Getting Your SMS Texts Back on Android After Leaving the IPhone

This is something I usually don’t do.  A Reblog.

I’m doing it so I have the info later on and will have to repeat it.  Now you know why I have so many recipes on here – so I can bake and not have to go digging through the “Recipe Box of Doom”!

The backstory is that when Kevin went to The Isle Of Man, I borrowed a shiny old or “new to me” iPhone 4s for two weeks.  The reason is that iMessage on the iPhone will do what passes for an international text for free.  Google’s Hangouts works that way too.  But either way you have to have two people on the same hardware.  Either Android or iPhone – but not mixed.  Both systems are proprietary, and I believe that both will not play well with each other.

Since he had the loaner, I went off my beloved Samsung Galaxy S4 for two weeks.   I came back to the S4 because I use the phone like a computer and create content on it like pictures and videos mainly for my own entertainment and use here.   The camera on that iPhone has thankfully been improved in later versions, it was too saturated and too poor and grainy in low light situations.  The software was rubbish since HDR didn’t work well at all, but this is also iOS 6 when the current phones get iOS 8.

Got all that?

Anyway, here are the steps – and if you’re coming here and want the original, here is the direct link.  I have no pictures here since I followed the steps and it worked first time immediately.  The steps were beyond annoying when I got to iCloud since Apple wants you to stay on their services.  Removing the phone number from iCloud required hunting around in every nook and cranny of the site in order to delete the number from wherever you find it.

Steps:

1)  Before you leave your iPhone, turn off iMessage.  This is done by going into the Settings app, selecting Message, then flicking the slider to off on iMessage.

2)  Remove yourself from iCloud.  On the Mac, there is (or was) an iCloud app that you could do this from.  Since I am normally using Linux or Windows (in that order) I had to go to the website for iCloud.  Start on the settings link (icon) and go through every single aspect, link, and sublink on there.  If you see a phone number, delete it.  It also argued with me to disable “Find My iPhone” in order to proceed with some of this.  I did and chased my tail around until complete and I was dizzy.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific.  I had to go through all of the account details manually myself.

3)  Have all your iPhone friends delete and readd your contacts.   Good luck.  As annoying as the iCloud step was, this one may simply be impossible.  Luckily for me, I had few people iMessage me during the two weeks.  If your contact used iMessage to talk to you, they will not be able to recontact you until Apple’s servers all realize that you have dropped off of iMessage – that could be as much as 45 days, however with me it was instant.

4)  Ask your readded friends to “Send Message as Text Message” on their iPhone.  Yes, seriously.  They’re going to wonder if they really want you as friends at this point.  Hopefully you don’t lose too many as a result.

5)  Wait 45 days before using your new non iPhone on this number.  I had to ask myself whether they were serious about this one, but apparently either I was lucky or this particular bullet is old news.  It was in my case.

6)  Text “STOP” to 48369 .  That’s the Apple support guy’s hint.  It worked for me immediately.

After running through all of this, my S4 is working fine.  I SMS Text everywhere, I am not using iMessage anywhere. 

I have read that some people on iPhones hate green text bubbles, and SMS is green while iMessage is blue.  All I have to say to that is grow up since there are worse things to hate.

First world problems, really!

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Amaryllis In Bloom, iPhones, and Other First World Problems

Have you ever had one of those times where you thought something, stepped back and rethought that thought, then realized there are truly worse things in the world than what you’re going through now?  First World Problems?

It’s the technology equivalent of a toddler coming down the stairs, seeing you for the first time, walking over, sitting next to you on the couch, opening his mouth, and crying.

Yes, that happened to me too, and you know who you are who did that.

Jonathan.

Ok, so I am channeling that toddler today.

I have known that the cameras in cellphones aren’t all that great.  Then I got the Samsung Galaxy S4 which has a camera almost as good as the standalone camera that I had been using for years.  The drawback is that the S4 has a fixed lens so no Macro Zoom allowed unless you buy one of those $3 snap-on jobs that looks like something a jeweler would use. 

I may do that.

But I had a problem.  Someone needed to stay in touch with me, internationally.  He went to London, and yes I am jealous, then to Douglas on the Isle of Man.

Who goes to Douglas on the Isle of Man in the middle of the Winter anyway?

Never mind that, it’s for business.

He’s on an iPhone and instead of spending insane amounts of money for international texting, he suggested I use my old creaky iPhone 3GS.  We ruled that out since my SIM won’t fit in there.  But luckily I was loaned an iPhone 4S for this purpose. 

Now I can internationally iMessage him for free.  Free is good, my budget is tight.  The idea of even paying for a text these days offends me to no end, and I was very late in the game only upgrading my plan when T-Mobile changed things around to unlimited talk, text, and 1GB data.  It’s enough and it’s the same cost I had before.  Since I hardly use the phone for data, I’m good.

Now I have this iPhone in my pocket.  First thing I noticed is that it’s small in my big hands.  Being 6’4″ tall, everything is proportional, and the big Samsung with the gorgeous 5 inch AMOLED full HD screen that literally lights up the room fit me perfectly.  This 4 inch iPhone looks a bit “Barbie’s” phone in my hand.

