Daring Fireball: Shawn Blancs Grandpa’s iPad

Daring Fireball: Shawn Blancs Grandpa’s iPad.

John Gruber makes two great points here:

1. Apple really should supply the iPad with the same great camera as has been in the iPhone 4s and later iPhones. I’ve seen people with iPads at their kids’ sports events, using them as cameras. I’ve seen people at the Chinese New Year’s parade, at night, using the iPad to take pictures of the floats. I’ve seen people at conferences, holding up iPads – blocking people behind – and taking pictures of the presentation. (I’ve even seen developers at the WWDC take pictures of the Thursday night band, using iPads). The people have spoken: the iPad’s not just for consumption.

2. Too many iOS (and likely Android) users, are woefully unprepared for photo loss.  Many assume that their iCloud backup does an adequate job, and they are wrong; even those who are using PhotoStream don’t realize the shortcomings.  One thing Apple could do is to make it more clear exactly what is being backed up, how much and for how long.  (As others have suggested before, PhotoStream should back up all images, not just 1,000, and perhaps it should only keep 1,000 images on each device).

Back to the use case that was being referred to, an important question these days should be, how do you ensure that the photos you take today will have the same longevity as printed photos in albums or shoeboxes have had. 10, 20, 30 years from now, how do you get your photos off of an old iPad, iPhone, iCloud account, or your Facebook, Flickr or Dropbox accounts? Will formats be so different that if you have not been updating those images you wouldn’t be able to view them? Would any of those online services be around? Will they have faithfully maintained your images – or did they delete them when you stopped logging into the site? And what if you’re dead? Will they provide your next of kin with access to the site? And who exactly will notify your next of kin and let them know that a photo archive is being maintained somewhere on your behalf?

If we care to pass these images along to the next generation, it is up to us individually to:

– maintain the images in two, three or more safe locations (whether at your home, in a safe deposit box, or on some service’s servers)

– document where these images are stored, along with user ids and passwords, and include this information in your will to those whom you’d like to grant access or ownership to. You may also wish to provide a power of attorney that gives your heirs access to your online accounts in case the services don’t wish to allow a deceased person’s user id to continue to log into those accounts.

– you may even wish to print some of your favorite photos and place them in a shoe box 🙂

Of course, in this digital age, you may wish to do the same for more than just your photos. You may have email correspondence you wish to pass on to your children. Or a Word document that contains your autobiography. Or an OmniGraffle chart of your family tree. I’m going to stop here as I have just opened a large can of worms (make sure you save these documents in multiple formats in case Word, OmniGraffle or your email app’s file formats are no longer supported in the future).

Oh, and keep in mind that when you you first pass away, there may be circumstances, such as grief, shock, or the young age of your heirs, that makes them unable to immediately think about preserving your digital creations. It maybe a decade or two before they start asking questions and wanting answers and your plans should include protecting those creations for some number of years after you’ve departed.

Sorry to be such a downer.



~ by mz on January 28, 2014.

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