Saturday, December 29, 2018

Best iPhone Camera Apps for Photos in 2019

Today iPhones have a default Camera that is easy to fire up, has robust features and supports the latest hardware such as the dual lens.  Unlike any third-party App, Camera is quickly available from the lock screen. 

Default IOS Camera Overview
  • Capture high-quality photos
  • Focus and Exposure
  • Portrait Mode with Depth Matte
  • Blur the background with Portrait Mode
  • Live Photos of moving images
  • Action photos with burst mode
  • Shoots HDR Photos for better exposure
  • Launch from the lock screen
  • Pano mode for capturing ultra-wide panoramic photos.
* Portrait mode is only available on: iPhone 7 PlusiPhone 8 PlusiPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Max.

Apple’s Camera App keeps improving, and it’s hard to see why anyone would want to compete with Apple on their own hardware. So how can developers compete?

Apple provides developers with the full spectrum of Camera features in the form of IOS APIs. They do this to support all kinds of Apps like Snapchat or Instagram, Drones or Games, or other Apps that need access to the onboard camera.

But for basic photography, let’s look at some Apps that are a step up from the default Camera. Each of these Apps use the camera APIs, so in that sense, they have no inherent advantage over each other or the default Camera App. For useful third-party Apps, they should provide the following features above and beyond the default Camera App.

Special Features that Best Camera was looking for. 

  • Strategic App Design: ease of use while enhancing on the default features.
  • Manual Controls: for more detailed focus, exposure, ISO, white balance and shutter speed.
  • Enhanced Portrait mode:  new iPhones with dual cameras provide depth information. A depth map is like an image; but instead of each pixel providing color, the pixel indicates the distance from the camera to that pixel in the image. We are looking for Apps that build mattes for on the fly green screening, background blurring or even something completely different.
  • Raw Capture: uncompressed raw images provide better quality at the expense of larger file sizes. But the higher quality is a valuable special feature.
  • Fast Capture: the capture phase needs to be fast even while implementing enhanced features. 
  • Better Image Effects: the default Camera has some effects, but this is an opportunity for a third-party camera App to shine if done well. 
Best Camera's Choices for 2019 iPhone Photography 

1. Camera+ 2

  • Great for controlling background blur in portrait mode. Has an onboard editor. 
  • Manual Mode for better control of shutter speed, ISO and white balance.
  • Seperate controlls for focus and exposure.
  • High detail RAW and JPEG capture formats.
  • Close Ups feature called Macro Modej.
  • Action Mode for snapping moving targets.
  • Slow Shutter for long exposures.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Paid (best price)

2. Halide

  • Smart Gesture Based Design.
  • Easy to Use.
  • Portrait Mode background blur.
  • High detail RAW and JPEG capture formats.
  • Manual Focus.
  • Paid

  • Interesting Design
  • Shutter Speed Slider
  • Manual ISO and white balance
  • Separate Manual Exposure and Focus
  • High detail RAW and JPEG capture formats.
  • Nice Image Effects Editor
  • Free (in apps)

4. ProCamera

  • Portrait Mode with background blur.
  • Manual shutter speed, white balance, and ISO.
  • Separate Focus and Exposure.
  • High detail RAW and JPEG capture formats.
  • Portrait Mode background blur.
  • Clean App Design
  • Paid

  • Each of these Apps has special advantages over the default Camera App and well worth the price.

  • We will be reviewing Apps in the categories of Social Networking, Games, Drones and just plain weird but fun Apps that have some very surprising and unexpected camera features.


  • Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    Funny Video Marketing for Apps

    App developers have discovered humor for marketing.

    Why use videos to promote an App?

    1. A video starts conversions that can lead to sales.
    2. Create company trust.
    3. Google search. You are 60 times more likely to be found with Google if you have a video.
    4. Mobile users love videos.
    5. Better messaging. Both sell and demo your App.
    6. Social Sharing. And a funny video can go a long way on social media.

    One of the better funny vids is from Chatbooks (upper right)

    This commercial was produced by Harmon Brothers in Utah. It does a good job of encouraging the installation of Chatbooks for making Photo Books.