No worries, I’ll deal with it, even if it’s “quaint”.

All the apps I had on my 3GS that I got over the years moved over and I’m back to “normal” whatever that is.

I went out and started taking pictures. 

Mind you, when I sell my next picture, I’ll sell my first.  Not a professional.  Maybe a Prosumer, what ever the hell that means.  I take pictures to remember what to write about, and I do take care to make the pictures as good as possible so they may be interesting to the hundreds of whoevers that stumble across this blog now and in the future every day.

Go ahead and graph that last paragraph, I know it is phrased clumsily, I’ll wait…

This weekend was the first time I tried to look at the pictures on the laptop.  I noticed two things.  The pictures were over-saturated.  Also they were fuzzy.  To be fair, it’s an older phone.  It’s been repaired professionally.   Good looking beast, but it’s clad in glass on both sides.  Apple recognized their mistakes and went to plastic and metal for the back.

It’s possible that the focus could be slightly off due to “deceleration trauma”.  That could explain the focus but not the color intensity.

So for now, I’ll carry the two phones and hope for the best. 

The best you ask?  I get an attitude adjustment and stop being so fussy.   I’ll also use the Galaxy for pictures.  Looks better in my big paws and takes better pictures. 

The iPhone is a communication device anyway.  The camera there is an afterthought.  

What To Do When Stuck In Traffic

I don’t often leave the quirky little island.  That is, the Island City.  Everything is here, I generally don’t have to go further than I can walk, and if I do, it’s usually only because we have to carry more than is comfortable.

If that sounds like Small Town America, it is.  In this case, I’m smack dab in the middle of the giant sprawl called South Florida, in a little city called Wilton Manors.  Kind of a cross between Mayberry, a Beach Party, and a lot of things.

Idyllic, well not entirely, but I will say that every time I read the police blotter, most of the “Perps” are not residents.  I am not fond of that sort of import.

We’d had a house guest over the weekend, and we also had a number of errands that simply had to get run.  Unfortunately that also meant being in traffic.  This being South Florida, there were a lot of really insane moves on the street.  I have to say I could never be a traffic cop, I’d spend all my free time sitting in court listening to how this case needed a delay for some trumped up reason by a shyster connected with a traffic “school” after having written a ticket to someone who made a right turn from the left lane across four lanes of traffic.

Snowbirds, please don’t forget that the Universal Vehicle Code also is in force here too, just like back in Ohio, or Quebec, or some other colder spot.

After being stuck in traffic at the beach, twice in one day, and on I-95 in a 3 mile tailback, I pulled out the camera.  It started innocently.  I took a picture of the back of a sealed tractor trailer and emailed it to my sister, still infatuated with the newness of having a new phone with an excellent camera, and the 1 GB of wireless data to use it with. 

“Hi Pat, this is what South Florida Looks Like Today”.

I sent her pictures of flowers and so forth later on after I calmed down.

But that is what I tend to do when I am in the Navigator seat.  I’m now fiddling with mapping programs, predicting traffic, making video, and taking pictures.

After the second day of this I now understand why Millennials are constantly fidgeting with their phones when they’re “idling”.  Traffic is never exciting for anyone.

But add a passing eye for a pretty shot, some incredible weather, a good conversation with the driver, and I managed to fill up the chip with lots of shots.

I also learned that I could silence the lens.  Night shots from a moving car with a silent shutter meant that I got about 5 times more pictures than I expected.

Coming back past the mall, I passed by the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course and even my jaded eye was surprised at the sunset. 

As I got shot three, I heard “Boy that is a beautiful scene!  Did you get any pictures?”

Great minds think alike.

Yes, from a moving car, with a cellphone camera, and night photography.  No tripod needed, the software has gotten that good when coupled with a fast processor.  It’s even easier than the old film days and the ASA 400 nonsense.

Unfortunately, you still get blur from motion.  A Fast Processor helps but it isn’t perfect.

But it does help to keep you from being bored when you are stuck in traffic.

Revisiting Lisa’s Pentas

I think my friend Craig has given me a new set of eyes with which to see the world.

Having been given a new to me cellphone, I started learning how to use it.  The camera in it has more megapixels at 14 mpx than my older stand alone camera.  More importantly, I am able to take more kinds of pictures than before.

While the lens in the old camera had a much better zoom on it, I was limited in how close I could get to something.  The result was that I had to crop too much out in order to get to the picture I wanted.  The cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4, allows me to get within only a few inches of the subject.  I’ve been taking pictures of things that I couldn’t even see before without a magnifying glass. 

Having been stuck in traffic with the phone, someone texted me to find out where I was.  I took a picture of the car in front of me stuck at NE 3rd Ave and Broward Blvd with the words “Going to FLL”, and got back the word “Huh?” and responded Airport and was done with that.

Fun to be a smart alec at times, isn’t it?

But getting really close to subjects was something I thought was limited to a proper DSLR and a Macro Zoom.  The extra optics would help in some situations, but there are just so blasted many dots in the raw pictures that I would have to scale it down to print out a “Photograph”. 

