Adobe Voice - Show Your Story

Tell your story for free with Adobe Voice for iPad

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Imagine if there was an iPad App that allowed you to tell your story complete with pictures, icons and music and all you had to do was narrate it. That’s exactly what Adobe Voice for iPad allows you to do. This FREE App is beautifully designed and very very easy to get started. I woke up this morning seeing that it had been released on the App Store and after downloading it I was creating my “How I Got Started Story” in a matter of minutes. Adobe Voice lets you grab images from your iPad, iPad camera, Creative Cloud, Facebook, Dropbox or by doing a search for royalty free images. It has a large variety of background music and themes to choose from.

How can I tell my story?

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You start off by simply narrating the first slide/image/icon. Then you can choose one of the built-in icons, an image or type text. Then you repeat the process for the next slide and the next slide. At any time you can play back a single slide or the whole story. At any time you can change the music or theme and of course swap out images. Once you’ve told your story, you can share it via email, iMessage, Facebook, or Twitter. Your video story is hosted by Adobe for free. I sent myself the link and once I viewed it in the browser I was able to easily grab the embed code so that I could include it in this post below:

I’m ecstatic to see such a cool product that takes advantage of the mobile nature of the iPad and is so easy to use that I expect to see more people telling their story than ever before.

Download Adobe Voice here iTunes.

Google Docs

Google Docs and Sheets are here for iPhone and iPad

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When Google announced the availability of stand alone apps to edit and manage your Google Docs and Sheets some cheered but many screamed! The ones that screamed mostly are users of the Google Drive App. For those of you who are new to this, Google Drive was a single app that allowed you to not only manage the files you stored via the cloud service, but also to edit your Google Docs (word processing) and Sheets (spreadsheets). In other words you had one app that did it all and now Google has divided these tasks into three separate apps. From a shear convenience standpoint I certainly can be tempted to pick up one of those pitchforks and get ready to storm the Google castle, however, since I really wasn’t that big of a Google Docs/Sheets user I’m willing to look at what they did and go from there.

What can you do with Google Docs and Sheets?

With Google Docs or Google Sheets you can create and edit cloud based word processing and spreadsheet documents right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. These documents are sync’d to your Google (GMail) account. This means that they are accessible in any browser on any device. Having the Apps on your iDevices means that you not only have access to these documents while you’re online, but you can also choose to have them on the device for offline editing. One of the biggest attractions to Google Docs and Google Sheets is that you can also share these documents with others and give them access to be able to edit them. This is AWESOME for collaboration. Want to author a document and get feedback. Share with someone and either allow them to leave comments or edit the document. In a work environment this is very handy as it allows people to get input from their peers or clients quickly and easily without the peers or clients having to download any special software. They can just fire up their browser click on a link and see/edit the documents. Even if you don’t want them to edit or comment you can still share a document and make it View Only. My word processing and spreadsheet needs are so basic that I could easily get by with just these two apps/services. Well almost. Just as I was typing that last line I thought about what I need in a word processor besides basic formatting and the first thing that came to mind was spell check. So I mistyped a word on purpose and to my surprise, NOTHING. No red underline, no warning. Just the typo. Oddly enough bringing that document up in my browser on my Mac I got the red underline and the ability to correct it. I can say without a spell checker this app just became a lot less useful.

Next I created a quick sample in Sheets and I ran into more omissions. First off tabbing on my iPad Logitech keyboard didn’t take me to the next cell. That annoys me to no end. After moving past that I created 4 cells and wanted to get the sum of 2 of them. Umm, where is the formula bar? Sure I could MANUALLY create the formula (=Sum(b1:b2)) but I had to type it in manually. Wow! Once again heading to Google Sheets on my desktop Mac there’s a formula button right there on the bar. So unless I’m missing these features in these apps I’m floored that there is no way to do very basic things I would expect to be able to do in dedicated apps.

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The Bottom Line

While these Apps have promise and a nice native feel including offline editing, they lack some of the things I would expect (yes even in a free app). If you’re going to spend most of your time editing existing documents, then these apps will probably be fine. However, you will probably be disappointed if you plan to do a lot of authoring or creating documents from scratch on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Hopefully Google will update these with the missing features that they should have.

You can get Google Docs here iTunes.

You can get Google Sheets here iTunes.

You can get Google Drive here iTunes.

 

 

Selfie Cam App: Take PERFECT selfies every time!

Take Better Selfies with the Selfie Cam App

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Selfies are here to stay. While your iPhone camera can take a picture of you with the front facing camera, we can usually tell it’s a selfie because you have to pose, hold the phone steady and press the shutter. The first thing I like about Selfie Cam is that there is a timer that you can use going from 3 seconds to 5 seconds or 10 seconds. For better composition it offers a rule of thirds display. There’s even a “smile activated” timer. You can also switch the aspect ratio to square/1:1 if you are going to post to Instagram so that you get the perfect shot.After you snap your selfie you can optionally decorate it with built in hipster photography tools, stickers and frames. Once you’ve got it looking just the way you want you can then save to the camera roll, post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp directly from Selfie Cam.

