPEG/H.264. Cinematic video, 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps and HDR video require High Efficiency.

This was set to High Efficiency, so I switched to Most Compatible.

As a result the next photograph I took was uploaded to My Photo Stream.

I switched back to High Efficiency and the problem came back. It was apparent that the HEIC images were not being uploaded to My Photo Stream, though they were with iOS 15.3 and earlier.

So for the moment I have a temporary fix, so when I take photographs with the iPhone 13 they will upload to My Photo Stream.

Replaced the iPhone

With my iPhone 8 randomly turning off and then always turning it off, I had it replaced with a new iPhone 13.

iPhone 13

I decided not to transfer the full iPhone 8 settings over to the new phone and start (nearly) afresh.

Sometimes I will “clone” my old phone when I have a new one, but most times I like to start from scratch and install the apps I need as and when I need them. This means I don’t install stuff I have stopped using.

What I did do, was copy over my “settings” so I could automatically connect to my known WiFi, use saved passwords and so on.

I configured the phone for multi-factor authentication for work and this was nice and simple.

Overall it was an easy experience moving over to the new phone.

iPhone 8 still randomly turning off

I wrote about the problems I was having with my iPhone 8 randomly turning off.

It is still doing it.

It doesn’t do it when it is connected to the charging cable.

So though it probably is software, I wonder if it is a physical problem.

Still not sure of the next steps.

iPhone 8 randomly turning off

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

On Saturday I started having a problem with my iPhone 8. I was attempting to take a photograph when it turned itself off. I turned it back on and found it had just 10% battery charge. Initially I thought I had forgotten to charge it, but I was sure I had. It then turned itself off again. It wouldn’t switch back on, so as I was out, I left it to deal with later.

At home I connected it to the charger and switched it back on. The charge was 100% so I disconnected it from the charger. It then turned itself off (as before). I turned it back on again and it then showed a charge of 10%. Bizarre behaviour.

I then did a reset of all the settings.

The iPhone then behaved as though I had applied a system update. It restarted itself and looked anew.

I did think maybe an aborted system update had caused the problems.

However today the same issue with the iPhone randomly turning itself off. So not sure what to do next. I think I might have to undertake a full reset of the phone.

From Pogo to Zip

So I was quite sad that my Polaroid Pogo printer finally died in May 2020 and no longer worked, despite some best efforts to fix it.

However at Christmas I got a replacement, the Polaroid Zip.

polaroid zip printer

I had bought my Pogo printer way back in 2009. This was a battery powered zero ink (Zink) printer which did 2” x 3” prints (which were also stickers). You generally sent the images to the printer by Bluetooth, but you could connect an USB stick or camera to the printer as well.

I had bought one after getting feedback from friends on the Twitter.

It cost me £50, though within a few months it had fallen in price to just £17.

I did use it for a while, but there were some core reasons why it never really clicked for me, partly the size of the prints, just 2” x 3” which was too small for most things. Couldn’t really see a practical use for such small prints, even if they were stickers. The other main reason was that the quality of the prints was quite poor in comparison to the HP photo printer I had at the time. So like many other devices after the novelty had rubbed off and the curiosity value had waned, it went into the cupboard.

When I started a new role in 2015, I dusted off the Pogo and started to use it much more.

Dusting off the Pogo

…after making notes in a my new work notebook (trying out visual note taking for project planning) that I realised I actually wanted to include a diagram in my notes. I could have attempted to draw the diagram, but I am not that good at drawing clear diagrams. Also in this case I wanted the actual diagram, not a drawn representation of the diagram. I then remembered the Pogo printer and I wondered…

I had to connect it to the power adapter and remember that the easiest way to do this was to send it the image file over Bluetooth. I was actually quite surprised and impressed that it worked.

I used it for another five years before it finally died on me.

I did think about buying a replacement there and then but in the end it was put off as I had other things to do and spend money on.

So I was well pleased this Christmas to get a replacement, the Polaroid Zip.

