A better way to say "I Love You" for Valentine's Day
Let me help you get prints made TODAY!
Nothing says I love you like a bouquet of roses.
Really? Even though they only last a few days, maybe a week at best? And sure, they brighten up a home, but they really get pricey this time of year.
How about an even better gift for Monday that will stand the true test of time? Like forever?
(You know where I’m going with this, right? You could see it a mile away!)
Nothing really says I love you like a photograph. In a frame. Or locket. Or just taped to a refrigerator. You’ve heard me say it before.
You and your loved one, smiling for the camera, a moment in time captured on Xs and Os. And I can help you get it made for Monday morning.
Yeah, you can still get roses delivered at this late date, even though you’ll pay dearly for them. (1-800-Flowers will deliver over-priced flowers for you on Monday, for $85, Amazon wants $50, thebouqs.com is sold out for Monday delivery and Urbanstems wants $95.)
The best floral deal is shopping local, at a market, where roses still sell for around $20 and are plentiful.
And what of that photo I’m urging you to buy?
Photo websites like Shutterfly and MPIX can’t turn around prints fast enough to get to you by Valentine’s Day, but have you checked out the machines at local stores like CVS, Walgreen’s and FedEx Office?
All have kiosks that let you print photos directly from your phone, on the spot and get the prints. Then buy one of the frames that are also for sale, put the two together, wrap it up, and you’ve got a present that will last generations, not days.
Let’s take a closer look:
CVS wins this one, hands down. You connect your phone to the WiFi of the Kodak kiosk, open your camera roll and select prints. You can have the made in seconds or a higher quality for next day delivery if you can wait a day.
Walgreens asks you to download its app and order them that way, for same day delivery. I tried the app and it was simple enough.
The FedEx kiosk is wonky. It connects to your phone via Lightning for iPhone or USB-C for Android and then you wait and wait for your photos to show up on the screen. That can take quite some time.
All sell small prints in the 30 cents to $5 range. You’ll get better quality from a lab like MPIX or Adorama, but if you haven’t gotten around to that Valentine’s present yet, here’s an easy way to get it done this weekend—without having to pay $100 for a bouquet of roses!
This week’s tech news
Apple. Two announcements this week caught my eye. First was a new “tap to pay” feature that is supposed to work like those three words say. Instead of waving your phone over a reader to use Apple’s mobile pay system, which I swear by, soon you’ll just tap another iPhone, like a fist bump.
We’ve all seen those little white doo-dads that accept credit card payments from a company that was known as Square (now Block.) Apple’s move is a threat, as merchants won’t need additional hardware to accept the sale. Why bother anymore?
But this will only work in the Apple ecosystem, not Android, and it won’t begin until the spring, per Apple. As someone who has had his credit card hacked, I’m for anything that doesn’t require me to swipe the card in public, and look forward to fist bumpin’ iPhones.
And just how popular is mobile pay? The answer I have is very unscientific, but when I was checking out the photo printers at CVS, I asked the clerk how popular mobile pay is in the Manhattan Beach location. “Seventy-five percent of my customers use it,” she told me. “It’s just more convenient.” A more scientific answer pegs it at 42%. Either way, this is the future!
Meanwhile, AirTags are getting an upgrade. The little Apple dongle to help you find lost keys and such turned out to have privacy issues, like providing an opportunity for people to track you. Per MacRumors: Apple will “implement new privacy warnings that will show up during AirTag setup to thwart malicious use.”
If you read one article about creepy privacy attacks this week, make it the one from the New York Times about the woman who tracked her hubby’s whereabouts with an Apple AirTag.
New Samsung phone. Apple needs competition, and we all want there to be many great phones to choose from, but it’s just hard to see how Samsung, which hasn’t seen its Galaxy line growing in recent years, can get people excited about their new top of the line model, announced this week. It’s the same old song, in 2022.
Better in low light photography? (I’ve heard that one before.) Longer lasting battery, faster processor chip? What else is new? A built-in pen, like the one on the old Note phones, but now for the top of the line Galaxy.
Speaking of phones, the Apple enthusiast blogs peg 3/8 as the date for the next iPhone announcement, but that’s just a minor upgrade, expected for the SE, the entry level $399 phone. Look for faster chip, 5G access and possibly a camera improvement. I’d say that was a yawn too, but at least there are cool updates for an affordable phone!
L.A. Arts District Photowalk
Just a quick note that next Saturday’s free live Photowalk 2/19 event in the L.A. Arts District sold out quickly, so I added a second overflow session for noon. I expect that one to sell out as well, so please put in your reservations before spots are gone. My goal is to show you some cool smartphone photography tips on how to get great portraits in front of street art. Thanks again to Flipboard for sponsoring the session. Sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/264942719807
Santa Fe’s Best Photo Spots
ICYMI: Part 4 of my New Mexico series posted this weekend, with a PhotowalksTV episode set in the little capital city of Santa Fe, home to adobe architecture, amazing food, buildings that are older than those in Philly and Boston, and all in all, just one big photographer’s paradise. If you haven’t caught it yet, please do me a favor. Click the link, watch, comment, share, subscribe, all those good things!
We have the first winners of the iPhone Photo Show monthly contest, and announced them on this week’s podcast episode. I encourage everyone to submit their work to our podcast Flipboard Group Magazine, and check out the submissions, which were absolutely awesome! (Reminder: the February contest is in full swing. More on how to submit your work in the post below.)
A reader this week (that was you Marci!) mentioned that she misses the weekly guitar tune at the end of my newsletters. Sorry on that—I’ll get better about posting in this new year.
Meanwhile, is there’s a better song for the Valentine’s Day edition than this classic?
Thanks as always everyone for watching, reading and listening. Did you enjoy today’s edition? Let me know with a reply, or a tweet!