I’ve spent some considerable time with Leah Dawson. She’s a professional surfer, wanderer, and filmmaker. Leah’s the type of person you want one-on-one time with. Our conversations flow easily from one meaningful subject to the next. She grasps the power of a true offline connection, but she’s also realistic. She knows there’s no way that she can always have alone time with her many friends around the world nor can she successfully communicate her message of sea appreciation in that type of an environment. So, Leah has tackled that problem as naturally as she surfs. She is a content generator and publisher of many kinds. You can find here daily pics on Instagram, her music, and film projects on her website The Sea Appreciation Project and her writings on The Inertia. Leah uses these outlets flawlessly and with only one agenda – to help you understand why she loves the ocean so much and how important it should be to all of us. Her latest short film is out today; Julune follows Leah on a journey through June and July of 2014 where she spent time traveling through Indonesia.

Julune is a part of Leah’s The Sea Appreciation Project, an initiative to inspire respect for the ocean through media. The Sea Appreciation Project strives to tell meaningful stories that encourage viewers to make sustainable choices out of love. Leah uses her passion for surfing as her inspiration behind her filmmaking career.  She has worked in various forms of production as a live camera operator, a producer, editor, director, and cinematographer. Leah is also an ambassador to GoPro, winner of the Deus 9 Foot and Single contest in Bali along with being upcoming contestant in the Noosa Festival of Surfing in Australia.

Because Leah could be in any of a number of places on the planet at any given moment she needs to utilize tools that allow her to easily access, work and share her content with friends, followers and collaborators alike. In upcoming blog posts Leah will tell us how she uses younity to share video edits with those assisting her on her short films, access GoPro videos stored on her home computer via her phone and easily post photos from her computer to Instagram via younity giving her even more freedom to be anywhere in the world while remaining connected to the content that she enjoys sharing with the world that is not within an arms length.

If you want to see why Leah uses younity check out the newest version of the app click here. It’s free!

 


younity for Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is something most photographers wanted for a long time – a serious photo editing and management product without the unnecessary features in Photoshop. While Adobe has made great strides in Lightroom’s features, including a mobile version of the product, huge photo collections remain a challenge to access when you are away from your computer. That’s why we developed younity to integrate with the Lightroom catalogues, so you can carry your entire photo portfolio with you on your iPhone and iPad.

When you install younity on your computer, it will discover your Lightroom catalogue and read its structure. When you open younity on your iPhone or iPad, the Photos view will show you an option to view your Lightroom photos. younity will let you see: Recent Photos; Folders; and Collections. The “Recent Photos” view will show you the last 100 photos added to Lightroom. The “Folders” view will show you the folder structure that you’ve imported into Lightroom. And the “Collections” view will show you all the Collections (aka photo albums) you’ve created in Lightroom.

Last, but not least, younity lets you see the Lightroom catalogue from every computer (desktop, laptop, etc.) you install it on, in a single unified view! That means if you have a Lightroom catalogue on your laptop and one on your desktop, younity will read them both and merge them into a single view within younity (this does not affect the Lightroom catalogues on your computers – it is only merged for viewing purposes in younity).

Doesn’t Lightroom Sync do some of this?

Some of you know that Lightroom has a sync function that enables you to access your Lightroom Collections via the Lightroom Mobile app on your iPhone or iPad. It works quite well, but it has several significant drawbacks:

1) It only syncs Collections, not Folders.

2) You have to configure each and every Collection to be synced (this is not particularly obvious).

3) It is extraordinarily slow – it took about a day for a large Collection of a few thousand photos.

4) Sync photos use up storage on your iPhone or iPad – it will do this until your device runs out of storage.

Many people might be able to live with issues 1, 2 and 3, but the last issue is simply a non-starter for people with large photo Collections/portfolios.

younity is totally different: you never have to configure it to include your photos; it includes all your Collections, Folders and Recents; it is, comparatively, lightning fast; and it does not use up any storage on your device (unless you download your photos for local use).

When you view or share photos in younity, you see a slightly lower resolution copy. However, if you download them you get a full resolution copy. Want to push your best photography to social media, no problem – younity has you covered with one-touch publishing to Instagram, VSCOCam, Facebook and more. You can open any photo in any app on your device that supports photos or print them at the nearest printer. You can even share an entire photo album with someone, easily and securely.

