More and more people are joining and posting pics to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. every day. Instagram in particular shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a free app called Pic Stitch that allows you to combine multiple photos into one image (frames) so that it’s nicely formatted to post to Instagram’s 1:1 square ratio format. Well yesterday my good friend Kandice Lynn turned me onto another App that blew me away. It’s called PicPlayPost. What makes this one different from all the others I’ve seen is that it can incorporate not only stills, but also videos. Imagine everything that you can do with your favorite photo collaging/combining App and then throw video and songs into the mix! This is very timely seeing that the last major update to the Instagram app now lets you upload videos that you didn’t capture with instagram.
How does PicPlayPost work?
You start off by selecting your ratio and then the frame layout you want. You can more easily customize any layout you pick simply by dragging the size of the frames. Once you grant the app access to your photos you can then choose your photos or videos for each frame. Yes you can use multiple videos! I was also happy to see volume control for each video AND the ability to add a song (soundtrack) from your music library on your device. Of course you trim longer videos to just the area of play that you want. The app limits the videos to 30 seconds and of course the Instagram limit is 15 seconds. You get nice indicators to choose your exact in/out points as well as a total time indicator to keep it to your desired length.
Once you’ve assembled your desired stills and videos you can then share your video/still image to Instagram (if it’s a video it will export it to the camera roll first then open the Instagram app for you to use it), Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email and Viddy as well as saving it directly to your device to use in other apps.
PicPlayPost is a Universal App and therefore will work natively on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The App works GREAT, has built-in video tutorials to get you started and I couldn’t be happier with it!
Download PicPlayPost here from the App Store
Here are a couple of sample videos giving a behind the scenes look to my recent photo shoots:
Posting pics to social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, etc. are second nature to most iPhone users these days. As a matter of fact the iPhone is still the number one used device to post photos to most social media sites. Posting individual shots is easy! However, sometimes it’s better to post 2, 3, or 4 photos together as one photo. There are several photo editing apps for iOS and several apps that let you collage photos. My favorite App for combining photos is Pic Stitch. Pic Stitch is FAST and easy. Launch the App, choose a layout and populate the frames with the photos of your choice including the ability to snap a photo on the spot, choose from the Camera Roll/Albums as expected, grab shots from Facebook and my favorite option being able to grab pics from Dropbox. Before placing the photo you can even do a few last minute edits such as adding effects/filters, frames, stickers, focus, orientation, brightness, sharpness and even selective color/Splash. Once you place a photo in a frame you can then scale it and move it around in the frame for the best look. From there you can send the collage to Facebook, Twitter, Email, Photo Album, Instagram or open in any other editor you have installed. There’s even a Print to Walgreens option. Although Instagram wants Square 1:1 aspect ratio photos, you can change the aspect ratio to many other choices such as 5×7, 8×10, 16:9 or even Facebook Cover. You can do layouts from 1 photo all the way up to 16 photos. While most of these features are found in other apps, the latest update even allows you to design your own template on the fly. This is great when you have a custom layout in mind that doesn’t exist in the App.
Although the App is free you can do optional in-app purchases to add borders and frames.
The Pic Stitch App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
If you’re into Zombies then you’re probably into games that allow you to take them out. I’m a fan of The Walking Dead TV series and I was at the premiere of World War Z on day one. Needless to say that when I came across the game Dead on Sight, I was more than a little interested. You start off the game protecting a small town from the zombies that have breached the gate. You’re armed with a rifle, scope and of course a limited amount of ammo. Head shots are the key. Miss and you waste your ammo and you waste time. You can shoot zombies in other parts besides the head and you’ll blow off arms and legs and such, but they’ll just keep crawling until you get your head shot. Dead on Sight takes advantage of multi-touch gestures. When each level starts it may be difficult to distinguish humans and zombies. Also the zombies move at different speeds making it more challenging to kill them at times. If a human gets bitten then you can probably pick off several zombies that swarm around the body before it turns. Dead on Sight is a Universal App which means it runs natively on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
There are pros and cons to watermarking photos and I tend to do it more for identity/brand purposes than trying to protect the images from unauthorized use. It’s easy to add my logo to my photos on my desktop using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. However, on my iOS devices I have to rely on Apps and while I’ve got some good apps to accomplish this, I’m always up for looking at new ones that may do it better. The folks over at Bits&Coffee bill their Photomarks App as a “watermarking” App for photos and I would agree that it accomplishes this task. You can either capture a photo with the App or use one in your albums. Once you bring the photo up you can very very easily add text to it. You can lower the opacity, add shadows. change the color, change the font or the stroke. All the things you would expect to do with text. It can even pull the date and time from the image metadata and use that as part of your stamp. Once the text is in place you can pinch/zoom to size and rotate. Easy buttons for adding copyright and trademark symbols. As far as text goes, they’ve nailed it.
My disappointment came when I added my logo to a photo. I have my logo saved in my iPhone in various versions. I have a black version, white version and white version with transparency (ie. no background). I tried placing each one and no matter what, I was stuck with a white background. It seemed to ignore the transparency in my .PNG file which means that I can’t use this App as my default watermarking app. Once you do add a logo you can lower the opacity of it, scale it and rotate it.
Once you’ve watermarked your photo you can save it to the camera roll or share it via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email right in the app. It’s a Universal App and therefore is native to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
If they fix the transparent PNG issue and allow me to store my logo so that I wouldn’t have to keep importing it, I’d easily give this one 5 stars. If you’re looking for an easy way to add text to photos, this is it.
Apparently the folks at Instagram (Facebook) weren’t happy with Vine (Twitter) being so popular and they decided to add Video support to their popular photo sharing app. With the new 4.0 version of Instagram you can now post either pictures or up to 15 seconds of video with sound. Like some users I have mixed feelings about this. I think Instagram was doing pretty good at what it was already doing. Trying to be all things to all people rarely works. I would have almost rather seen them come up with a separate App for video so that people that want to post videos could do so and build a following of their videos. Nonetheless, it’s here and it’s probably here to stay. There are no surprises here in the interface. It works the way you would expect it to (very Vine like). You can switch from Camera to Video. You can hold down the record button to record continuously or do stop motion by tapping the button. I was a little surprised that you couldn’t choose an existing video on your camera roll though. This means you won’t be posting videos that you didn’t capture with your phone. That’s both good and bad. When recording your new Instavideo you can tap to focus. You can delete bad takes and once you have your masterpiece you can apply any one of 15 filters to it before posting. Thankfully since the videos can have sound you can turn OFF the autoplay feature in the preferences. Many will want to do that immediately. Nothing like scrolling through photos only to have a random video start blaring . It would be nice to have a pref to turn off videos period, but turning off autoplay will suffice. That means that I’ll only have to watch video that I actually want to watch by tapping to play them.
I like Instragram because it’s my one stop shop for posting pictures to social media. I simultaneously choose to post to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Email, Tumblr and Foursquare (with check-in). I’ve not seen any other app that does that. I never really got into Vine and I now I will be less inclined to. My friends are on Instagram and now I can see their videos too (If I choose) in the one spot.
Let the booty shaking videos commence (LOL, but it’s true. You know it will happen).