eXtensions - Friday 3 July 2020
Cassandra - Friday Diversion: Testing Faith - Non-synchronisation of Photos on iPhone 11 Pro (Edited - clarifications and tidying up)
By Graham K. Rogers
The Pixelmator tools available in the extension in Photos are naturally limited, so to use this new feature I had to export an image. I cropped an image I had taken with the iPhone 11 Pro and exported that to the desktop. I imported that into Pixelmator Pro and immediately applied the tool. As the article had warned this took quite some time but in the end I was able to save a new file on the desktop which was over 51 MB when I checked and in a proprietary format: PXD.
I could have used Save As, but I wanted to examine the process in full. I dropped the file into photos but I was warned that the application could not handle this file type. On the Mac, the finder will show a thumbnail and this is also visible in the Desktop folder in iCloud on the iPhone, but the file will not load. I also tried Graphic Converter which has one of the widest selections of file type options I know, but that did not budge.
There is no Pixelmator Pro on the iPad: only Pixelmator or Pixelmator Photo Pro. The latter is rather interesting as it has the look and feel of Aperture in some of its features, although is trimmed down and does not have the library facilities that I found so useful. I tried that app first and the file could not be opened. I also tried Pixelmator but in the files panel, although the basic JPG was visible, the PXD file was greyed out. This truly is a proprietary file type.
I noted that the Library file size on the external disk was just over 560 GB so it would never have gone on the internal hard disk. A couple of files were not displaying correctly. An old QuickTime file from 15 August 2011, which crashed Photos when I tried to open it; and a single image created by an app from the same stable as 645 Pro. I deleted these files after confirming with the Apple Helper in the new year. A number of Live Photos did not display although when I ran the mouse over the icon, they were fine. Some of these appeared properly the next day.
When Apple called on Sunday afternoon, I was asked a few questions then downloaded the same app that allowed the Helper to monitor the desktop and my actions. Looking at Photos I was asked to uncheck the iCloud synchronization delete some images that were highlighted in a panel that appeared, quit Photos, then restart the sync process. Ominously, an Uploading progress bar appeared with over 18,000 items. Initially that was 400 in 95 minutes with only another 18,228 to go. At that rate I calculated it could be 72 hours more, although with a good run overnight at new year, this began to come down quickly.
The downloads finished, but almost right away Photos began to upload some 42 images. This became stuck on 41 for a couple of hours. When I woke up in the morning, all had been completed, but the iPhone library showed no change. Following the earlier discovery when chatting with the Apple Helper, I compared the Albums which match on the iPads and Macs, but show major differences on the iPhone, suggesting that the synchronization problem is not just a few missing photos (more than 1700).
In a further session with Apple just after the new year break, as preparation for involvement of engineers, I was asked to make one more backup. I highlighted all the 18,000+ images and in the Photos, File Menu, used the Export originals option to a new folder on that hard disk. That finished during the night. At least I have lots of backups.
Hybrid thumb drive - USB (left) and USB-C
I knew this had been done when I received a phone call while I was asleep a couple of nights ago. As they are in the favored list, calls from them are accepted while others are blocked. The next morning I had a message to tell me that they had cracked it and I made one or two suggestions. We had made an attempt a couple of days ago to communicate via video using What's App, but this was unsuccessful but we did get through briefly once.
On New Year's Eve I looked at FaceTime and decided to give it a try. One tap and I entered the address, then made the connection much to the surprise of my stepfather. I had a conversation with him and my mother and gave some more hints. He had had a problem when typing an unusual name in email, and I told him how to use the correction facility above the keyboard. Both in their 90s, they are still learning although my mother is very resistant to all technology these days.
I wondered about local availability as I always think it is better to support local outlets and was pleased to find that Incase has a local site, although I was not able to see any English language pages. It was quite easy to find the backpack I was after, but I was less than pleased to see the local price was 6490 baht. I did also find a couple of outlets, like Siam Paragon where there were 10% discounts, but this still makes it cheaper to buy from abroad and ship.
I sometimes find that high end products - not that this is particularly high end - come at more than a reasonable price here. A couple of years ago I looked at some nice headphones but when I found them in Gaysorn Plaza they were almost double the US price, while some B&O H7 headphones that I also liked were slightly higher than the US price, but not unreasonably so when import costs and VAT were factored in.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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