    There's a brand new comedy video for Rain Cards (upper left)

    We received an early release of this commercial produced by Quality Characters in Santa Monica. The video encourages using greeting cards to express yourself and helps cure a poor guy with toxic masculinity. The production has well-known actors.

    Note* If you have any favorite funny videos for App marketing, let us know and we will post them here.


    Tuesday, December 11, 2018

    Portable Microscopes are Weird and Fun!

    Handheld Microscopes make great Santa gifts. 

    Here are Best Camera's top two picks for portable microscopes.


     Works with iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Window, Android 



    Works with Mac, Windows, Linux

    Saturday, December 8, 2018

    Drone Red

    Node-Red is flow programming. Get started writing your own drown software with little coding.

    This video of Kauai was explored with Drones. Towards the end, a Drone takes on Hanakapiai falls as never before. It’s spectacular!

    Here's a good starting point for using Watson IoT (internet of things) and Node-Red to write drone software.

    IBM Watson and Node-Red for Drones

    Learn about the architecture, Drone Setup, BlueMix(IBM Cloud), Cloudant DB, Gateway and Node-Red.

    Another Article from IBM

    but hurry, Ends Soon

    My next article will dive deep into Node-Red and Watson IoT coding for Drones

    Thursday, December 6, 2018

    Top 5 Smartphone Camera Add-Ons for 2019

    The best camera apps are taking advantage of improved smartphone lens technologies. In this article, I'll list our top 5 picks for cool add-ons for smartphone cameras.

    Each product listed has a quote from a real user.
    1. Xenvo Pro Lens Kit
    2. Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
    3. Eocean Tripod, 50-inch Video Tripod
    4. TODI Camera Lens 4K HD 2 in 1
    5. Moment - Superfish Lens

    Xenvo Pro Lens Kit for iPhone and Android, Macro and Wide Angle Lens with LED Light and Travel Case. 
    "Best IPhone camera lens I have ever purchased!!! This is hands down the best quality lens I have purchased. You will be amazed on how much detail you will get using the macro lens. Plus with the combination of the lenses you will capture a better picture for any use you normally use your iPhone camera for you can get just about every combination you will need to take photos with your IPhone with this one device."

    2) Zhiyun Smooth 4 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer w/Focus Pull & Zoom.
    "Before purchasing I watched many online reviews that included shots of video outputs and tested the smooth 4 in different situations like running, time lapse, action, following, etc. It wasn't perfect in all of those, and one reviewer even chose a more expensive option over the Smooth 4. But I felt this was the right mix for what we are doing, interviewing people, catching construction work, filming b-roll, adding some artistic flair to our work, and capturing our finished work in place. "Upping our game" so to speak. For $140 or less it makes a huge difference. It will help us provide quality content for those assignments without the budget to hire a pro."

    3) Eocean Tripod, 50-inch Video Tripod
    "I am very pleased with this, its very easy to set up. I use it for you tube videos as it can move high above the area i am filming. The legs are adjustable and they can be set at various heights easily. Havent tried the remote, but the tripod is easy to take up and down. Since i have limited space to film this is a plus. I plan to only use it indoors. I am not sure how rugged this would be for outdoor use, maybe limited outdoor use. I have a google pixel 2,set up on it. Also has a storage bag to carry it or store it easier."

    4) TODI Camera Lens 4K HD 2 in 1
    "I can not believe how incredible this lens works! I have a Galaxy S9 and the combination of the camera on my phone w this lens is impeccable. I took listing photos w this and my cell phone and the pictures turned out better than w the brand new $850 Cannon I was using. The pictures look professional. It's hard to believe that a cell phone camera and this little lens can take such unbelievable photos! Highly recommend!"

    5) Moment - Superfish Lens
    "Great image quality, simple and quick attachment, fair price, and a business that takes the time to keep the customer informed after the money has exchanged hands. I will be buying more of your products as they come available."

    Merry Christmas


    Quick Please. What is IoT, Rasberry PI and Node-Red?

    IoT means Internet of Things. 

    Raspberry Pi is a low cost credit card–sized computer that plugs into your TV or display, and supports a keyboard and mouse. 

    Node-Red is a new way to build IoT applications without coding and it can run on Rasberry PI or in any browser.