We built younity with serious photographers in mind. Check it out and tell us how to make to keep improving it for your purposes.


We recently released an update to the photos features of younity, integrating Adobe Lightroom and iPhoto for easier access to ALL your photography. We even cleaned up the UI and allowed for easier browsing of your GoPro photos. Based on the overwhelming response from users around the world, we thought we’d share some of these 5 star reviews with you so you don’t have to hear us tell you how great we think younity is, but rather hear from your peers that you might relate to. With the good comes some bad and there have been some of those ratings too. We see these as a great opportunity to learn from our users on how to improve the app in coming releases. Below are some of the 5 star reviews younity has received in the App Store recently.

apple app store younity blog

 

Love it by GTSyo – USA

Movies play for me very well. I stream over ATT LTE and movies never stops. Sometimes they stop over wifi, but I don’t think that’s Younity that has the issue.

 

Does what it says on the tin!!!!!! by marcusdelerious – Great Britain

Giving an app with no reviews A chance is easy when it’s free. I am pleased to advise YOUNITY is very easy to install, both on the iOS device and your PC. I have a larger than average collection of media and it took a while to get everything into place. Accessing my iTunes library from my phone or I pad is incredible. This is a great app and works well in both wi fi and 4G situations. I am grateful to have it at my disposal. Give it a try; currently you have nothing to lose.

 

Eccellente by Pier Paolo Penco – France

Ingenious application that works perfectly. Has replaced Quikio (suddenly disappeared) without regrets. I highly recommend it : it is simply FUNDAMENTAL!

 

Excellent app for remote streaming by Devaraj J – USA

The update is really awesome. Enhancement to view the downloaded files separately is a great feature enhancement. Really like the app being Ad free which promotes the premium look. Highly recommend this app for anyone looking at wireless streaming option.

 

The best personal music streaming solution by Jg$6 – USA

This is the first review I’ve ever written, and I’m only doing it because I absolutely love younity. I’ve been using Pogoplug for over 3 years only to stream my music library to my iPhone/iPad. It has a lot of issues, but is usable. Younity trumps it in every single way. Speed-wise, it starts playback of any song I choose immediately, and hasn’t had any dropout issues thus far. People use this app for way more than music, and I’m sure it’s great. But if you want access to your music library over the Internet to portable devices, I can say this is the best solution out there right now.

 

Genial by Appleesmejor – Spain

I can see the movies, photos, music, PDF, word, etc… is in my computer from anywhere with iPhone, iPad, etc. It works great. Recommended!

 

Next time you’re in the app and you’re prompted for a rating or review, we’d love to hear from you!


younity streaming with airplay

The potential for true mobility is better than ever, now that we have more mobile devices and wearables than ever before. We constantly find ourselves  wanting to; share our media with people around us, wanting to immerse ourselves in a blockbuster film or an awesome music playlist. If our devices are used correctly we can easily grab a photo, video or song on one device and stream it to another. It’s finally starting to be more common place to not have to worry about where your files are stored. This takes a lot of strain off of users who have traditionally been forced to take the time to plan ahead. With younity, you are freed from planning ahead and can instead live spontaneously. You can do things like stop by a friend’s house and share an old video of your travels together, directly to your friend’s TV using your iPhone or iPad, even if that video is stored on your home computer. Because younity integrates Apple’s AirPlay, you can easily stream music and videos right to your TV, stereo or other AirPlay-enabled devices even when the content you want to access isn’t stored on your iPhone or iPad.

We often talk about our love for Apple Airplay. It’s because it is the easiest way to stream movies via your Apple TV and music to Airplay-enabled speakers. To connect, all you have to do is start playing music or a video in younity and you will see the small streaming icon in the lower right corner of the UI if an Airplay-enabled device is nearby. Tap the icon and you’ll see a list of all devices nearby that can accept a stream using AirPlay from younity. As a result, we get the benefit of high-quality audio and video without hard drives, USB thumb sticks or dealing with a messy pile of cords.

More-and-more products, like Google’s Chromecast, are entering the market to offer alternatives to Apple’s Airplay. As those products become more popular for streaming and users begin to request integration with younity we will look to add them to our existing feature set. Please keep us informed of what you are looking for by connecting with us on our support site, Twitter or Facebook.

