Current Top Apps [Mid 2015]

Whilst on the hunt for new apps I thought it worthwhile to revisit my list of top 10 favourite apps, in not particular order:

  1. Veescope Live: Green screen app for work and fun
  2. Periscope: live streaming, maybe a novelty but high hopes
  3. VLC Player: plays every video format and allows variable playback speed, good to export my ‘Opinions’ to
  4. iPlayer Radio: Great for an insomniac to listen to
  5. Plex: Stream home media content
  6. Tipping Point: a Game but so addicitive
  7. Facebook/Messenger: does what it says on tin!
  8. Find Friends: locate friends
  9. BBC News: does what it says on tin!
  10. Waze: Sat Nav with crowd sourced traffic updates
  11. Opinion: Simple audio record and edit (10 minuted free)

Honorable mentions (love but don’t use much or use due to necessity)

  1. RingR Mobile: high quality phone-call capture, great for use in podcasts or evidence based assessment
  2. WhatsApp: for those with iMessage, or with a preference
  3. Feedly: curated news content
  4. ScanLife / i-nigma: QR scanners
  5. WordPress: In the majority I edit on my desktop, but just occasionally this works well
  6. Capti: Read text as audio for on the go
  7. National Rail: Plan your trip end to end with updates on delays!
  8. Hootsuite: Scheduled Twitter posts
  9. My Measures: take a photo and add dimensions, great DIY tool
  10. Pogoplug: access files on home server, backup camera roll

Andy

 

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Veescope Live Remote Control

The Veescope Green Screen app in a prior post has the ability to be remotely controlled, originally by another iOS device, more recently through the use of the Apple Watch (see screenshot above). I have access to three other iOS devices:

  1. Wifes iPhone (unfortunately with here most of the time!)
  2. iPad classic (does not like anything beyond iOS 5.5, and the Veescope app is iOS 6)
  3. iPad mini (from work and locked down tighter than Southend piers footings – but I am working on it)

I did however pinch the wife’s to have a go, first its a clear simple interface:

  • record
  • snapshot (Apple Watch does not seem to have this? – only going by screenshots seen)
  • next background
  • prior background

My first concern was that I needed to be on the same network and thought this may well cause issues at work (I could at least try out at home) – but fear not as it functions on Bluetooth connectivity, having enabled Bluetooth of both devices, and was a breeze. It may not look fancy or offer obscure options but it works an absolute dream.

I don’t think it’s likely but I would love the option of having this controlled from a Pebble Smartwatch!

 

Andy

Veescope Live App

 

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At the Betts Show earlier on in the year I saw the amazing Green Screen by Do Ink and liked the clean interface. However it is only available for the iPad , Do Ink have this on their development roadmap but they are a two person outfit and there is no deadline for it currently, I really wanted something for my iPhone 6+. Enter Veescope Live for iOS that is available in two flavours:

  1. Free  with watermark (in app purchase for removal)
  2. Full £2.29

The interface is not as pleasing on the eye but looking at the developers website www.dvdxdv.com it seems they have a wide range of products for Macs (including other Veescope products) and Final Cut. So what does it do? Well you can elect to have either movie clip backgrounds or photos that you can step through as you record (I imagine the holiday photo slideshow from hell!).

Now this is a fun app, practical and easy to use but its also another app that has made me spend money (after opinion and Pebble smartwatch apps) and it is money well spent! The app allows for not only green screening but also keying any background. My first attemt at using this app was to record against a pure white background and turn a 30 guided learning hour unit (50% already online) to fully online in about 90 minutes. A quite environment with good lighting and a clear background, allowing me to steady my iPhone, step in front of the camera at a bleep, and step away upon another bleep, tweak the “Key Fine Tuning” and I was good to go! A laptop (and remote presenter), a dry-wipe board in the background and a colleague to start/stop recording and I was a star in the making!

I have since found that using a real green screen (for under £40) is even easier, no having to steady the camera, hold a white sheet of paper in front, remove, bingo!

What I also like is the ability to apply “mattes” to the edges of your capture, say for if you have only a small green screen or recordable area you can reduce the overall recordable area. The ability to change your backgrounds (on the fly with a remote device or keyboard) and include recorded video clips really adds to this app and remote control (an upcoming post). It saves to your camera roll seamlessly.

There are even built-in tutorials from the app. I cannot recommend this app enough, especially if you are looking for a greens screen app on an iPhone.

Andy