Polaroid Instant Print for the Digital Age 

For the first time ever, you can now enjoy all the power and fun of Polaroid instant print cameras without the need for the actual camera. This brand new standalone mobile printer is designed to print vibrant, colorful photos from a variety of sources. It features its own rechargeable polymer battery. After just 1.5 hours of charging time, it is ready to print 25 sheets before needing another charge.

ZINK Zero Ink Paper: No Ink. No Hassles. 

Forget messy ink cartridges and ribbons. This mobile printer prints your photos onto ZINK photo paper, which, when subjected to heat from the printer, activates unique color-forming molecules embedded in the paper’s layers. The resulting prints measure 2×3”, feature deep, vibrant colors, are completely smudge-proof, and sport a peel-back sticky paper for even more fun.

iOS & Android. Bluetooth & NFC. And more. 

Sending your photos to the mobile printer is super easy. Simply connect your iOS or Android smartphones, tablets and other devices over Bluetooth or NFC, and print wirelessly from anywhere within range.

The Zip has a huge advantage over the Pogo in that I can print (using an App) direct from my phone. With the Pogo I was only able to print by sending files to the Pogo from the laptop via Bluetooth. You couldn’t send photos from the iPhone to the Pogo via Bluetooth (and the Zip App didn’t work with the Pogo).

The Zip App works well on iOS and I can see a fair few use cases as I photograph stuff to then print and stick into my notebook.

On my Mac I send images to the printer via Bluetooth, which is quite seamless.

One challenge is the size, 2×3” is small, and many years ago I did have a small HP printer that did 4×6” prints, but alas the printhead on that died! I think something similar may be on my Christmas list for next year.

Buy the Polaroid Zip at Amazon.

…but I didn’t go to Austria!

I do use Google timeline, more as an aide memoire more than anything else.

Looking over the timeline in response to a post someone had posted to our work Yammer site there was an anomaly.

It appeared that I had been to Austria.

It’s not that I’ve not been to Austria, I have. I travelled through Austria on my way to Slovenia in 1982 and 1985 and I distinctly remember not having my phone with me, mainly as I didn’t have a mobile phone back then.

I was reminded of the time when I downloaded the location data from my iPhone.

I was loving the fact that my iPhone has been to Darlington and Newcastle and I haven’t… I had downloaded the cell tower tracking data from my iPhone and it was interesting to see where it had connected to different towers.

So had my phone been to Austria? Google timeline said I had…

So delving into the data it would appear that I walked from the Jisc offices in 2017 to Weber & Trings in Austria.

I managed to walk 729 miles in just 13 minutes.

I also managed to walk 1456 miles in seven minutes.

Of course the reality was I had walked to Weber & Trings on the Christmas Steps in Bristol. Then at some point the IP address associated with Weber & Trings in Bristol had been assigned to somewhere in Austria!

Whatever entry in the geo-IP database that Google uses for this kind of thing was not updated so as a result I am one fast walker…

QR Codes at the seaside

QR Codes on the beach

I haven’t done a blog post on my QR Codes experiences for a fair few years now. Partly as I think they are fairly ubiquitous now across most things people do and partly as the problems that I saw in the past about QR Code implementations are much rarer.

In previous blog posts I wrote about QR Codes on bags of chocolate, furniture retailers and on the telly!

You use to need a specific app to read QR Codes, this functionality appears now to be built into the camera app of most phones. Having said that one of the advantages of using a specific app is that it retains the history of the codes you have scanned.

So, the other day we were walking along the beach at Burnham-on-Sea and we saw a wooden lighthouse and we did wonder about the history, so on the promenade there was a QR Code, which we could scan and find out more about the Low Lighthouse.

Across the promenade there were various signs with QR codes that could be scanned. I used my iPhone 8 camera app to scan the code, it picked it up quite easily.

The QR Code provided a short link to a mobile friendly website about the feature on Burnham beachfront.

The QR Code made it quicker and easier to get to the website, rather than typing in an URL.

Slightly disappointed that this wasn’t a secure (https) site. However I thought this was an effective way of using QR codes of providing more insight into the history of Burnham-on-Sea.