Below is a generic tutorial from Lynda.com that will help you get up in running with Airplay on your iPhone in a matter of minutes.

 

 


large_Hero4Black_StandardHousing_0_OB

You got the camera, now you have to put it to work capturing the things you love. That might be nailing a killer trick, recording your kids growing up, or capturing memories from travels around the world. The more you use your GoPro, the more you realize it is perhaps the most powerful device for recording your life that has ever been made. Sure, smartphones are convenient because they are always in your pockets – but when I watch or share my memories, I want to do so in glorious, high-quality HD video. So to make sure you get the most out of it, here is a short list of must-have accessories to get you started. Certainly, the more of a heavy user you are, you’ll need/want far more; but these will make sure you get started properly with the must-have tools to help get the shot.

0_4036_imgPELICAN 1200 CASE

Your GoPro is a serious piece of hardware and it’s not cheap – keep it protected. Pelican is known for bomb-proof cases capable of safely protecting even the most expensive and delicate hardware. They’re dust-proof, water-resistant, they float and you can apparently even drive a car over them (best not to test that though). The 1200 is a near perfect case – it is small, lightweight and easily customizable. While it holds your camera and a variety of accessories, portability comes at a cost – if you have lots of accessories you will quickly run out of space. It is also just a bit too narrow to hold the typical extension pole. While this is sort of a bummer, it is a great place to start based on its price (about $40) and size (even if you have multiple cases, you’ll always want a small one that is highly portable – the 1200 can easily fit in an average backpack). A larger option is the 1400 or 1500, which are a good step up in size.

71KoQNbOdnL._SY355_WASABI POWER BATTERY KIT

If you use your GoPro even just a little bit, you’re absolutely going to need additional batteries. The OEM batteries are expensive though, so you might be thinking twice about spending your hard-earned money on something you already have. Don’t worry, this Wasabi Power kit is the way to go. The batteries are high quality and work just like the OEM versions. However, with this kit you get 2 extra batteries, a dual charger (so you can charge two at a time), as well as a wall adapter and car charge; all for just $30. I can get this whole kit in my Pelican 1200 easily and it doesn’t take up much space at all. Now when I grab my GoPro only to realize that the battery in it is about to die, I’ve got a few backups waiting to go.

TheFrameMount_683x426_2GOPRO FRAME MOUNT

Most GoPro kits come with waterproof housings, but what about when you are shooting video on land – away from water? The Frame mount is a lightweight, skeleton-like housing that keeps the microphones exposed, while providing minimal protection. You get easy access to the battery compartment (pre-Hero4) and no bulk. Additionally, the housing has mounts for things like a tripod or extension pole. While GoPro makes one of these, there are many aftermarket versions that also include things like a lens cover (this is important with this type of housing because the camera is exposed) and are MUCH more affordable.

gpe-10_3_largeGOPOLE EVO FLOATING EXTENSION POLE

This is likely the most important accessory you will have. Camera poles are an important way to stabilize your camera while shooting video. Extension poles mean you can get the camera far enough away from you to shoot yourself without your arm being an obvious element in the shot. Floating poles are key in making sure if you are shooting in/around water that you aren’t going to lose the pole (or, more importantly, your GoPro!) GoPole’s whole line of poles is spectacular. The buoy is fluorescent, so you can easily find it bobbing around in the water. They’re high-quality build makes them reliable and durable. This version even allows your GoPro remote to mount near your hand, which means you don’t have to reach out to control the camera between shots. The downside is that this extension pole, like many of them, is a bit long when collapsed (about 14″). This means it will not fit in your Pelican 1200. I like to keep a small version in the case (like the Bobber) and the extension pole can be strapped or velcro’d to the outside of the case.

Minimalist_Kit_@2xJOBY ACTION KIT

So you’re covered shooting video when you’re holding the camera, but what about when your hands are busy doing something other than holding the camera? A tripod is a real necessity to get those shots where you are the subject, but not the cameraperson. Joby’s Action Kit is a modular system that gives you flexibility and portability. I’ve always loved the Gorillapod because it is a tripod with flexible legs that can grip all sorts of things (e.g. a table edge, a tree branch, etc.), but the new Action Kit enables you to create multiple setups for different situations. You can use a suction mount, the tripod legs or a gooseneck. All these will be critically useful in many situations. It’s a bit pricey, but keep in mind: you don’t have to buy all of them at once; you’ll save on a lot of space by having a modular system (and what good is it if you aren’t always taking these with you); and it is ultimately cheaper than buying these things individually (which will take up far more space).

