17 October 2015

Create a Beautiful Photography Website in Minutes


John is not a professional photographer, the day job keeps him busy, but he’s an enthusiast who loves photography. One fine evening, he got a call from someone in his friend’s network who was willing to hire John for a photo shoot but, before signing the contract, they wanted to see more of his work.

John has captured some stunning and impressive photographs over the years but they are clearly not sorted and arranged in a manner that can be easily shared with a client. His photographs can be found all over the social web – from Facebook to Instagram to Flickr – but, for lack of time and technical know-how, he never considered building a portfolio website to showcase his work.

How to Make a Photography Website

There are WYSIWYG website building tools, Squarespace and WordPress for example, that make it extremely easy for you to build beautiful photography websites but the little downside with these tools is that you’ve manually update them every few weeks or months.

Portfolio Website

Siftr is a new web app that is trying to tackle the same problem but with a “build it, forget it” approach. The app, created by ex-Adobe employees, monitors your Instagram and other social networks, and automatically makes a portfolio website by pulling your ‘best’ photographs. Unlike other website builders that require you to manually upload photographs, Siftr syncs pictures from your social accounts, where you are actively posting pictures anyway, and puts them in your portfolio website.

Here’s a sample photography website that Siftr created using my Instagram page. It created the website and curated the photos automatically and the total time I spent in the entire exercise is 0 minutes. The website is responsive and looks great on a mobile too. Here are better examples.

Smart Categories, like Google Photos

You may be wondering why would anyone need such a tool when similar functionality can be emulated in WordPress using services like IFTTT. For instance, you can have an IFTTT recipe that will automatically cross-post your pictures to WordPress as soon you put them on Facebook or Flickr.

Well, there’s more to Siftr than just syncing your photos from social networks. The tool uses object recognition techniques to automatically classify your photos in categories. For instance, there are categories like “Nature”, “Buildings”, “People”, etc. and the photos are tagged automatically based on the pixels. So if a prospective client is only interested in the landscape photographs, you can directly point him to the relevant tag.

Photography Portfolio Website

Siftr offers a host of layout templates and you also have the option to remove pictures that you do not wish to show in your portfolio website. At the time of writing this, Siftr can import your photos from Instagram, Flickr and Facebook but there’re adding support for 500px too, all the popular destinations where you’re more likely to upload photographs.

Siftr.co is completely free at though some of the upcoming features, like custom domains, templates, etc. could only be available to premium users.


The story, Create a Beautiful Photography Website in Minutes, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 17/10/2015 under Instagram, Photography, Internet.

16 October 2015

Chrome Notifications in Google's Navigation Bar


It looks like the Google Notifications section is not only for Google+ and Google Photos. Daniel Fletcher, a reader of this blog, noticed a Chrome notification from a supervised user who sent a permission request.


It's likely that more Google services and products will show notifications in the navigation bar. Google already stacks the notification cards for Google Photos.

{ Thanks, Daniel. }

Google Families?


Google's password manager available at passwords.google.com has an interesting list of URLs in the source code. Most URLs redirect to Google's My Account page, but there's a new subdomain which returns a 404 error: families.google.com. It's not clear if Google intends to launch a new account manager for families.


Google Chrome already has a feature that lets you add supervised users and setup parental controls. You can block certain websites, review browsing history, change settings. Google Play has a Family section that highlights family-friendly content and Google Play Music will offer a family plan for $14.99. There's also YouTube for Kids.

{ Thanks, PhistucK Productions. ]

Google Shows Other Recordings of a Song


When you're searching Google for a song that has multiple cover versions, Google shows a new section below the video: "other recordings of this song". For example, if you're searching for [Felix Jaehn Ain't Nobody], Google shows the original version of the song from 1983 (Rufus and Chaka Khan) and a recent cover version from 2013 (Jasmine Thompson), which was remixed by Felix Jaehn, a German DJ.


You can click the other recordings to find more about them and watch their videos.

15 October 2015

How to Tell if Apple Magic TrackPad 2 will work with your Mac


Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2 is a new and redesigned multi-touch trackpad that has a larger surface area than the previous trackpad, includes rechargable batteries and supports Force Touch, a technology that lets you do more with a single touch. For instance, you can press the trackpad to select a word on a web page, apply more pressure and it will pop-up the word definition.

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 costs $129 but it isn’t just expensive, it may not be compatible with your older iMac or Macbook. The Apple website suggests that the new Magic Trackpad 2 requires Bluetooth 4.0-enabled Mac running El Capitan (OS X v10.11 or later) and thus it may not work with MacBooks and iMac that are older than 3-4 years.

If you are looking to buy the Trackpad but are not too sure if it will work with your Mac, here’s how you can perform a quick check.

Magic Trackpad 2 on Mac

Does your Mac have Bluetooth 4 for Magic Trackpad 2

Click the Apple logo in the menu bar, select “About this Mac” and check for the version number. If it says 10.11, you’ve El Capitan. Next click on “System Report,” select “Hardware” underneath Bluetooth and look for the “LMP Version” in the report. If it says 0x6, it means you’ve Bluetooth 4 on your Mac and the Trackpad 2 will work without issues.

If you prefer the command line approach, open terminal on your Mac and enter the following command to know your Bluetooth version.

system_profiler -detailLevel full | grep “LMP Version”

The LMP (Link Manager Protocol) Version will be 0x6 if your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth 4 or 0x4 if it has an older version of Bluetooth. You should have also upgraded your Mac to OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).

There are inexpensive Bluetooth USB adopters, like the ones from GHS2 and IOGEAR, that will plug into the USB port of your Mac and bring Bluetooth 4 connectivity to even older models but they are not ‘officially’ supported.


The story, How to Tell if Apple Magic TrackPad 2 will work with your Mac, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 14/10/2015 under Apple Mac, Software.