The rules are that it should be at 300 dots per inch.  The camera puts out, therefore, a 13.75 inch by 7.74 inch image.  A little judicious cropping will be in order, but this is capable of putting out something that could be printed on a sheet of letter paper without scaling and losing detail.

One late afternoon, bored and armed with the camera, I went out back.  I take a lot of pictures of the backyard, including video.  Trying not to be repetitive, I did notice that I could get closer than I expected to my subject.  Why not run with it?

I have a penta plant in the pot in the yard.  It was given to me by Lisa a while back.  She had bought three, and she only wanted two.  I wasn’t completely sure what to do with this riot of red inflorescences, so it went on the irrigation chain and later into its own pot.  I figured that it was going to survive in my Darwinian garden or get selected out.  It has done well, although it needs to have the spider plant that I dropped in there with it removed. 

In my climate of never-freeze South Florida, the Penta are a small shrub.  They also produce seeds so I can propagate them.  Yes, more flowers from yours truly, we’ll need more pots. 

Lisa’s gone, a great friend and a Big Sister to us all, but her flowers are still here.  Just the way I like it.  After all, it gives me a subject to practice getting too close with a cell phone and pretend I’m doing “art”.

Or just share Purdy Pixturez with my friends.  Isn’t that what life is about?  Sharing with Friends?

Weeds and Lizards – And HDR Photography

I actually enjoy taking pictures.  There are a lot of pictures that I have taken that are strictly for me.  After all, how many pictures of your dog being cute, or that particular friend walking into a wall can you inflict on people?

Not everyone shares “your” enthusiasm for a subject, no matter how good you are at it.

So I meter myself, restrict what I show, and self-edit a bit.

But trust me, I have “gigs” of pictures I have taken since the beginning of the digital photography era.  I’ll keep doing it, and I’m getting better at it.

If I bore you with it sometimes, sorry, maybe the next picture might be something we both enjoy.  I’ll try harder.

All this was running through my mind lately when I was having a chat with a good friend, Craig.  He lives up in Atlanta and a while back told me that he had an old phone that he didn’t need.  “Oh, really?” 

It was a massive upgrade for me, and I’m beyond happy to get it.  I’ve changed my phone plan to allow texting and to get a gig worth of data per month.  I am being conservative there, but why spend when Wifi is so available, right?

I’ve gone back to T-Mobile and rightsized the plan.

Plus my old phone, a T-Mobile MyTouch Q was so slow that it literally took 10 minutes for it to come up.  It was that lack of speed that stopped me from really using the smartphone as well as I knew I would.

He knew I’d have a lot of fun with it, and, well thanks again!

That display literally lights up the hallway when I turn it on at 5 AM in the bedroom.

Talking about the phone, Craig shared with me some ideas to make things more interesting.  Cellphone cameras.  This one has a 14 megapixel camera.  Great, about another 50 percent better than my standalone camera that I have been using for years. 

Cellphone cameras have one big limitation, the lens is fixed.  You can’t really zoom in and out with one, they are just taking a digital scissors to the view and cutting it down.  It forces me to put myself in just the right spot where an optical zoom lens would let me do things a little simpler than having to get reeeeeealy close for that closeup.

But on the other hand, if the programmer who wrote the camera software was good, the camera can be amazing.

I’d say that Samsung had some very good programmers when they wrote the software for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

There are a couple of things I can do with the camera that I couldn’t do before, one of which is a little controversial.  It’s called “HDR” or High Dynamic Range.   HDR photography takes three pictures in rapid succession, so you need a faster processor than you might have before.  First an underexposed picture, then a “normal” one, then an overexposed picture.  The three are blended together and presented as a final picture.

Craig asked me had I ever played with it?

A little. 

I’m finding HDR to be an uneven technology.

Spotting a weed growing from a plank, it caught my eye as pretty typical for Florida.  Drop a seed and it

will grow or be eaten.  So during the golden hour dog walk that evening, I took a normal picture.  Then I took an HDR Picture. 

The normal picture had deep greens in the shadows, but the representation was a bit darker than my eye perceived.  I think the camera’s auto mode was looking at the weed in the foreground and using it to figure out how bright everything would be.   Otherwise, this is a very competent piece of equipment.

Then the HDR picture was taken.  The angle is slightly different, and I can now see what the difference was

with the HDR.  There is more of the darker areas shown.  It popped more, however the darker areas near the sunlight shaft were a little hazy.  No, I hadn’t left a thumbprint on the lens, I’m thinking it’s the code for this particular situation said bring it all up and make it more “contrasty”.  

I would say that the HDR picture is more true to what my eye sees in the scene.  At that time of day, the fence in the background is highly visible, and the darker areas of the plants aren’t really back into the gloom.

The way I see it is that it is an interesting technology, well worth playing around with.  On the other hand, good old “normal” photography could be just what you want.  Since you won’t know until you get home and look at it on your computer – Use Both!  After all, you don’t actually pay for film anymore do you?

Besides, isn’t Photography all about being creative?  Playing with your environment, the light, the setting, and your equipment?

Another tool in the shed or another crayon in the box.  It’s just going to make us better at what we do.  Frankly, I’m enjoying it.