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These are a few of our favorite apps…

 

Spring 2017 Favorites

Adobe Photoshop Fix

☀☀☀☀ Editing photographs on your mobile device is easy with Adobe Photoshop Fix. Fix can remove unwanted “litter” from photos. Simply select and cut the object you want to remove and a combination of surrounding pixels will fill the empty space. Fix will save these edits into layers so that the product is dimensional instead of flat. These images can be transported across the Creative Cloud for further use. These features may be great for family photos, but journalists who alter their photos can get into big trouble.  Fix is free and available for both Apple and Android devices. — Dillion Eddie

Amaze VR

☀☀☀☀ Amaze VR is a social media virtual reality app that works through YouTube to allow users to follow the lives of various vloggers and adventurers. Content includes games, such as people playing H.O.R.S.E. The app uses a feed design similar to Twitter. Because the app feeds off YouTube,  journalists who post there may reach a large audience. When I use VR, I want to be transported to the location, and Amaze makes it so that anyone can upload an adventure. — Connor Van Siclen        

Bigvu

☀☀☀☀☀ Bigvu is the future of mobile reporting. With only a phone needed to record a video package, journalists will enjoy the this app. Bigvu allows you to record video, use a teleprompter, share to all social media, and more. Available free on both Google Play and the App Store, IJNet’s review shows the features and functionality in detail. Journalists can use this as a breaking news tool. I plan to keep using it myself. — Cole Feinbloom

HelloTalk

☀☀☀☀☀ Rather than teaching you a new language with a formal curriculum, HelloTalk helps you learn just by communicating. Search for a native speaker in one of more than 100 languages. Converse with your best matches. Engage in free audio and video calls with your learning partners. Though it competes with a similar app called HiNative, HelloTalk is better, with a larger community (estimated at 3 million). Journalists could use this app to broaden their cultural understanding as they learn new languages. Available for both iPhone and Android. Nisa Ayral

☀☀☀☀☀ HelloTalk is part social media and part translator. It helps people learn languages through conversations with native speakers. You can connect through chat, free voice calls or a public posting board. Translate, correct grammar and transcribe audio to text (or vice versa) within a text conversation or post. Not feeling chatty? You can translate text without having to talk to someone. For journalists, this app can provide a great connection to sources in foreign countries. The app is available on both iTunes and Google Play. — Leah Soto

Journalism Dictionary SMART Guide

☀☀☀☀☀ Journalism Dictionary SMART Guide defines more than 1,000 journalism terms from 13 categories. Just hit play to hear a definition. Quizzes can be taken to test your knowledge. I discovered the word ‘Flash’ in the Radio category. Definition: “short news story on a new event.” User reviews praise the app (one of several journalism dictionary apps out there). It also offers in-app purchases. For $2.99 you receive 800 more terms. The app is free, available on iPhones. Julia Bashaw

Signal / Open Whisper Systems

☀☀☀☀ Fear of lack of privacy should never stop good journalism. Privacy is never an issue with Open Whisper Systems. The tool, called Signal in the app stores, encrypts both text messages and phone calls — so long as you use their app (at Google Play and the App Store).  Edward Snowden (former National Security Agency contractor) and Laura Poitras (noted filmmaker and journalist) are well-known users. With their backing, any journalist should feel comfortable using this tool to communicate with sources privately. Ben Jacobs

☀☀☀☀ Signal is touted as the best free encryption app, keeping your conversations safe from prying eyes. It’s bare-bones: You can send messages, photos and videos in-app, or send an SMS text. But it lacks features of Line and other advanced (yet unsecured) chat apps, such as PDF and other file transfering.  Signal is a solid option for journalists working on sensitive articles (Edward Snowden endorses it). For most of your work, you won’t need this app, but it’s worth having on retainer for when you do. Chris McCrory

Videolicious

☀☀☀☀ Making professional quality videos from your iPhone is easy with Videolicious. Videolicious Academy provides users with “video recipes” and tips. My favorite is a recipe showing how to create a video business card, helpful to anyone in the job market. The app claims millions of users, including major news companies. Covering policy changes within an education system but have no experience on this beat? No problem! The academy has specific tips for journalists in your situation. The basic Videolicious app is free from the Apple store, but special features must be purchased.  — Dillion Eddie