    Sunday, December 2, 2018

    Baby Photo Shooting Santa

    Some babies are afraid of Santa. This baby saw an opportunity for a photo shoot. She knows how to handle her favorite Best Camera App and took plenty of shots to get just the right one.

    She also insisted that they smile for her and face the camera.

    Say Cheese Santa! 

    Thursday, November 29, 2018

    Hashtag Verification Certificates

    Did you know you can obtain verification certificates for any of your hashtags? Hashtags are available on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, so you may want to register and verify any important hashtags.

    Engage your tribe.
    "Hashtags are everywhere but no one knows where to find you. Twubs offers a single social landing page for you to communicate with your tribe."

    Registration is free. Verification is currently $7 per hashtag. 

    I just created this one for #BaseReality on Twubs. I want to do a #hashtag marketing campaign for my book.  It's important to fill in all the details about your hashtag. I originally made the mistake of not filling in the details and I noticed my certificate was not much. Here's what it looks like now. Still tweaking.

    If you are planning #hashtag marketing campaigns, then I recommend this service.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2018

    Best RoboCall BLOCKING Apps

    With over 7 billion robocalls from spammers per month, spamming has become a big time-wasting nuisance.

    Did you know that all Robocalls, regardless of what they are selling, are illegal?  Robocalls roam through carriers and a maze of networks, making it difficult to identify their origins.

    And the government's Do Not Call list has been spoofed. So as the government works on this problem, you still need to protect yourself. Blocking Apps have collected records of literally billions of phone numbers, and they update them regularly, much like anti-virus apps. 

    Spammer's deceptive measures have become more sophisticated. The latest trick is “neighborhood spoofing.” Robo callers use local numbers to increase the odds you will pick up. NS is indeed a dirty trick. 

    18 Billion Robocalls so far this year (2018)

    The FTC is where you are supposed to complain. Their number is 1-877-FTC-HELP. Their web is

    Here's my list of recommended RoboCall Blocking Apps. 


    Hiya - A Blocking and Caller ID finder App.  Hiya helps you identify calls you want and block other requests, like spammer calls. The App is free for preventing spam calls. Caller ID comes with a cost. This App also works with text messages.  The developers claim to have a database of hundreds of millions of spamming numbers.  The App works well for blocking robocalls, telemarketers, and IRS scammers types.


    Call Control  - A Blocking App. Call Control can block entire area codes if that's become a problem. Call Control provides a personal Whitelist and Contacts Protection to make sure you get the calls you want. This App lets users report spammers to help update its database. Spam text blocking is supported by this App also.


    TrueCaller - A Blocking and True caller identifier App.

    Have you ever waited for an important call that is not in your contacts list? This can be tricky. You could be tempted to not answer and then block the caller. Whoops!  The TrueCaller App can help. The App is free and it helps you find out who is calling. You will need to copy and paste the number into the app though. 

    Truecaller then searches the unknown number in its database of over 250 million users.

    The App is also a Blocking App like the others above.


    RoboKiller - A Blocking App.  RoboKiller won the FTC's anti-robocall competition. The New York Times, NBC, Wired, Engadget and Vice gave them good reviews. 

    But the App is not free. On the right is a screenshot of their pricing. 


    Hint - You can install multiple blocking Apps and have them all active at the same time.


    What about the FTC? 

    "The Federal Trade Commission has recently filed a complaint in federal district court seeking to stop two related operations and their principals who allegedly facilitated billions of illegal robocalls to consumers nationwide, pitching everything from auto warranties to home security systems and supposed debt-relief services." Here's the article on the FTC website. 

    Friday, November 23, 2018

    Magical Thinking

    I'm off on a biking adventure. Magical thinking requires exercise. 

    Science considers magical thinking a fallacious concept. The concept that thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. Tell that to a 4-year-old. Tell that to a quantum physicist.

    Merry Christmas!

    NY Resolution to write some helpful App reviews for amazing Apps.

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    Hacking the Universe on HackerNoon

    HackerNoon just picked up the article Hacking the Universe first published here on Best Camera.

    The moral of the article is to choose your friends wisely. They may be VR players from the future.

    It's a good read.


    Friday, November 16, 2018

    Buckleless Belt Fooled the TSA

    This article has nothing to do with Apps, but I couldn't resist.  It's so cool!