iPad_mini_gopro_V4

YOUNITY

You bought the best action-camera on the market and captured the things you love in amazing HD video. Of course that HD video takes up a TON of storage space, so it made its way to your desktop computer, your laptop computer and your external USB hard drives. Some of it might be online, like YouTube, but most of it is probably just sitting on a hard drive somewhere. So does that mean you never want watch it? Heck no! younity makes sure you can stream all that video anytime you want access to it. At the bar with your friends and want to show them that you nailed the trick? Having dinner with family and want to show the kids? Talking to co-workers about how amazing your vacation was? younity puts all the video you’ve ever created at your fingertips, on-demand. It’s your own private streaming service. You can even privately share video with your friends. It’s also free, which is unique for this list. Simply install younity on your computer(s) and it will automatically find all the GoPro video stored on them. Then install it on your iPhone/iPad and conveniently browse your video, search for clips, stream it or share it with friends.

GoPros are amazing and the more we use ours, the more we find we can’t live without it. We also find more and more accessories, apps and services that make our GoPro experience better. If you think we missed anything, make sure you tell us in the comments.


sharing is caring

We have covered this topic in the past but are seeing more and more users continue to have trouble with managing multiple iTunes accounts within their family. As Apple has released new devices they’ve added new features in iTunes like “Family Sharing”. While accessing and sharing iTunes purchased content is something a lot of people care about, the problem continues to grow because it only lets you download your content, but not stream it and not access things like playlists. The holidays, more than any other time of year, always seem to reveal how big this problem is for people - people stock up on new toys, travel to see friends and family and want to bring all their content with them.

Apple’s most recent efforts have included iOS 8′s “Family Sharing” which attempts to solve some of the issues.  You can share (i.e. download) music, movies, photos and apps between family members and even help organize your family calendar. The problems with “Family Sharing” are that its pretty restrictive in its “sharing.” In fact, sharing might be what we want to hear, but it isn’t really what it enables you to do.

First, the “Family Sharing” program only allows you to download content that is purchased with the same credit card. Once that content is purchased you can only download the actual individual song or movie, but not the library or playlist that you might attach it to. So, if you have that one person in your family that’s great at putting together playlists, you wont be able to download/share that. Lastly, each piece of content needs to be downloaded to the device in order to consume it – you still can’t stream anything with iTunes. You’ll be needing the more expensive 128 GB phone in order to store all of that content.

If you’re like most people, your household has a few iTunes accounts and several devices. You often go back and forth between each other’s computers, which results in the purchasing of music, movies, and apps with the other person’s account along with the different credit cards tied to those accounts. Most families don’t seem to mind this, but Apple certainly does lock down purchases so that they are tied to an account; even your “Family Sharing” purchases are tied to a unique account. This creates a real problem when you want to match up the way your family uses its devices to the way you want to purchase and consume your content.

We’ve always thought that one of the less obvious benefits of younity is that it solves this problem easily. When you install younity on multiple computers, it will scan all the iTunes accounts on those computers and unify them onto your iPhone, iPad or iPod. This means that if you buy the new Caribou album on your wife’s laptop, it will be instantly available on your iPhone. And when she buys the movie Gone Girl on our iMac (which uses my Apple ID), it is instantly on her iPad Mini. You don’t have to upload things anywhere, network your devices, drag files to special folders or even add the music to the other iTunes Library. Within seconds, younity discovers the newly downloaded music or movie on one device and it unifies it to your mobile devices. Better yet, it unifies your entire music collection without taking up any of the precious storage on your mobile device – you can stream it on-demand or download what you want for offline use. You can even share it with friends, allowing them to stream it for a short time to watch or listen to your favorite stuff.

Not only does younity unify your iTunes accounts, it also merges the iTunes Libraries. That means all your playlists across all devices and iTunes Libraries are unified within younity. younity makes it so that I can make playlists on any device and instantly have them on my mobile devices.

How can you do this? Easy: install younity on all your computers; then install younity on your iPhone, iPad or iPod. That’s it. It will take younity several minutes to scan each computer (depending on how many files you have), but once that is complete you are good to go. Anytime you buy more music on any computer with younity installed on it, that music will almost instantly be in younity on your mobile devices. You can stream that music to listen to it, download it for offline use (e.g. you’re getting on a plane), and even privately share it with your friends who have younity installed.

