Monday, July 4, 2011

The Ultimate List of iPhone Video Apps for Editing, Effects and Sharing Mobile Movies

iphone video apps

It’s no secret that today’s amateur videographers can make professional-level videos with hip-pocket devices. The iPhone’s HD video camera is certainly up to the task of recording, but you’ll still need a way to edit and share all those video masterpieces. The App Store is practically overflowing with video editing apps to help users make their videos stand out from the crowd. Armed with the right knowledge, you can hunt down the best video apps for the iPhone, or you can keep reading.

The editors at AppCraver put our heads together to come up with a list of our favorite video applications for editing, adding special effects and sharing our creations. We’ve highlighted the top apps for each task below.

Designed and advertised for its HDR abilities, Flare’s video effects features are nearly professional-grade. This Top 50 app’s combination of a simple interface and live effects take a lot of the guesswork out of shooting. The large and user-friendly viewfinder helps you keep the subjects right where you want them. As an added bonus, Flare supports pinch-to-zoom capabilities, making setting up and changing shots a snap. Done editing? Share your full-quality video creations across the web with upload options for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, Flickr and other social media favorites. With everything it has to offer, Flare is one of the best bargains on the App Store.

If what you really need is a good all-around editing/effects app, CinemaFX for Video is the one to download. It’s more than the standard two-tap apps for automatically improving videos, but with 55 different effects at the ready, you won’t have to spend six months learning the nuances of video editing either. Build your own custom edits by layering choices from a huge variety of options that include color changes like BW or sepia, vintage effects that use film grain or blur, toy camera effects that simulate Holga or Polaroid and many more. You can preview different styles side-by-side against the original before applying and, then, when you’re done export your video up to 720P and share it on Youtube or email with a minimum of fuss.

Videophiles who enjoys customizing their videos and want to keep that film-like look, will enjoy FiLMiC Pro. Noteworthy features include a dual-thumb setup for better control during filming, a professional-grade set of upload options that include Dropbox and FTP, and variable frame rate settings for true versatility. With a well-thought out interface that is intuitive yet powerful, FiLMiC Pro is definitely geared towards the needs of serious users. However, with a low price this low, even newbies who just want to star in a few home movies will be tempted to create their own feature films. Read our complete review of FiLMic Pro.

Yes, this app offers more than one “trick,” but they’re all designed with the same goal in mind — to turn your uber-modern iPhone video into a cool, retro Super 8 flick. Record live video while mixing and matching seven lens effects and three animated filters to get the perfect vintage look. You can also rearrange scenes and add movie credits. Those who are so inclined, can explore extra features in the app that correspond to the Super 8 movie release such as film clips, show times and leaderboards.

Selective colorization is still a “fan favorite” when it comes to creating simple, striking photography. Like Color Splash for still photos, ColorStroke Video Maker is the best app for applying this effect to iPhone videos. The technique will convert your video to black and white leaving only certain objects in full color. You choose the color and let the app work its magic. Take this app for what it is and you can make some interesting videos. Just remember, you don’t have a green screen. You have an iPhone and a $3 app. Don’t expect miracles and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

As the name implies, Silent Film Director transforms your iPhone into a late 19th-century movie camera, ready to capture gentlemen of leisure misplacing their monocles or young women trying out the latest in hoop-skirt fashions. Have no fear, it works on modern subjects equally well! The app itself overlays videos with film grain effects and washes out the color. It also allows for customized title cards, film speed changes, and unique transitions. Better still, the website offers a variety of free ragtime tracks to liven up your creations.

With a collection of accolades to rival any film star, Splice is an aptly-named application for joining pictures and videos together into one continuous movie. Splice has lots of in-app purchases available for enhancing your personal flicks with sound effects, borders, etc, and the editing tools are designed to make a difficult job easier with features like drag-and-drop, the familiar Ken Burns effect and simple customization of title slides. The most recent update added support for HD video, great for quality but not-so-great for anyone not running a top-of-the-line device. Our advice, if you don’t have an iPhone 4 you won’t get the best performance from this app.

Tired of trying to line up images and stitch together photos? Then perhaps you need a way to take panoramic pictures. 360 Panorama is an app that promises quick and easy panoramic creations — just fire up the application, tap the screen and pan the camera across the horizon. Auto adjust for lighting, geotagging, and instant-upload for sharing online, on Facebook or via email. This app uses high-res images and processes panoramas in about 20 seconds so, while the developers suggest a device that is 3GS or better, you’re likely to get the best results from an iPhone 4 or iPad 2.

Cartoonatic – A whimsical app well suited to creative photographers, Cartoonatic transforms your photos and videos into a simulation of hand-drawn art. Whether you’re shooting some cartoon-style video on the go or convincing your friends that you belong in the Louvre of Crayons, Cartoonatic makes photo and video effects simple and fun.

There are quite a few editing applications to spice up your iPhone videos with cool effects—usually, though, you’re limited to one effect at a time. iMajiCam is an exception. Packed with 39 video effects and filters which can be layered, started or stopped in real time, and combined with frame effects to create a never-ending loop of movie magic. Use iMajiCam’s integrated social network features to share your remastered videos via Facebook, Flicker, Twitter, email and more.