    Can I promote a product? I work at my computer and around the house on projects. This belt with no buckle stabbing me is great. I can even ride my bike with long pants. 

    Click on Image

    But what I found to be both funny and surprising is how the belt fools the TSA. I’m not kidding. I hate taking off my shoes and belt at the airport, especially my belt because you need to thread it back into your pants. 
    Justin Bieber at Airport
    Before I found this belt, I was at the Airport standing with my hands up in the scanner. Then my pants fell down.

    When I tried to pull my pants back up, the agent got upset and said I need to keep my hands up
    “This is nuts!,” I said.

    I believe this is a photo of Justin Bieber suffering the same fate. 

    Later, I was working on a new railing for my house when I injured my stomach with my belt buckle. I leaned over to grab my drill and it stabbed me.

    As I googled for a belt with a soft buckle, I found this belt with no buckle at all. I had my doubts that it would work, but I gave it a try. It works!

    Then, while at the airport, I decided to see if they would stop me if I left my new belt on. They use that hand scanner on your belt buckle and tell you to remove the belt. What a pain! Anyway, I got through the big scanner and the hand scanner. Then as he patted me down, he tapped my side and asked this was a belt. I lied and said it was part of my pants.

    “Ok,” he said and waved me on. 

    On the way back, they didn’t even question me about it. 

    I hope the TSA never reads this and that you have less exposure at the airports. 

    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    Hacking the Universe

    Silicon Valley Billionaires have secret plans to live forever.

    Imagine a new startup that offers on-sight virtual reality tours. You enter their futuristic building by the Bay and select a destination, a destination in time. You chose Ancient Rome. You buy your ticket, and they provide you with their latest equipment. Next, you find yourself standing by the original Flavian Amphitheatre, in the center of Rome.

    Imagine VR Tours has perfected their technology to where you cannot tell the difference between reality and the virtual world. You soon forget that your experience is an illusion.

    Now imagine you are living somewhere in the future, say 15,000 years from now. VR Tours has come a long way. They have endless worlds and time periods to explore. There is no required equipment to wear. Your stay is no longer limited to an hour. You are not bound to one planet. Now imagine you have chosen 20th century Earth and your time there will be 90 years. You stroll through a Gateless Barrier, and your new life begins. Is this possible? Definitely.

    An astounding new theory that goes beyond String Theory is the Simulation Theory. It is what the Ancient Greeks and Einstein and others have called the Unified Theory of Everything, the holy grail of modern physics. And it is a theory that more and more computer scientists, physicists, astronomers, and venture capitalists are believing in. Elon Musk is outspoken in his belief that our odds of not living in a simulation are next to impossible. And if we are living in a computer simulation, many believe it can be hacked — hacked from the inside.

    The ramifications of such a hack are mind-boggling. Programmers could change the very laws of physics and reality. Time travel, aging, and instant transportation are all possible because those things are just code and data. But let’s back up. What are these wealthy hackers thinking? What are they really up to?

    The question they must be asking is who among us are players from the future and who are part of the simulation? Let that one sink in. The simulation could be so advanced that the simulated life forms have consciousness. To them, the simulation is their #BaseReality. And when their simulated life ends, it ends, perhaps forever. The players, on the other hand, return to the Gateless Barrier with new knowledge from their virtual adventure.

    With no way of knowing if they are players or sims, the wealthy tech-savvy group has more than one solution. There is an excellent article by Douglas Rushkoff called Survival of the Richestwhere he tells about doomsday survival plans like building underground bunkers, colonizing Mars or uploading their minds to supercomputers. These are the wealthy that have no interest in altering the future for the good of humanity. Survival is their game. 

    Curiously, they believe that humans are nothing but objects processing data. They see themselves and all humans as Base Reality objects not worth saving. Only the elite winners survive. This quote comes from the Survival article: “Technology development became less a story of collective flourishing than personal survival.”

    But not all of these escape plans are entirely selfish. Some scientists want to enhance the human body and mind with computer technology. Humanity survives as transhumans. Here is an interesting article about Neuralinkby Harbind Kharod. But like the survivalists, these transcendence developers are not hacking the universe. Where is their faith in the Simulation Theory?