You can certainly get by without Selfie Cam, but why should you since it’s Free?

 

iTunes.

Proxxi

Proxxi App, the next big thing in social networking

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At this point we all know how most social networks work. You join, you follow people and people follow you. Also with apps like Foursquare you can see what businesses and events are going on around you. However, what most of the big names in social networking lack is that local community feel. In other words when you walk into your local small store there may be a bulletin board with flyers about stuff for sale, music lessons, lawn care, etc. Proxxi brings that “what’s going on around me” feel to your iPhone and Android device. Instead of signing up and friending/following people, you just sign in and immediately see who’s offering what around you. About to go to your favorite restaurant? What if someone was already there and commented on the wait time? What if your neighbor two blocks over just had a power wash done and was so happy that they wanted to let everyone else know about the service? Proxxi uses your current location and displays messages by others in your area. It lists the messages by distance, so you always see what’s being offered or information where you are at any given time. This App just launched and so there aren’t a ton of users yet. However, as more users sign on and start posting stuff the better it will get.

It’s free and definitely worth a download. The more people on board, the better it will be.

iTunes.

Followers + for Instagram - Follow Management Tool for iPhone, iPad, iPod

9 Must Have Apps for Instagram Users

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I basically use three social networks every single day. I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sure I use Google+, LinkedIn, etc., but these are the three that I’m on throughout the day. I like Instagram because it allows me to post pictures (and now videos) to my followers there as well as send those same shots to Facebook and Twitter (as well as Foursquare, Flickr and email) simultaneously. The Instagram App is good and gets better all the time, but it’s far from perfect and it’s certainly not the only App I use for my Instagram posts. Actually I use several Apps for posting to Instagram depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. Here are the 9 Must Have Apps for Instagram Users:

Squaready – Instagram Layouter

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Instagram photos are square (1:1 aspect ratio) and many times I want to post a portrait shot that I took with another app or my DSLR. For some odd reason the Instagram App will not simply shrink the portrait image down, instead it insists on cropping it. Square Ready allows you to take any photo and make it square by adding a background color or your choice to it so that you can see the entire photo or the portions you want and then shoot it right over to Instagram for posting.

Get Square Ready here iTunes.

 

Followers+

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Instagram will let you see your followers and the people you follow. However, that’s pretty much it. What about the people that unfollowed you? Who are your most loyal followers vs. your stalkers (you know the ones that never Like your pics. LOL). Followers+ can give you a detailed analysis of all the following, liking, lurking and unfollowing going on on your Instagram account.

Get Followers+ here iTunes.

 

PhotoRepost

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Part of being on a social network is sharing and sometimes you see something that is so good that you want to share (regram) it to your followers. Photo Repost allows you to do this easily and even works with videos. I like it because it also gives the original poster credit.

Get Photo Repost here iTunes.

 

InstaWeather Pro

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Sure you can take a picture of your current conditions and write in the description that it’s cold or hot, but why not let your iPhone do the work? InstaWeater can use your location and superimpose the current weather conditions right over your photo or video. It can even let you brag about how great it is where you are compared to say the people freezing back home. This app gets better with each update and continues to have more and more skins.

Get InstaWeather Pro here iTunes.

 

InstaFood Pro

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InstaFood is by the makers of InstaWeather Pro and InstaPlace below. Like the other two this app allows you to superimpose information about your restaurant right over the top of that great food pic you want to post. If you’re going to take the time to post a pic about what you’re eating, you might as well do it with style.

Get InstaFood Pro here iTunes.

 

InstaPlace

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InstaPlace like InstaWeather Pro InstaPlace let’s you superimpose information about your current location right on your pics before you post them. However, unlike InstaWeather Pro, this app is not weather related. It has general travel themes for the places you visit. After all in the summer when the weather is good pretty much everywhere, no one really cares about posting the temperature or forecasts, so this App let’s you put other cool info on your pics.

Get InstaPlace here iTunes.

 

PicPlayPost

There are several apps on the App Store that let you collage multiple pics together. However, my default choice is PicPlayPost because it not only let’s you do pictures, but you can also fill the frames with video and add music. This App does it all and let’s you create some pretty dramatic clips. Definitely a must have for Instagram Users.

Get PicPlayPost here iTunes.

 

Flipagram

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Flipagram is a great app that allows you to make a simply flip book style video from multiple photos. You can also add music. The flipagram that you create will be automatically timed based on the number of photos you have and the length of the clip (15 seconds max for Instagram).

Get Flipagram here iTunes.

 

InstaQuote Pro

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Although Instagram was originally created to share photos, there are probably more text based photos than there are regular pictures. In other words instead of posting a pic, people like to post quotes. InstaQuote Pro let’s you say what you want on a variety of different backgrounds and fonts as well as the ability put text right on top of a picture. This app is a must have when you just want to simply say something on Instagram whether you have a photo or not.

Get InstaQuote Pro here iTunes.

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