Videolicious is a quick and effective video editing app. It allows the user to select and arrange video clips, and narrate them. Soundtrack music can be chosen from the iTunes library, or from included music. It doesn’t give full-featured video editing control, but the point is to be able to create a finished video in a short amount of time, and it accomplishes that. Videos can be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube from within the app, or posted with partners such as marthastewart.com. Read our review of Videolicious.

What fun are videos if you can’t share them with your adoring fans online? Vlix, a free video effects and sharing app from SpotMixer Inc., allows you to create a custom web stream of your videos and share it with anyone who wants to follow you. Included with this app is the full range of common effects, including slow motion, simulated thermal, and high contrast. This app is not a perfect solution for longer films, but for short, social clips, Vlix can’t be beat. This is your chance to become an internet sensation.

If you thought that 3G iPhone was useless without video, you’re in luck. Video Genius enables older generation users to record movies of varying lengths depending on your settings. After recording, the video will appear in the Photo Library where you can use the iPhone’s standard sharing features to send videos via email, etc. to family and friends.

It’s not free like the app above, but iCamcorder offers extras that some users may be willing to pay for. In addition to the ability to record video, this app also applies eleven different effects including the top favorites: black and white, pop art, old movie effect, etc. Take your recorded videos and download via WiFi or share on Facebook YouTube and Twitter.

What video apps do you use? Leave a comment and let us know about your favorite iPhone video apps for editing, special effects and sharing mobile movies!

app category: An App For That, Photography, Round-Up



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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stoned 3D Match Game Requires Speed and Accuracy

Stoned 3D game for iOSEver feel like you’re just caught up in an app wonderland full of fun and goodness. Me too. Stoned 3D, my latest deliciously decadent app discovery, is a take on like what I feel is a game Fred Flintstone would try to school Barney on. A game of chess of sorts where strategy is your only trump card.

What does this mean? Simple. You need to understand the game to play, progress and succeed. Too much to the right or left and you’re back at the beginning. The key to success is a soft hand and a swift mind. Do you have what it takes?

As you launch Stoned 3D, you’ll see several options including the ability to play right away, connect with OpenFeint or GameCenter as well as follow the game developer on Twitter and Facebook. You can also checkout their other apps such as Tiny Zoo which is free and a blast to play.

My suggestion is to hit the play button and unleash the furry in Stoned 3D. In what seems to be a very simple “this shape of block goes in this shape of hole” game turns out to be a highly challenging “this is fast and difficult” game. It’s addictive and it’s fun. You’ll be frustrated on one hand and coming back for more on the other.

The game is laid out in a bi-level rock quarry where four cavemen chisel different rock shapes including a circle, square, triangle, plus, half moon and star and then push them over towards you. The point of Stoned 3D is to slide the matching hole and catch the falling boulders with the right shapes so you can keep the place nice and neat. At first, it’s easy. As you progress so does the speed at which they fall. To throw in a twist, there is a little dinosaur that pops up for you to tap for extra bonus points. Sometimes you’ll lose focus trying to tap him out and instead of extra points you’ll lose the game, so be careful.

The key to the entire shape-matching puzzle is to learn that the slider is actually a continuous slider, so no matter if you slide it right or left the holes are in the same exact pattern. This makes it easier to catch the stones when they’re falling faster as you can skip a few by simply continuing to slide left or right instead of stopping the slide and reversing.

Other than that, Stoned 3D is fairly simple in gameplay, but definitely a challenge as you progress. I recommend this game if you’re looking to push your gaming skills past an angry bird or two and want to learn a bit more about your geometrical shapes.

Watch Stoned 3D in Action

app category: Editor's Picks, Games, Strategy



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Absolute Instant iPhone Shooter Teleports Gamers to a New World

Absolute Instant iOS plane shooterBoy meets girl, girl eats fruit, Celestians create an empire, take over the world with their mystical forces and oppress the children of Terrestrians for centuries. We’ve all heard this story before, right?

Designed to exploit the interactive controls of the iPhone, Absolute Instant is an excellent app that should pique the interest of both hardcore and casual gamers. It almost seems as if it’s an ode to “Kid Icarus” mixed in with a bit of the “1942” plane shooter classic. Of course, touching the screen back in the day only gave you smudges on the arcade glass, but now it teleports you out of danger.

The story follows closely to the beginning of man where Adam and Eve have a bit of conflict over the golden apple and Eve, full of greed after opening Pandora’s box, boots Adam out of Eden.

Eve starts an empire made up of Celestians, who have mystical forces. Adam starts his own empire made up of Terrestrians who, unfortunately, have no technological advantage to match against the Celeestians’ supernatural uprising.

After much research and centuries of the above mentioned oppression, the Adam’s clan discovers a breakthrough technology “Absolute Instant” or A.I. for short. This revolution brings about the ability to teleport oneself from one spot to another, finally giving the Terrestians a technological advantage over the Celestians.

