iPhone Life magazine

Werner Ruotsalainen is an iOS and Java programming lecturer who is well-versed in programming, hacking, operating systems, and programming languages. Werner tries to generate unique articles on subjects not widely discussed. Some of his articles are highly technical and are intended for other programmers and coders.

Werner also is interested in photography and videography. He is a frequent contributor to not only mobile and computing publications, but also photo and video forums. He loves swimming, skiing, going to the gym, and using his iPads. English is one of several languages he speaks.

Great Multimedia Player BUZZ Player. 5.0.2 is Out – But not Necessarily Worth Updating to

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In many of my older articles (like this one), I've praised BUZZ Player. ($3.99) and BUZZ Player HD. ($3.99). Up until 4.0.2, which royally messed up the player's MKV playback capabilities, making it one of the worst choices for MKV playback.

(A quick note: note the full stop after the name of both the iPhone and the iPad-specific apps. I've explained the cause for this seemingly amusing name HERE.)

In the meantime, newcomers to the iOS multimedia player scene, nPlayer ($4.99; read my latest review) have become the most important “go to” player for everyone looking for MKV playback and not wanting to play back DTS audio.



New Version of iPad Video Player CineXPlayer Receives DTS Support

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This article is targeted at people wanting to play back video files with DTS audio in them and to know how CineXPlayer fares against the competition.

I've frequently posted on the generic video player CineXPlayer  for iPhone ($1.99) and iPad ($3.99). While I haven't really recommended it as an all-in-one player, unlike nPlayer ($4.99) which I recently reviewed, I still did emphasize its main strengths. They're as follows:



Review: New Versions of Multimedia Players VLC, nPlayer, and AVPlayer(HD)

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Three multimedia players have received some major updates in the last few months. Let's see how their current versions fare.

Let's start with VLC, The following section assumes you've read my previous VLC review as I only elaborate on the changes and whether the biggest problems have been fixed.



Better Camcorder Receives Proper iOS 7 Lossless Zoom and Slow Motion Support

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Back in the days of iOS 5, when the iPhone 4S was the only high-speed video recording-capable iPhone model, I didn't really recommend Better Camcorder (free with a 10-second restriction; unlock costs $1.99), because it was clearly weaker than the alternative, SloPro (free).

Now, exactly the opposite is true: The just-released version (1.7) of Better Camcorder is clearly superior to SloPro with regards to making use of the brand-new zooming-specific features of iOS 7. And the in-app purchase unlock only costs half that of SloPro.



ProCam: A Great Camera App that Shouldn't be Missed

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This article is targeted at anyone wanting to do “fun” things with the cameras of their iDevices, including creating time-lapse videos.

In my latest article on making use of the zooming in videos, I've already reviewed the zoom capabilities of a recently-discounted camera app in AppStore, ProCam ($1.99). In that article, I recommend against using it for video shooting on lossless zoom-capable devices if you plan to use the zoom.



Zooming While Shooting Video: Everything You Need to Know About High-Quality, Lossless Zooming

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This article is targeted at advanced iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s users using iOS 7; video shooters; programmers coding video apps; and Apple's engineers in charge of bug fixing.

iPhones produce really decent video footage under ideal circumstances. Sure, they have their share of problems; for example, the lack of stereo audio recording, optical image stabilization (OIS), and wide field-of-view lens, all three supported by other flagships like the LG G2 running Android or the Nokia 92x/1020 running Windows Phone 8. However, under good lighting, and if you shoot on a tripod, you can easily have significantly better image quality than the LG G2 or most, if not all, Android phones. (Tripods make it possible to avoid camera blur, which is detrimental to the image quality.) Similarly, all iPhones since the iPhone 4 generally produce much better-detailed footage than most dedicated point-and-shoot cameras. They can, in video quality, easily beat even large-sensor DSLRs or ILC cameras because there's no aliasing or, unless you zoom in, moire in the image—unlike imost large-sensor cameras. Of course, a large-sensor camera will always have better dynamic range and less noise, meaning the iPhone is only preferable in ideal lighting circumstances or when you don't have any other camera with you.



Excellent Camera app ProCamera 7 released; Original ProCamera Gone Free & Shouldn't be Missed

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ProCamera (free at the moment) has always been one of the apps I recommend for generic shooting. While it lacks specialized stuff such as image stitching algorithms like panorama or true HDR shooters, it's still a very decent user interface built around Apple's Camera application programming interface (API), allowing for the manual configuration of almost all features configurable via the API. For example, it supports extending the shutter speed from the default 1/15 second minimum up to 1 second, making it possible to take night shots of far better quality and exposure than you otherwise could with the Camera app.



The Exposure Compensation and Bracketing Bible

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This article is intended for advanced photographers and, of course, programmers.

As an imaging and iOS programming pro (see my latest Nokia Lumia 1020-specific article), people often ask me about the photo and video capabilities of iOSWhile I'm currently working on no less than four major tutorials & roundups (panorama, HDR, low-light, and action shooting) I'll publish in the near future, I've decided to dedicate a “quick” separate article to a forum question HERE. Note that my HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting article will build on the information in this article so that advanced users know how exposure compensation can be done in the best way on iOS.

Note that I'm discussing both bracketing and, generically, exposure compensation. The former is based on the latter—you generally shoot more than one exposure-compensated shot to get a bracketed series of shots, typically, for future (HDR etc.) processing. This also means that, as long as you understand what exposure compensation is, you'll also easily understand what bracketing is.



VLC for iOS Returns to the App Store

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VLC is probably the best all-in-one multimedia player for both Mac OS X and Windows. It also has ports on mobile platforms (or will have when Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 are concerned).

The iOS port, which was released back in 2010, had a stormy history. Shortly after its release, it had to be removed from the App Store, only to return almost three years later, this week VLC for iOS (free). Before, the only VLC version available on iOS was from Cydia, the jailbroken App Store. The Cydia version of VLC has always been the same as the 2010 (initial) version of VLC.

The removal of the initial version of VLC has understandably caused quite much uproar because people tend to think of VLC as the best of all players no matter what platform it's running on. This, unfortunately, hasn't been the case of the initial (2010) version – actually, it has been one of the absolute worst players in terms of compatibility, features, and efficiency. As I've always recommended in all iOS forums, you simply didn't want to use the then-current (2010) version of iOS VLC, because it was plain inferior to the top App Store players (GoodPlayer, It's Playing, AVPlayerHD, nPlayer, HD Player Pro (currently unavailable), RushPlayer, BUZZ Player HD. etc.), and Cydia ones (XBMC, RushPlayer+).



iOS 7 to Support 60fps Video Recording

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This article is intended for iPhone 4S and 5 users who want to shoot video at 60fps (double the framerate) using iOS 7 as well as programmers wanting to support the new 60fps mode in their apps. No iPad or iPhone 4 users should read further since, to my knowledge, their hardware doesn't support 60fps.


Executive Summary

iOS 7 will support 60fps video recording at 720p (as opposed to iOS 6). While it does have image quality problems on current, compatible iPhones (4S and 5), at least it works.



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