This week's app gallery assembles a number of promising newcomers along with return of a Bitcoin payments app and significant new updates to a pair of popular productivity apps. Most of these new arrivals are free to install, but most of the paid titles are currently discounted for a limited time, so don't hesitate to get downloading before those prices go back up!
iPhone 6, iOS 8, iWatch — there were plenty of news and rumors flying this week about Apple's highly anticipated hardware and software. On top of that, iTunes and Minecraft got updates, Apple's "factory outlet" store returned to eBay, and an iPhone made its way back to its owner after taking a detour to Japan, plus we've got tips for movie editing and for dealing with that pesky "Other" data on your iPhone.
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.
The art of color grading film or video typically involves expensive hardware out of reach to the average producer, assuming he or she could figure out how to juggle all of those buttons and trackballs to begin with. Thankfully, manipulating all the colors of the rainbow can now be done from the palm of your hands. ColorTime 2.0 isn’t a true replacement for costly color grading hardware, but it does let iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch owners manipulate color using a gesture-based interface that deftly tackles even 1080p HD video content in real time.
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.
Newly exclusive to iOS 7, iMovie 2.0 is a big leap forward for mobile video editing. Apple nixes the movie theater motif of earlier versions in favor of a more streamlined UI here, making it easier than ever to create slick projects complete with slow motion, titles, and transitions. And unlike earlier versions that sometimes behaved sluggishly, iMovie 2.0 offers 64-bit support for the iPhone 5s and upcoming iPad models, accomplishing every task with breakneck speed. The app even eliminates older pain points with audio: Fade ins and outs are now adjustable, and audio from video clips can now be detached or inserted on its own.
RealPlayer Cloud allows iOS users to upload videos and watch or share them from anywhere. The universal app is free with 2GB of available storage, with up to 1.5GB of bonus space available in 250MB increments after the first upload, share, or each device installation (up to four). Featuring a clean, easy to navigate UI perfectly matched with iOS 7, tabs sort content by Recent, My Videos, Collections, Sharing, and Web Videos, where Real’s Daily Top 5 and videos from Facebook friends appear.
It's not in the App Store quite yet, but the latest major release of "read later" app Instapaper is queued up and ready to go alongside the release of iOS 7 this week, and here's a peek at what to expect.