Nothing relaxes us like coming home and kicking off our shoes, but few things can disturb us more than having our private space violated while we were away. Protecting your place with a lot of gear can get expensive, but with the following apps, your iOS device can provide peace of mind without breaking the bank.
Our neighbors to the north have a long and colorful history of strong public funding of the arts, and NFB StopMo Studio from the National Film Board of Canada demonstrates that a government agency can indeed create something of true value for the creative minds of the world. It’s perhaps the single most usable, slick, and capable stop-motion creator we’ve seen on iPad, and it’s a truly unbeatable value for aspiring movie makers.
The latest iOS devices are capable of producing amazingly high-quality video footage, but the resolution tops out at 1080p HD. Thanks to Ultrakam, a new third-party camera app, the iPhone can squeeze out even more pixels—even if the current hardware isn’t quite up to the task. Ultrakam is capable of shooting video with up to 70% more pixels than standard HD. While there’s no denying that it manages to cram in a whole lot more pixels into each frame of video—and the additional detail is certainly noticeable—there are too many tradeoffs made to get there.
Where most video apps on our iPhones focus purely on Kodak moments, Lightt is kind of like a personal documentarian. With an eye for short clips that can be quickly captured and posted, the video-recording app stitches together your posts into an endless looping timeline that plays a bit like a disjointed flip book. Version 3 brings it up to speed with its filter-happy contemporaries, and a host of editing and audio tools make it a viable alternative to Vine and Instagram.
Vine and Instagram make it easy for would-be filmmakers to create brief epics of the imagination using just an iPhone, with no traditional editing required. But those looking to expand their horizons will find far more creative options with a modestly priced app from the creators of FocusTwist. Presumably a play on the word “vignette” as much as it is a nod to Twitter’s micro-moviemaking service, Vinyet delivers 23 real-time cinematic filters along with a host of pro-end features, like stop motion, time-lapse, animated GIF export, and more control over captured segments.
Nearly five years prior to the Mac App Store, Noise Industries debuted FxFactory, a centralized hub for buying and installing visual effects plug-ins. Since then, FxFactory has become the de facto standard for software developers writing creative plug-ins for enhancing Final Cut Pro, Motion, Premiere Pro and After Effects, with hundreds of options available and new choices added each month.
ScreenFlow is hands-down the best application for recording a "screencast," or a video of your Mac's desktop. Pretty much all you have to do is hit Record and go for it. And now with version 4, developer Telestream has filled ScreenFlow with new features that make it even better.
Unlike the strictly viewing-only Logitech Alert apps for iOS and Android, the new Logitech Alert Commander for Mac offers complete control over up to six indoor or outdoor Logitech Alert cameras, including digital pan, tilt, and zoom, and digital DVR recording and playback. We tested the software with the Logitech Alert 750e Outdoor Master System, a weatherproof, night-vision-capable single security camera with HD video capture and motion-triggered alerts. (The indoor model is $50 less, while add-on cameras start at $229.99.)
Remember those Apple ads that said "There's an app for that?" ZipCloud is an online backup service whose motto may as well be a variation on that theme. The basic service does exactly what you expect, backing your files up to their secure Amazon S3 backend via the internet. But the experience is marred by the numerous up-charges. Want more versions, hourly backups, faster uploads, or support for large files? Yep, there's an add-on for that.