Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 11: Instagram, and Bad Security Assumptions

Insta-what? In Chapter 9, I began to mention Instagram, which is not someone’s idea of a quickie breakfast food. It is a photo-handling app, which gives you a lot of photo editing and sharing options – too many to list here, but have fun exploring. The service was recently bought by Facebook.

Why the funny name? Instagraph may have made more sense, but that name was apparently taken. Anyway, per the developers, the name Instagram comes from “instant camera” and “telegram”.

After you’ve done your profile setup and added some followers & followees, when you first click on the app, the Home Screen looks something like this:

Instagram Home Screen

The controls at screen bottom are as follows:

  • House – Home Screen
  • Magnifying Glass – Search
  • Circle in Square – Access the camera
  • Heart – Activity
  • Person – All about you

Clicking on the Person brings up your personal stuff (see the screen shot below), including all the pictures that you’ve posted, and your profile information. To add or change your profile picture, you tap the profile picture itself (or a placeholder if you don’t have one yet) for a menu of photo options. Otherwise, you click the Edit Your Profile button, or the three vertical dots at upper-right for more options.

Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-18

Now for the bad security assumption. Just because Company A owns Company B does NOT imply that the security on apps owned by Company A automatically transfer to apps owned by Company B. In particular, your Facebook security does not transfer over to Instagram! Like most of you, I have Friends security on Facebook, so I assumed I had Followers security on Instagram. Wrong – the “assume” = “ass” of “u” and “me” rule applies here. Found that out when someone I know who was not following me saw a picture that was intended for followers only.

To change this, you must make your Instagram account Private to limit to followers and people you approve. You do this by clicking on the three vertical dots to bring up the Options screen, then swiping the Private Account button to the right – here’s the Before and After:

Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-33Screenshot_2015-10-26-22-11-54

Hope you enjoy Instagram, and again, please note the security differences between Instagram and Facebook.

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Ted and Judy’s Android Adventures: Chapter 6: Photo Synthesis

In days of yore, you just used your mobile phone for talking. Then came the merger of phones and digital photography, which occurred long before phones became mildly intelligent, nevermind smart. Now we have smartphones and tablets, and very good cameras. The following is an overview of some of the basic functions of the Galaxy S4  cameras (yes, plural):

  • The phone actually has two cameras – the forward-facing 13 megapixel (MP) camera takes regular pictures. The backward-facing 3MP camera is for selfies. How you hold the camera (tall or wide) determines the orientation of the photo rectangle (portrait or landscape, respectively). You tap the Camera app to access both cameras, and when the scene appears, you tap the camera-switch icon at top right to switch between cameras.
  • The cameras have various Modes – click the Mode icon to select. Auto (adjust to conditions) is the default, which you can use most of the time, but you have other modes such as Night, Best Photo, etc.
  • After taking a picture (click the camera icon), the picture is saved to the Gallery – tap the Gallery app to access. The Camera album contains the pictures you’ve taken with either camera. Swipe up and down to go through the list. Click on a picture you want to view or edit, or share with another app (more on this in future chapters). Swipe left or right to again go through the list.
  • To keep from cluttering up the Camera album, delete pictures you don’t like. Select one of the pictures you want to delete to call it up – a thumbnail list of pictures nearby in the album appears at bottom. Tap all the pictures you want to delete (a green check mark should appear in each thumbnail). Click the garbage can at top right – an are-you-sure box will appear. Click OK to delete the pictures.
  • You will find the Timer particularly useful (access via the Menu icon at far bottom left – tap the black area), then tap Settings, then the gear, then Timer. For selfies, this is absolutely essential – it gives you time to prop up the phone, then get into the picture.
  • To zoom in or out (forward-facing camera only), pinch the screen in or out as desired.

This by no means covers everything the camera can do. Some of these features appear in the Camera and Gallery apps, others come with third-party apps you download to your phone (as usual, all apps I feature in this blog are free unless I indicate otherwise).