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App of the week for journalists: Snapseed, for fast photo tweaking on the fly

June 21st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week, Photography

App of the week: Snapseed

Phones: iPhone / iPad

Cost: £2.99

What is it? A photo editing app that allows you to crop, straighten and enhance images from your phone.

How is it of use to journalists? It’s useful to be able to edit images on the fly, whether adding to a blog post, news story or sharing on social media.

The app has functions, including to allow you to crop, sharpen and straighten images; alter brightness, contrast, white balance; change to black and white, and add effects.

 

Snapseed also offers a desktop app (both for Mac and Windows) priced at £13.99 / €15.95.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of week for journalists: WordPress, now with easy comments moderation

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: WordPress

Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android

Cost: Free

What is it? WordPress for iOS has new features, including easy comments moderation, push notifications (for WordPress.com) and improved iPad performance.

How is it of use to journalists? Journalists and bloggers who use WordPress may have dismissed the thought of using it on a phone as it is far less fiddly to write a blog post and add pictures from a desktop.

However, version 3.0 of the iOS app, released last week, has a number of new features worth knowing about.

Perhaps the most useful of these is the ability to moderate comments with a simple swipe gesture.

  

A post introducing the new features describes the “swipe-to-moderate toolbar”.

Swipe over any comment in the comments list to bring up a moderation toolbar – no need to use bulk moderation or go to the comment permalink. It’s right there, and it’s fast. Another nifty change is the highlighting of new comments in the comments list when you’ve refreshed, it makes it easy to see what’s new.

If like this Journalism.co.uk editors’ blog, which runs on WordPress, you get a high volume of comments – most of them spam – this feature that allows you to easily moderate from your phone is a plus.

Bloggers using WordPress.com-hosted blogs have another new feature for comments: push notifications alerting you when a comment has been posted.

The updated version seems more stable on iPad, with 44 bugs and crashes fixed for this release.

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App of the week for journalists: Givit, for private video sharing

May 9th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week, Broadcasting

App of the week: Givit

Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android

Cost: Free

What is it? An app for privately sharing video, including large files that cannot be sent by email

How is it of use to journalists? Givit allows you to record or upload a video and send an email to a contact who can then follow the link, watch and download it and comment on it.

You could use the app to record footage showing a news story and send it privately to the newsdesk.

 

Videos are stored to your Givit account so you can login and retrieve later.

You can also add footage from other cameras and devices by using the Givit desktop app.

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App of the week for journalists: AnalyticsPro

App of the week: AnalyticsPro

Devices: iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch

Cost: £3.99

What is it? An app to track Google Analytics.

How is it of use to journalists? If you have an iOS device and regularly use Google Analytics to track visitors to your news site or blog you should get this app.

It is well worth the £3.99 fee as once you are logged into your Google account you can check stats and dig deep into the visitors, traffic sources, and content of your site.

 

Do you have a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

 


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App of the week for journalists: Signal

App of the week: Signal

Operating systems: Apple (iPhone 3GS+, iPod touch, iPad2+). An Android version is in the pipeline.

Cost: Free

Release: The app will launch in Lebanon this month, and will be available in the UK within two months.

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Inspired by the Arab Spring, Signal is an app that assists and encourages citizen journalism by allowing users to create “mini stories” by capturing real-world events using cameras and geolocation.

The user community vote for these mini-stories to derive the top ones. The final result is an app that shows you the top stories of any country of the world, created and voted by the users in a decentralised, crowdsourced manner.

 

At the moment, content creation is limited to photographs, but creator Mark Malkoun will be adding video in a future release. An Android version of the app is also in the pipeline.

Malkoun, a Lebanese entrepreneur, told Journalism.co.uk:

Signal will provide journalists with an image-rich, organised platform that will give them new ideas and stories.

Because the mini stories are filtered by importance using votes, it will help journalists understand which stories are interesting to readers prior to writing an article.

Communication tools will be available in order to verify the story.

Follow @Signal_app on Twitter for updates.

 

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App of the week for journalists: Byword, a great text editor for iPhone/iPad

April 11th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: Byword

Devices: iPhone, iPad

Cost: £1.99

What is it? A text editor that allows HTML and syncs with Dropbox and iCloud.

How is it of use to journalists? It allows journalists to write text articles on an iPad or iPhone and easily export.

