December 2013

Gavin Pickin

IOS App Problem - Interesting Solution for End User

Techie Gotchas

Hi everyone... last few days has been a little tough on my Challenge, but blog posts are going well, I missed one day, but I'm going to make that up with a couple of bigger more intensive ones soon. I was going to try and bust one of those out tonight, but I have spent the better part of the evening scratching my header, pulling my hair out, and getting frustrated, when, in the end, there was a SUPER SIMPLE solution. Isn't there always one of those... yup, so I thought I'd share my experience.

For those who haven't read the about me page, or know much about me, I have 5 kids total, and 2 of them 2 years and under. Its why I spend a lot of my time after 9 on the computer, because 5-9 each night belong to my kids. Now, when we had the 2 year old, we used a baby monitor, worked ok, crappy video, no options, no frills, but hey it worked. Being the geek I am, and picking up ipads, iphones, tablets, laptops etc, I wanted to upgrade from that system, to some real "relevant" technologies. So, I got a couple of these IP cameras, from Amazon and gave it a whirl (Link to Amazon Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black) )

They are pretty easy to setup, wired, and wireless, web accessible, via the port of your choosing, and you can control the camera, and all the options via web. We liked the idea of the alarm systems, where it can detect sound, motion, or faces, and can beep, ftp images or video, or email you, even MSN you, if you still use MSN messenger. Two Way Talking mode was a nice bonus, especially when you are telling the 2 year old to get back in bed, because, you dont want to get out of your own bed.

Anyways, back to the IOS app. We checked out several apps, most of the free ones dont do much, you have to upgrade to get the audio support. After much searching, we decided to give uBabyCam with AV recording a shot. It has multiple camera mode, and lots of cool options... so after a couple of small upgrade prices, we got it working. It was cool, we could set it up like a monitor, and hear the snoring all night long, or we could set it up to just beep (one of the alarms) when the noise in that room peaked. Then you can turn on the sound to hear what it is.

So, worked pretty good... until IOS 7 came out. Once we upgraded phones, ipads etc, the app would die, within seconds, or minutes, or hours, and it would drive us mad, you'd wake up, to hear nothing, and realize it cut out, or worse, wake up and hear your baby crying, and not knowing how long they had been crying. We're lucky, the kids sleep through the night, most of the time, but with winter kicking in here, they aren't feeling 100%. Anyways, so after double checking the app was up to date, and everything else, I finally decided to update the camera firmware. Not sure what that would do... I thought why not... I could always reset the camera.

So, I installed the System Firmware, and then the Web UI Firmware, and then once it was all done, I go to try the App, and its giving me a bad password error. So, add a new user, update another, try different user types, nada. A little confused, I searched forums, looking for uBabyCam issues with IOS7, and Firmware bugs, did this, did that... wasted a lot of time.

I finally emailed uBabyCam, at 1030pm at night, and they responded instantly.
They sent me one of their seemingly canned responses, I know, because in the past, I have got this before, and so I thought, what the heck, why not try it.

  • Uninstall the app - seems counter productive, but maybe a fresh install will help... although, I tried this... I thought.
  • Do a HARD POWER OFF. A what? For those of you that didn't know, and I continually forget this, powering your device off, is almost like putting it in a nice sleep mode. Hard Power Off is really like a reboot... and it clears a lot more than just a power off. To do so:
    • Hold Power Button and Home Button at the Same Time
    • Ignore the Power Off Slider when it comes off
    • Hold it for 10 seconds, and you should see the screen go completely black
    • Release when the Apple Logo lights up
  • Unlock the device after it has booted complete
  • Download the app again (and upgrades)
  • Try it

Woo freaking woo. It seemed to have fixed the password bug, almost right away, and so far it hasn't blipped at all with the cutting out issue.

So, when something changes... and your apps aren't working. Maybe back up your data (because it warns you about losing app data when you uninstall the app) and then do a Hard Boot / Power Off, and reinstall it. Maybe a fresh install is better than an upgraded version of the App... its simple, quick, and it has helped me more times than I remember, and I wish I remember this more often.

Hope its useful advice, and although I didn't have the best things to say about this App, the cameras are great, and the app is great, when I remember to Hard Boot and install fresh... so give it a try.
PS: I'm getting one to watch the front door, to email me when our eldest son lets people into the house... BUSTED :)

Have a good one.
More Git, MariaDB and Unit Testing coming soon.


Blog Search