Category Archives: apps

Ploy-Frame: How to Frame Your Best Friend.

20120326-222324.jpgPoly-Frame is a pretty cool app for those who would like to display several photos together. It allows you to use preset frames and fill them with you family and friends. You can easily fine tune the position of the photograph as well as the frame’s color, design and width. It functions quite intuitively and allows you to share these photos via email or social media or store the in your camera roll. Below is a photo collage I created with Poly-Frame.

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Temple Run: The Indiana Jones of Game Apps

20120221-154026.jpgThis an addicting action game that will keep you running for hours on end just a few steps ahead of an angry group of monkeys. You make you way through a maze of walkways as you pick up coins and powers that allow you to become invisible or run through the maze at breakneck speed. The graphics are amazing which play to jungle drums and shrieking moneys. You run, jump and slide you way through various obstacles such as hollowed out tree trunks, rings of fire, damaged walkways, and rocky ledges. This game is easy to learn but tough to master. The app is free, but you can buy coins for a price if you don’t have the patience to earn them on your own. It is available for both the iPhone and iPad, however the iPad version is a little more difficult to beat. Below are couple of screen shots from this app.

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The History of Rock and Roll

Apple is offering more and more interactive forms of media that fully utilizes the genius of the iPad platform. “The History of Rock and Roll” app fully realizes the potential of this platform by offering a timeline driven app which allows one to explore the history of rock music in a nonlinear manner. The year to year time line of Rock and Roll Music allows you to explore as little or deeply as you like from the 1950’s up to the present. You can jump between short paragraphs to in-depth articles, song clips and videos. The app is visually attractive and fun to use. It is filled with interesting trivia and pictures. This style of format will continue evolve and encompass academic subjects and redefine textbook used it schools. In the meantime, you can enjoy this finely crafted app to explore your interest in rock music, both now and then.
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Contour will help shape your screenplay

20120214-085154.jpgContour is an app designed to help focus the creative process of writing a screen or teleplay by utilizing a known structure and series of central questions to develop your main character as well as create and properly set up your story in a way that will draw the reader in and fulfill the requirements of the plot and pacing of your story. Contour was developed by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, a WGA, WGC, Emmy, and BAFTA nominated writer, producer, and director. According to Schechter the four questions you must ask and answer for your movie to successful are:

Who’s your main character?
What’s your main character trying to accomplish?
Who’s trying to stop your main character?
What happens if your main character fails?

The answers must be:

A sympathetic character, who is…
…trying to accomplish a compelling goal while being opposed by…
… a powerful and committed opponent, over…
life and death stakes.

The app’s script structure use four archetypes to develop the main character through the course of your script. These are the four classic archetypes that every main character moves through in every great movie:

ORPHAN in Act One
WANDERER in the first half of Act Two
WARRIOR in the second half of Act Two
MARTYR in Act Three.

For reference, the app includes a number well-known movies and dissects and analyzes them using this structure. These examples of successful movies are included for ready reference. The app has an extensive user manual which will help you learn the Contour structure and apply it to your own writing. There are built in links to the Contour website including  extensive references to current movies, message boards and tech support. The program costs $5.00. The program allows you to work and capture those ideas on the go whether it’s during a lunch break, between appointments or late at night while lying in bed. The program costs $5.00. For the cost of a Starbucks Chai Latte, Contour will help you shape your screenwriting.

WolframAlpha – A Scientific Wonder

WolframAlpha is app like no other app. It is amazing all that it can do. Want to find basic statistical data for a city or town? Need to calculate the braking distance for a passenger vehicle traveling 60 MPH on asphalt? How about the blood alcohol level of a person of a given weight and sex? Want know what phase of the moon was present on a particular date and local? Wolfram Alpha can do it all whether it is mathematics, statistics, engineering, physics, regression analysis, transportation questions, dietary information, conversion of measures, etc. It is an amazing computing device and source of information. It almost like science fiction to it solve problems you present to it. The app is great for students and information junkies, alike. Below is an example of the app determining the blood alcohol level for a 155 pound man and a graph plotting his blood alcohol level over time.

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Top Camera App has it all.

