The App Corner: Media

There will come a time when cameras and videos will be rendered completely and utterly useless thanks to the invention of smartphones.

Julius Sharpe, a writer for the animated sitcom Family Guy on FOX, tweeted, “The only reason I use my home phone is to find my cell phone.” And as funny as this is, it’s all too true.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, of course. I love my smartphone. I don’t know what I would do without it. But just thinking about how versatile phones are these days still blows my mind.

However, above all things, media (aside from social media) rules the land of apps and smartphone accessories.

In its May issue, Bloomberg published an impressive chart called Camera Apps: A Family Tree, which graphically portrayed the rate at and the extent to which media (camera, video, etc.) apps have taken over smartphones and their users.

As much as I would like to review every single app that the Bloomberg chart mentions, I encourage you guys to try as many of them on your own as possible. Media app likeability really varies from person to person, so get a feel for some and see for yourself. However, I will review a smaller but still eclectic group of media apps – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Instagram

After Facebook scooped it up for $1 billion, Instagram has become an app that we all love to hate, especially since the arrival of The Rich Kids of Instagram, a Tumblr dedicated to giving average people a glimpse into the lives of spoiled rich kids sipping on Bacardis or driving around in Bentleys through Instagram.

But objectively speaking, it was one of the first camera apps to really launch the media app revolution. Because Instagram is so well-designed, with its touch-friendly features – scrolling filters, two-step effects – it has become a design role model for iOs and Android programmers everywhere.
The filters are not of the highest quality, but Instagram is undoubtedly the trend-setter of photo-based social sharing.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

GifBoom

An app that allows users to create their own gifs, GifBoom has become very popular with a younger crowd. Some people use GifBoom just to camerawhore, posting gifs of their practiced duck faces on their feed, while others use it more creatively, in a stop motion kind of way.

GifBoom is a very cool idea. It makes creating gifs extremely easy, even for people who are not especially tech savvy.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

Aviary

For a lot of people, Aviary is their go-to photo editor. It includes a number of effects in the free package alone, goofy stickers, brightness/contrast/saturation and sharpness options and even red eye-erasing and teeth-whitening features. It’s easy to use, though I don’t use it all that often. It’s something to have if you love editing your photos to a T.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

Viddy

Who will be the next Instagram? Viddy thinks it is next in line. After Mark Zuckerberg joined in April, word about Viddy has traveled. Bill Cosby, Justin Bieber and even Snoop Dogg (now known as Snoop Lion) are among some of the notable celebrities that can all be found posting and interacting through this social video app and website.

Though it can be a little tricky to use at first, once you get the hang of it, it turns out to be a pretty cool app. Viddy undoubtedly makes editing videos as easy as possible.

T.V. Rating: 4/5

360 Panorama

The goal of the 360 Panorama app is to do one thing and one thing only: create panoramas. It’s not an app for socializing and it’s not an app for effects. 360 Panorama makes creating panoramas extremely easy and fun. Sure, it’s not completely foolproof (if you twitch or shake while you’re making a panorama, it’s going to look a little funky), but panoramas have never been easier to make!

T.V. Rating: 4/5

Cinemagram

A classic example of putting two and two together, Cinemagram uses the animation in videos and incorporates it with the stillness in photos to create easy-to-make moving photos. Some examples can be found on the website and, as you will find out, when the app is used perfectly, photos can be brought to life in a vivid and entrancing way. An excellent idea, though it does take the app some time to load internal data than most apps.

T.V. Rating: 4/5

PopBooth

PopBooth is an app that takes the fun of taking photos in a photobooth and brings it to your smartphone and/or tablet! It’s extremely easy to use, comes with filters and best of all, it’s FREE!!! Though there could be more filter options, for what it’s meant to do, PopBooth is a pretty great app.

T.V. Rating: 4.5/5

Cheesin’ with PopBooth

Pic Stitch

When it comes to Pic Stitch, I feel like you either hate it or love it. I guess the fact that you can create a kind of three-in-one, mosaic-like photo instead of just one photo is sort of cool, but I’m not a big fan. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m a smartphone camera app elitist or something along those lines (probably).

T.V. Rating: 3.5/5

Cat Paint

The CatPaint app is like that one toy from your childhood that you wanted more than anything in the world. For the first two weeks, you were in love with that new toy, but after the honeymoon ended, you found the box it came in much more entertaining. I spent 99 cents on this app. At first, I thought that there was no better way to spend my 99 cents. Then one day it dawned on me… why did I spend 99 cents on an app that superimposes cats in my photos? Even though these cats can shoot laser beams from their eyes, I don’t think it’s worth it. Well, maybe it’s worth it. Actually, it’s probably worth it.

T.V. Rating: 3.5/5

This is what you get for 99 cents.

VSCO Cam

The Visual Supply Company has its own incredible app that turns ordinary photos into stunning photos. For a while, I’ve been against phones replacing cameras. I’ve always thought that my camera takes better photos and that Instagram, with its cheapish filters, could never replace it. But if any app were to replace my camera, it would have to be the VSCO Cam. The filters alone make the 99 cents I paid for the app absolutely, absolutely worth it.

Taken with VSCO Cam

What do you think? Are there any camera/video apps that you love that I missed? What do you think of this media revolution? Do you think cameras and/or videos will eventually become obsolete? Let me know in the comments!

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