Thursday, October 1, 2015

Google Maps for Apple Watch

Yesterday Google updated their iPhone Google Maps ( app to include the Apple Watch app. While Google Maps looks good on the watch it is useless. Apple has crippled the Apple Watch to make the app useless on the Watch. I can’t blame Google for putting out a bad app, they are only doing what they can.

It is not just the Google Maps app, almost every 3rd party Watch app I have used is a worthless piece of crap. It is not the app developers either, it is the way the Apple Watch works. I know Apple likes to run a tight ship to make their services better, but the Watch is different, or it should be different. It is not.

As an example of how Google Maps works, when you launch Google Maps on your iPhone you then have to launch the Google Maps app on your Watch. Whatever is working on the iPhone will then show up on your Watch. Once the screen goes black though you have to then double click the digital crown to get back to the Google Maps Watch app. There is no haptic feedback to tell you when to turn, there is no sound. Nothing. Once that Apple Watch screen goes back you might as well just use Google Maps on your iPhone because it is worthless on the Watch.

I only recently started to use Google Maps again, mostly because I am in Boston about 7-8 days a month for work. I use Google Maps because it has transit directions plus there is the Street View app ( which is great to use in larger cities. I have no problem at all using Apple Maps on my Watch, but I wanted to test out Google Maps to see how it compared to Apple Maps on the Watch. It doesn’t compare at all. Again, I cannot blame Google for that.

If there is a setting or something that I am missing to make things like haptic feedback and sound work with Google Maps on the Watch please let me know. I’d hate to rant about something for nothing. I have looked and the only thing I see is the setting to install Google Maps on my Watch. Inside of the Google Maps app on my iPhone there is nothing about the Apple Watch.

Hue Disco

One of my favorite apps to use with my Hue lights is the Hue Disco app for iOS. You can strobe your lights to the beat of the music. You can create your own strobe effect to whatever beat you create by tapping a ‘Beats’ button. You can easily control color, brightness and there is even a microphone sensitivity feature that will activate (strobe) the hue based on your voice.

This is so much better than using the stock Phillips Hue app for the iPhone or iPad or the stock Hue app for Android. The stock app is limited to only allowing you to adjust colors of your bulbs and the brightness of each. You can also set up an alarm or timer for you bulbs in the stock app.

One of the really neat features of Hue Disco is AirPlaying to the Apple TV. If you own an Apple TV you can AirPlay from your iPad or iPhone to your Apple TV and you are greeted with a dance floor full of dancing people. Put on some music, strobe your lights to the beat, and you have a mini-nightclub in your living room! It is a great feature if you are having a few guest over.

That is not all you can do with Hue Disco, you can also set the cycle time of your bulbs, pick a theme such as Christmas or Reggae. Adjust your bulbs to strobe with the same color or you can cycle them. There are hand gestures as well such as changing the color of the bulb by clapping your hands or shaking your iOS device. How about having your Hue bulbs flicker and changing colors to the beat of your voice? You can use the builtin microphone on your device and the app will listen and flicker for every word that comes out of you mouth. This app is so much fun and well worth every penny of the purchase price.

For a demo of Hue Disco in action, check out this YouTube video;


  • Microphone sensitivity sliders let you control how often music is turned into light (change) and control silence detection. (dB)
  • Brightness control sliders manage the maximum and minimum brightness of your disco setup
  • Color control slider helps you set the saturation of bulbs.
  • Color range control
  • LED indicators to show when your thresholds are being ‘hit’ by the music.
  • Interactive UI responding to music
  • LED indicator for TEMPO tap button indicating current BPM.
  • More….
Of course you will also need a Phillips Hue lighting kit. You can get them on Amazon ( or you can pick one up at Best Buy. They retail for around $199. The kit includes 3 bulbs and the Hue hub which connects to your wireless router. For more information checkout the Hue website.

Hue Disco is only $2.99 in the App Store. Hue Disco is a universal application that will work on both the iPad and the iPhone.

Hue Disco - iMakeStuff

Checkout some of the other Hue Disco apps for iOS, each of these apps are only $1.99:

Hue Halloween for Philips Hue - iMakeStuff

Hue Fireworks for Philips Hue - iMakeStuff

Hue Christmas for Philips Hue - iMakeStuff

There is also an Android app for Hue Disco, it is also only $2.99 in the Google Play Store;

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Frameographer - Time-Lapse and Stop Motion Movies

Frameographer is an easy to use application for the iPhone that will allow you to creates stop motion or time-lapse videos on your iPhone. Frameographer is developed by Studio Neat, the developers behind the terrific Slow Fast Slow app and the Glif for iPhone. Frameographer is $4.99 in the App Store.


  • Capture and export in HD quality (1080p for iPhone 4S/5(sc)/6 & iPod Touch 5th Gen, 720p for all other devices).
  • Manual or Automatic shutter settings for making stop motion or time-lapse movies.
  • Exposure and Focus lock
  • Low-light Boost Mode (iPhone 5(sc)/6/6 Plus only)
  • Onion Skin
  • Grid
  • Frames Per Second adjustments
  • Ability to add frames to a preexisting project.
  • Use either the front or back camera.
  • Add a soundtrack with any song from your iTunes library.

Frameographer is a fun app for the iPhone. I have tried several stop motion iPhone apps in the past and my honest opinion is that frameographer is the best one. If you are looking to create stop motion movies then I highly recommend you download Frameographer! Frameographer will stitch all your images together for you to create beautiful stop motion videos. One thing to note, Frameographer does not record sound, since it is only stitching together images to create a video it has no way of recording sound.

Download - $4.99 in the App Store;

Frameographer - Stop Motion & Time-Lapse - Studio Neat

More info;

Friday, September 18, 2015

Slow Fast Slow

Slow Fast Slow is a video editing application for the iPhone that allows you to speedup or slowdown your videos on your iPhone. You can also trim clips or even reverse clips so that they play, well, in reverse! Slow Fast Slow is free to download in the App Store. Slow Fast Slow is iPhone only.

I use Slow Fast Slow often, especially the reverse clip aspect, before importing my videos to edit in Cameo. Slow Fast Slow is probably my second most used video editing application on my iPhone for mobile editing. It is a well designed application, easy to use with a learning curve level of ZERO! Slow Fast Slow works really well with Slo-Mo videos that you have shot on your iPhone. While I do not shoot slo-mo videos often on my iPhone, I normally slow them down with Slow Fast Slow, I have played with the slo-mo videos and imported them to Slow Fast Slow and it works exceptionally well.

The features of Slow Fast Slow:
• 240 fps videos (iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) can be slowed down to 1/16 speed, which is twice as slow as the built in camera app.
• Pitch Control: Retain the correct audio pitch even when the video is sped up or slowed down.
• Backwards playback.
• Add and remove points to adjust the timeline.
• Export videos in the original ratio or square.

I have tried to use the pitch control in Slow Fast Slow, personally I prefer to mute the audio all together for any video where I have adjusted the speed. I prefer to add music to my clips and feel that gives the video a better creative flow. I didn’t mention this in my video review but it is a feature of the app.

Download Slow Fast Slow, free in the App Store;

Slow Fast Slow - Control the Speed of Your Videos - Studio Neat

For more info about Slow Fast Slow please visit the developers website;

Also mentioned in my video preview, at the end, was the Glif from Studio Neat. Highly recommended. You can purchase the Glif in app using Apple Pay. I own one and love it. The Glif is my most used 3rd party iPhone accessory.

More info;