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Top Camera is an app that combines a digital photo/video camera and a number of photo shop tools into a single app. Pictures can be shot in landscape or portrait format. The camera allows live adjustments for contrast, brightness, saturation and temperature. It enables your iPad or iPhone to employ the use of a timer, image stabilizer and a high dynamic range feature to improve the quality of your pictures. You can adjust the shutter speed and can also take rapid burst of photos up to 6 per second. There is an on-screen level and grid display which also you to properly position your camera and compose your picture. There is also a digital zoom feature as well. Top camera also allows you to edit your picture by cropping, rotating, adjusting color, saturation, brightness and contrast. There are also various effects which may be superimposed on your image as well as borders. The program retains the original photo making it possible to revert back to your original picture. You are also able to share photos with little difficulty through social websites or via email. You can also record movies with the video camera. The app has received high ratings from other users. The app is a bargain price wise as well at $2.99. A free version is available as well with more limited options and tools. The picture above was taken and edited with Top Camera.

Flipboard: All your social media and news in one place

20120125-151034.jpg Flipboard is an app which allows you to collect all of your news and social media items in one spot. You can log in to your Flickr,Twitter or Facebook account and have it appear on your Flipboard page under its own heading. The interface is similar to an electronic newspaper with the ability to electronically flip through pages of news and social information. You are required to set up an account with Flipboard in order to access all of its features. The app is free and does have advertisements mixed in with your news content. The interface is pretty slick as it mimics actually turning a page. It is easy to navigate and set up as well. So give it a try.

Action Movie FX: Blowing Up Your Boss’s Car Has Never Been So Much Fun or Easier

This is a free app you have to get!  It is the best free app since Songify and has something in common.  Action Movie FX put you right in the middle of your own a special effects action movie.  Every wanted to join the likes of Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger in your own action scene? Well in a matter of 5 seconds you can have an automobile tumble towards you, have you home crushed by a meteorite or blow up your boss’s car.  Best of all its free.  However, you can buy other in app special effects such as a tornado, machine gun fire fight, jet plane crashing or side swiping a police car.  Sound effects are included. Action Movie Fx puts a little movie magic in your hands via your iPhone.  You simply chose your action scene video, film your subject and process the video.  It all happens in a matter of seconds through the magic of your iPhone.  You have never laughed so hard as when you blow up your boss or co-worker’s car or better yet see their reaction.  You can share your action clip with friends via email or Facebook as well.  Below is a slide show of out-takes from the FxVideo of what happens at our office if you leave too early…

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Index Card – A Great Tool for Writers and Students

Index Card is a simple non-linear writing tool designed for use on the Apple iPad. You can organize your thoughts through the use of virtual index cards. You can also utilize different colored cards to identify and segregate different areas of your project. The program allows you to use the touch screen to reorder your cards. The beauty of this simple isytem and interface is it permits you to capture your ideas and store notes as they come to you.

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You can organize the flow of your project by using a simulated corkboard interface. By pressing down on a virtual index card, you can electronically grab it on the touchscreen and drag it to a new location. This is the perfect app for screenwriters, novelists, or students. The program allows you to compile your work into a single draft document that can be read by most word processors and specialized formatting programs. The cost of $5.00 seems quite reasonable given all this program does.

iAnnotate for PDF Documents: An A-1 App!

If you work with PDF documents or photographs and need to annotate them then this is the app for you. The application seamlessly allows you to mark up PDF documents with symbols, highlighting, hand written and typed notes. You can also insert pop-up comments as well.

The application allows you to take full advantage of the iPads touch screen by allowing easy navigation of the apps controls which be customized to fit you needs. This app is pretty amazing as it allows you to do things that previously could only be accomplished with a pen, highlighter, typewriter and post-its. Once completed, your document has a side menu with a shorthand listing of your annotations.

You can email the document directly through the program. The email generated by the app creates a short summary of your annotations. The app also includes a library which you can easily navigate organize and manage your annotated documents.

The program has drop down help menus and tips. The documentation for operating the app is very clearly written and organized for ready reference. The controls are intuitive and easy to operate. Documents can easily be accessed from outside sources such as DropBox. This is really an impressive application which is quite affordable at only $9.99 for all it does. With nearly 500 five star ratings by the apps purchasers, I am not alone in my opinion that iAnnotate is an A-1 app.

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