 

There is no shortage of text editors out there but this one stands out as it allows you to easily sync documents with a Dropbox or iCloud (both are ways of storing documents in the cloud). You can also export via email.

Byword also allows Markdown, enabling those who know a few commands to write, preview and export as HTML.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk app of the week for journalists.

 


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App of the week for journalists: SkyRecorder, for recording Skype calls on iPhone/iPad

April 4th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: SkyRecorder

Devices: iPhone, iPad

Cost: £1.49

What is it? SkyRecorder allows you to record Skype voice calls to your iPhone or iPad

How is it of use to journalists? Telephony is a key tool for journalists, whether to record audio for broadcast or to be referred to later or transcribed.

At Journalism.co.uk we record all of our podcast interviews via Skype to Skype or Skype to phone (using Call Recorder).

I wanted to find a way of recording broadcast quality interviews to iPhone or iPad, in case I need to make a call when I am not near a computer.

After testing a couple of options (including QuickVoice), I found SkyRecorder by far the best app for the job.

QuickVoice allows you to email but you are limited to a 5MB file with the free app or a 20MB file with the paid-for and the audio is saved it as a caf file type.

With SkyRecorder, my preferred option, you are required to share the recording via USB and cannot share the recording via email or by any other method such as over a WiFi network.

Plug your device into a computer, connect it to iTunes, go to “apps”, scroll to the bottom, and then save the .wav audio file.

You need to start recording in SkyRecorder before you start the Skype call. And remember, you must ask permission before you record a conversation.

You won’t be able to use headphones and you will need a good WiFi connection in order to make a Skype call.

You can also use SkyRecorder as a simple voice recorder.

Useful posts:

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk app of the week for journalists.

 

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App of the week for journalists: Greplin

App of the week: Greplin

Phones: iPhone

Cost: Free

What is it? An app that allows you to search personal files, calendars, tweets and more.

How is it of use to journalists? Greplin is a fantastic tool which allows you to search your accounts, including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and LinkedIn.

It’s available via a browser but has an iPhone app which is likely to become one of your most used apps if you use several of the above accounts.

The app will allow you to enter a keyword and find any reference to that word in your personal files.

Mac users are likely to find it almost as useful as Apple’s Spotlight for searching your own documents, tweets and emails.

Greplin users have the option to pay for a premium service and add more accounts, including Delicious. For anyone who uses the bookmarking tool this can be an attractive option as you can easily find articles you bookmarked in relation to a keyword.

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App of the week for journalists: Kooaba Shortcut

February 29th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week, Mobile

App of the week: Kooaba Shortcut

Phones: iPhone

Cost: Free

What is it? An image recognition app, allowing you to take a photo of a newspaper or magazine page and find the PDF version.

How is it of use to journalists? You will find this app useful if you have ever come across a story in a newspaper or magazine, perhaps at a weekend, and wanted to remember it later.

This app means you don’t have to rip out the page, pocket and potentially lose it.

The image recognition technology recognises 79 different UK titles, including several local newspapers.

Simply take a photo of the page using the app, allow Kooaba Shortcut to recognise the page and then select the + button to save it to the app’s libarary, to Evernote or share it via email, Twitter, Facebook or SMS.

Kooaba Shortcut is the successor of Paperboy, released for UK titles in November. A post on the Kooaba blog explains the name change:

We have two reasons for that. First, not only newspapers are interactive (for which Paperboy was initially designed for), but also many magazines joined the last couple of years. The name paperboy clearly refers to newspapers only and that gives you the wrong impression.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of the week for journalists – Flipboard

January 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: Flipboard

Operating systems: iOS (iPhone or iPad)

Cost: free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Flipboard is a social magazine app that can help you follow stories and dig around for leads.

It is similar to Zite (a previous app of the week) and launched for the iPhone at the around the same time, at the end of last year.

Rather than being a case of either/or, journalists with an iPhone or iPad should download both Zite and Flipboard as they have different strengths.

Both apps ask you to add you Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader accounts, but where Zite displays fewer news stories all in one list, Flipboard offers real-time feeds and separates Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr posts.

Flipboard is a great way of following your Twitter feed, offering a more visual way of keeping up-to-date by using the app’s swipe to flip motion.

Reviews: Flipboard gets five stars in the iTunes App Store

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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