Image credit: TorrentFreak


Here at younity we take privacy seriously. It’s one of the main reasons why we decided to facilitate the ability for users to build their very own personal cloud out of their own devices vs. forcing users to upload their data to a public cloud where their data might be at more risk of being comprised. We continue to see privacy and security of user data as an important issue. A recent study by the Centre of International Governance Innovation conducted a survey on “Internet Security and Trust”. In the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks of more than a year ago they found that two-thirds of the 23,376 participants from 24 countries have increased their concerns around online privacy. The complete New York Times Bits Blog article by Ian Austen is below.

bits blog snowden online privacy

OTTAWA — A survey released on Monday suggests that revelations about government online snooping provided by Edward Snowden did not raise concerns about online privacy to the same degree in the United States as in other countries. But it also indicates that a majority of Americans are worried about the security of personal information.

The online survey of 23,326 people in 24 countries conducted for Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Canadian research group, also found that Americans view the Internet as less vital to their economic, social and political future than other people worldwide.

While the poll found that the information leaked by Mr. Snowden about government online surveillance was well known in the United States, 62 percent of American respondents told Ipsos, a polling firm, that they were more concerned about online privacy now than they were a year ago. By comparison, that worry had increased for 83 percent of respondents in Brazil, India and Nigeria during the same period.

People in Sweden were the most sanguine, with only 46 percent indicating that their privacy worries have increased.

But Americans are nevertheless unhappy with the state of online security. Just 45 percent of American respondents said they thought that the government did “a very good job of making sure the Internet in their country is safe and secure.” Tunisians were the most satisfied, with 82 percent agreeing with that statement while, at the other extreme, only 25 percent of Japanese respondents said that was the case.

Similarly, only 31 percent of Americans agreed that “private information on the Internet is very secure”. Their worries fit not unexpected patterns. The survey found that 76 percent of Americans are concerned about having their bank accounts hacked and 70 percent are worried about personal messages and photographs being accessed or stolen.

But since the data released by Mr. Snowden, only 36 percent of Americans have done anything to improve their online privacy and security, a step taken by 69 percent of respondents from India. A minority of Americans said that they trust either the United States government, the technology industry, the United Nations or an international body of experts to run the Internet.

And while the Internet was an American creation, Americans are comparatively a little less in its thrall than citizens of other nations.

Seventy-seven percent of Americans agreed that affordable Internet access “should be a basic human right.” By contrast, more than 90 percent or more of respondents from China, Tunisia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Egypt supported that sentiment. And just three quarters of Americans, 74 percent, agreed that the Internet was “important for their own economic future and livelihood.” That idea was backed by 90 percent of Chinese respondents and 97 percent of Nigerians.

The survey was released at a meeting in Ottawa about how the Internet should be governed, organized by the Canadian governance center and Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs which is usually known as Chatham House.


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The team at younity had its first international outing this week as one of the companies invited to Web Summit’s START Summit. The START Summit is 150 selected/invited companies that represent what the Web Summit organizers feel are the most interesting growth companies in the world. It goes without saying that we were honored to be selected and excited to see what the world’s biggest tech conference had in store for us.

Web Summit is a big deal, not just in Ireland but worldwide – the number of people attending is astounding and the buzz in the air permeates all of Dublin. Folks like Bono and Peter Thiel take to the stage and share their thoughts with attendees excited to see them in person, while companies like younity have a chance to talk to folks from all around the world to share what we are building.

At the end of the day, we were pretty wiped out! Literally hundreds of people came to talk to us and learn more about younity. We barely escaped with our voices, which could only be fully restored by having a few pints after the show ;) Dublin is a city very focused on becoming one of the next major tech centers of the world. younity was given a warm welcome, with lots of interest from companies and research groups in Ireland.

Whether it was discussing trends around the Internet of Things at Trinity College’s Long Room or the welcome party at the House of Guinness or getting to know some awesome folks at other startups like Pley, Trip4Real and Vantage Sports, we had a great time and look forward to our next trip to Ireland. Thanks to Paddy Cosgrave and the whole team at Web Summit.

younity booth at Web Summit 2014