Green dots in sunset photos on the iPhone 6 plus – lens flare?

Recently I noticed some obvious bright green dots in sunset photos I’ve taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. I thought it was just recent, so I went back and looked over old photos and found a couple with the same phenomenon, going as far back as late 2014. I saw at least one discussion at the Apple support forums about this from 2014, but there didn’t seem to be a conclusion.

My AppleCare warranty is up on 9/25/2016, so I contacted AppleCare and showed them the photos and we discussed it. They did a search of my serial number and determined my iPhone was part of a “small set of iPhone cameras” manufactured between September 2014 and January 2015 which experienced some camera blurring and other camera problems. This wasn’t blurring, but the Apple rep said they wanted to exchange it since it fit into that period of time.

Anyway, I got my exchange iPhone today, and I just went for a bike ride along the river, and it experiences the exact same problem. Not with every photo, but with many of the photos where I’m shooting into the sunset. Here are a few examples with and without the effect. The first 2 do not have the green dot, but the last 3 do.

It’s obviously a spec/quality issue with the iPhone 6 Plus lens – unless I was unlucky with two in a row. I guess you could call it “lens flare.” It seems like a rather odd shape and color for lens flare though. But it only happens when shooting at sunset into the sun.

Oh well, as I head into the end of my warranty, at least I ended up with a new iPhone manufactured in August of this year instead of my two-year-old iPhone.


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Macro photos

When I was in Akihabara yesterday I got an inexpensive “crip on” macro lens for any smartphone that can take photos between 10 and 23 mm away. It also comes with a fish-eye and wide lens, but today I played a bit with the macro lens on my iPhone while outside.

It’s pretty hard to focus because the slightest tremor will move the subject out of the very limited field of view. But these came out well I thought.

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OfficialiPhoneUnlock is a fraudulent company, so beware

OfficialiPhoneUnlock is a UK company claiming they can unlock carrier-locked iPhones.

This company is fraudulent. And now that my dispute is finalized in my favor with the credit card company I am going to report them to whatever government agency in the UK is responsible for online fraud. Nobody should have to go through what I went through with them.

To make a long story short, at the beginning of last September they guaranteed me an unlock of my KDDI AU (Japan) iPhone. I believed them and paid more than $180.

During the month I waited for this, they even promised me that it would be complete “within 5 days.” When this didn’t happen after a month, and I already arrived in the U.S. for my trip, they got abusive in their emails to me. One manager offered me a refund by email and I said I would take it, but then I never heard from them again.

I then contacted my credit card company and entered a dispute. Just before their response deadline, OfficialiPhoneUnlock sent the credit card company a email alleging that my iPhone was blocked because it was reported lost or stolen. Until just that moment I had considered the possibility that OfficialiPhoneUnlock were legitimate but just incompetent. But when I saw that utterly fraudulent claim I realized it was simpler than that. They were just dishonest.

Of course I was able to show the credit card company that my iPhone was not blocked, that in correspondence with me OfficeiPhoneUnlock never claimed it was, and that my iPhone was in fact showing up as “clean” and in contract with KDDI AU via many IMEI check sites. In other words, OfficialIPhoneUnlock was just out-and-out lying to avoid paying a refund.

OfficialPhoneUnlock had until 7 February to counter-respond. They did not and my card company has now confirmed with me that my refund is finalized.

Now that this is over, I want to warn everybody about this company. They are not honest. That’s the bottom line.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out that since last summer all KDDI AU iPhones don’t even need to be unlocked to use on the U.S. AT&T network (and some other networks in Europe). It’s compatible while locked. You can just walk into an AT&T store and get a free SIM while you are there and either get a GoPhone no contract monthly account or a regular post-pay account. That is what I ended up doing during my trip, and I am still using my iPhone – both in the U.S. and Japan, without the need for unlocking.

After what this company put me through, and to help warn others, I intend to report them for fraud to the UK authorities.

Size matters – two thoughts about my new iPhone 6 Plus

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy (I really do like Android too!) I noticed two things this afternoon while using my iPhone 6 Plus, which I’ve been using for a few weeks now.

This afternoon I took the train over to Ogikubo to help a friend with his computer. While on the train I was reading Flipboard, and scanning through articles. I found myself appreciating how the size of the iPhone 6 Plus was just perfect for train rides. It was not too small as to make articles hard to read, and not too large as to be uncomfortable using when sitting next to other people. And the screen was perfectly bright and beautiful. I was sitting there thinking, “This is really nice. I’m glad I upgraded.”

Then a second thing occurred which surprised me.

My friend still has an iPhone 5 (his iPhone 6 Plus is on order). I was helping him with a couple of things and had not used my iPhone 5 for a few weeks now and was shocked – really genuinely surprised – at how small and cramped the screen was. And the iPhone 5 is larger than the iPhone 4, which was larger than the iPhones before that. The iPhone 5 was lighter, it is true. But it really felt incredibly tiny and cramped. Like forcing yourself to squint through a tiny portal.

I could not believe how my impression over what makes for a good smartphone size changed in just a few weeks.