    Musk does believe in diversification, and he might be one of those funding efforts to escape the simulation we find ourselves in. We know that some billionaires are paying scientists and computer gurus to break the barriers of simulated reality. How they intend to accomplish this greatest hack ever is not entirely clear. However, according to an article in The Newyorker by Tad Friend, “Two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation.”

    One of the men mentioned in Friend’s article is Sam Altman. Altman is also interested in uploading minds to the cloud. So, in all likelihood, the secret tech billionaires and their teams have multiple approaches to survival:

    1) Selfish Survival
    2) Human transcendence
    3) Hacking the Universe

    By far, the most interesting of these is number 3. And Hacking the Universe is the most secret. The billionaire hackers prefer to remain anonymous. So we are left to ask necromantic questions. How do the worlds best minds escape from our simulation? How is it possible to hack a computer from the inside? We do have clues. There are high profile people jumping on the simulation theory bandwagon.

    Converts include astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk, theoretical physicist S. James Gate and even philosophers, like Nick Bostrom. They all believe in the simulation argument. Surfer and theoretical physicist Garrett Lisi has made a groundbreaking discovery about a strange 8-dimensional mathematical object that seems to encode all the particles and forces in what we perceive as our 3-dimensional universe. The code name for this discovery is E8. 


    The E8 movie, Hacking Reality, and narrated by Marion Kerr, is fascinating and well done. Learn why a group headed by Klee Irwin believe our world is a shadow of an 8-dimensional Quasicrystal code or language. Perhaps the language of simulated reality. Finding the language of this universe is a step towards Hacking the Universe.

    And quantum physics itself provides big red flags with the famous Double Slit Experiment and Particle Entanglement.

    Double Slit Experiment

    I’ve been a programmer for a long time. I’ve even written a few hacks myself, like HardRunner for the original Lotus 1-2-3. To me, the only way for humans to Hack the Universe, from inside, is with full-blown Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence.

    The hacking system would need chaos theory algorithms for trial and error and quantum chips to harness the power of atoms. Quantum processing is faster than any silicon-based computer ever developed.

    Quantum chip enhancements would encode information as quantum bits, or qubits. These qubits exist in superposition at more than one state at a time. The quantum chips for the new AI computer will be unimaginably faster than any supercomputer in existence. Learn about IBM’s efforts with Quantum Computing on their site.

    But there is a big problem. There is no true Artificial Intelligence yet. We have not yet reached what is called the Singularity. And there are no actual Quantum Computers that we know of. One of the strangest mysteries in physics is that if you attempt to look at subatomic particles, they will change their values. Observation changes their behavior. If you look at a qubit in superposition to determine its value, the qubit will assume a value of 0 or 1, but not both. By simple observation, a quantum qubit becomes digital.

    However, in quantum physics, if you apply an outside force to any two atomic particles, they will become entangled. The second particle will take on properties of the first regardless of their distance apart. Entangled particles, separated by the width of the entire universe remain entangled. A change to one entangled particle is instantly reflected in the other. They care nothing about Einstein’s speed of light limitation. A billion light years of separation does not affect entanglement. The entangled response takes no time at all.

    So the magic our brilliant tech billionaires need to find is a way to use entanglement to observe a qubit indirectly. The qubit’s state remains unaltered through indirect observation. That would be some magic trick. 

    If these anonymous tech giants want to live forever, their best chance is the Hack-of-all-Hacks. We know that a secret wealthy tech group is pouring big money into an AI system that far exceeds human intelligence. They are building an AI in hopes of communicating with the prior level AI. They are hoping to knockon the Gate of the Endless Barrier.


    Peru’s Aramu Muru Doorway to the Gods

    If we do exist in a simulated reality that was built in the future, then why hack it? Why not enjoy? Let us stroll through the Gateless Barrier beyond #BaseReality. Let us stroll through the Hindu’s Mumonkanor the Gateless Gateway.Let us stroll through Peru’s Aramu Muru, or Another Universe. 

    So enjoy your simulated adventures. And choose your friends wisely if you are not a player. A player may take you back through the Gateless Barrier. Let that sink in. You will have Hacked the Universe with basic friendship. 

    by Rob Adamson