Fall 2016 Favorites

Adobe Acrobat Reader

☀☀☀☀ Adobe Acrobat Reader: Annotate, Scan, & Send PDFs helps organize your work. Acrobat Reader can import files from other sources, allowing users to annotate papers, sign documents and convert text files into PDFs (Personal Document Format).  An important feature: you can scan anything into a PDF with your phone’s camera.  This app is similar to Google’s PhotoScan, but converts the scans into PDFs instead of photos. Acrobat Reader is a handy tool for reporters out in the field. — Scotty Bara

Adobe Spark Page

☀☀☀☀ Adobe Spark Page  creates sophisticated-looking high-quality web pages directly on iPhones. It is user- friendly and simple in design. Give your project a name and instantly start adding pictures and content. “Glideshows” allow full screen pictures to stack one after another with text that rolls as you scroll down the site. A downside: web pages are hosted only on the Adobe Spark server. But you can add links to additional sites. Journalists could use an Adobe Spark Page as a portfolio site to display their work. Adobe’s free apps like to the subscription-based  Adobe Creative Cloud to allow content to flow across platforms. —Hailey Koebrick

Adobe Spark Post

☀☀☀☀☀ Adobe Spark Post is perfect for creating simple text overlays on pictures for upload directly from iPhones. It allows you to easily post your photos on social media. You can customize fonts, colors, shapes, spacing, opacity, animation and more. The app also can compile a palette for you to use based on the colors in the photo.  Journalists can use Spark Post to blast out news as it is happening or to promote stories. Link this app to your Adobe Creative Cloud and seamlessly work with all your Adobe content. —Hailey Koebrick

Power Thesaurus

☀☀☀☀☀ Every journalist needs a thesaurus. We’ve all been writing at some point and realized we’ve used the same phrase twice in one sentence. Power Thesaurus can help. Type in a short phrase or a word (such as reaction) and get a list of synonyms or related terms (response, backlash). Click on those words to bring up their synonyms. It’s simple and easy to use: you only search and tap. I use it to bring variety (range) and precision (clarity) to my writing. I recommend every journalist keep it on hand. — Chris McCrory

Within

☀☀☀☀☀ Within is a professional VR platform, home to high-quality and captivating video.  The app, formerly Vrse, hosts everything from a Mr. Robot TV promo to a New York Times magazine project. You can see a U2 music video, Saturday Night Live tapings or a variety of TED Talks. The Within app runs well, with bright, organized features, including options to stream or download videos. It is a great showcase for immersive storytelling.  — Kelsey Hess

Spring 2016 Favorites

Cam Scanner

☀☀☀☀☀ Cam Scanner is a must-have app for any journalist. After seeing how easily a slightly blurry and dimly lit picture of a document was quickly transformed into a comprehensive and searchable PDF file, I had one of those jaw-dropping moments. Before using Cam Scanner, I didn’t know an app like this existed. I don’t think many journalists know about it either. This app is perfect for anyone in a rush to collect information from documents, like public records. I would call this a life-saver for journalists seeking information from documents. — Melissa Szenda

Cogi

☀☀☀☀☀ One of my favorite apps was Cogi, which recorded the highlights of conversations. This simplified the transcription process for journalists – especially when it comes to long interviews. It was one of the most useful for journalists; it really takes to heart the idea of innovation, new technology that simplifies current practices. I have used it for my journalistic endeavors. It’s incredibly intuitive. Even those skeptical of technology can really benefit from it. — Victoria Grijalva

Google Translate and NYT VR

The two apps that I most appreciated from my reviews were Google Translate ☀☀☀☀☀ and the NYT VR app ☀☀☀☀. Each of these apps widened my view of what is currently available in the technology world. Google Translate took my favorite book and instantly translated it into 25+ languages before my very eyes. The NYT VR app allowed me to show the elementary students that I tutor what it might be like to be placed in a field of wild buffalo. Each app completely shattered my usually pessimistic views on expanding technology and taught me a lot about how accessible the world actually is. — Jamee Lind

Jaunt

☀☀☀☀ Another of my favorite apps was Jaunt. It made me realize the real possibility of journalism expanding into more VR content. I was initially wary of virtual reality, because I mainly connected it to video games, not story-telling. Jaunt, however, demonstrated that virtual reality can be truly beneficial to a story. Nothing engages an audience more than being able to live out a story. One of the best features of Jaunt was that the content was 360 and had a cinematic quality to it, so the VR experience was even greater than that of other VR apps. — Victoria Grijalva