With Absolute Instant in his arsenal, Adam vows to to fight back and equips an elite squad of A.I. Riders to end the war by destroying the origins of all things—the golden apple.

This is where you come in. After a short pre-story, you start the game as one of the A.I. Riders, but before you jump into the game, be sure to check out the tutorial that goes over user controls. The controls are very simple such as dragging your finger to move your ship and shaking the phone to activate a screen-cleaning bomb.

The real treat is the teleporting option, which is activated by touching the upper left teleporting meter. Your player will disappear and then once you tap the screen in a different area it will reappear in the selected area. This is great for getting out of tight spots, but be forewarned that not all enemies can be avoided.

Absolute Instant is an epic shooter that combines flying jets and apocalyptic creatures with a twist of teleporting yourself out of danger. Yes, teleporting. This app is an excellent addition to the iOS gaming platform for those who enjoy a good story, great action and even better weapons.

app category: Action, Adventure, Arcade, Games



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Lane Splitter is Motorbike Arcade iOS Fun

Lane Splitter arcade iPhone GameLane Splitter is a fierce, fly by the seat of your pants arcade game that not only keeps you irratically tense throughout the gameplay, but keeps you coming back for more. And it’s also the reason why you don’t want to be pressed for time for your wedding.

That’s right, the story follows groom to be Jake Melton who has lost track of time and though he’s made mistakes throughout his life, being late to his wedding is not one of them. Hence, the reason you have to zoom through traffic on your speedy red motorbike like a crazed maniac. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun and there are over 3 million downloads of this game to prove it.

Make sure eat your Wheaties and have a Red Bull before you launch Lane Splitter as you’ll need them to maneuver Jake through a fast-paced arcade action game where even Mr. Miyagi would be challenged with intense tight turns you have to make to ensure you survive to see your wedding.

The challenging aspect of this game is the high rate of velocity at which you speed through constantly changing traffic. It gets even more harry when “careless drivers” and “vehicle blind spots” try to ruin your white wedding.

I will say that the game is easy to get the hang of, but ultimately the point of the game is simple and the gameplay is quite difficult as you progress through the arcade iPhone and iPad game that is Lane Splitter.

The app reminds me of my days living in Los Angeles where I almost took out a few motorcycles in my day. After a few close calls I made sure to always be on the look out for them even when I was just sticking to one lane as they would always come out of nowhere.

Fortunately for you, Lane Splitter allows you to drive like a maniac without consequence in a beautifully rendered 3D environment that challenges your driving skills as well as puts your nerves to the limit. For this reason, Lane Splitter is an easy buy especially since it’s iPhone and iPad 2 and classic compatible for only $.99.

app category: Arcade, Editor's Picks, Games



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FiLMiC Pro Brings Hollywood Video Features to iPhone

Filmic Pro video editing app for iPhoneHi, my name is Greg. “Hi Greg.” And I’m a film junkie (insert clapping sound). Good thing I’ve found another way to feed this addiction with FiLMiC Pro, an iPhone video app that allows you to select frame rates, resolutions and shooting modes.

I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and must say, the amount of control it gives you over your iPhone’s video capabilities turns your home videos into Hollywood feature films. And the fact that it was built by filmmakers ensures you’re getting an app that truly pushes the boundaries of the iPhone.

It’s interesting to me that there really hasn’t been an app like FiLMiC Pro until now. But I guess the industry has mostly been in panic mode to bring better, more full-featured photo apps to the market. And of course, video has just recently become a reality with the iPhone and now that the photo side is just about played out… it’s time for video. I’m assuming we’ll see a lot more apps like this over the next several months.

In the mean time, FiLMiC Pro is more than enough to feed your cinematic appetite. Even the app’s pistol grip camera icon is an ode to the days of cinema so you know you’re in for a real treat.

Upon opening the app you’re video is ready to be shot. However, there are several options and features you’ll want to customize before diving in to ensure a superb result. For instance, the dedicated video camera app gives you control over focus, exposure, white balance and in-camera light.

You’ll notice when you launch the app that there are two reticle’s (the two things on your screen). One is a square that is the movable focus reticle that allows you to manually move the focus point before or during video capture. This comes in very handy when you’re trying to focus on one subject and then change to another. The second one is a circle and is the movable exposure reticle that allows you to lock in where you want proper exposure.

Of course, you can combine this to single reticle mode that locks focus and exposure at the same time, but it’s not as fun that way.

You’ll also feel like a true director with the slate function. You know the thing that snaps as the director says action? Well, you have one now too. It also includes the snap sound for post syncing with an external audio system or multi-camera shoots. It also features data fields with selectable scene letters and take numbers. So if your actor just isn’t hitting his queue you might have to go up to take 35, scene one.

Now, for frame rates, I’ll just say that using 24fps is standard “film-like” quality for the US. I won’t go into the nitty gritty about why, but basically, it looks cool and doesn’t look like a home movie. Now, the iPhone is fairly limited due to its lens, but you’ll still see a difference.

Along with four selectable resolutions, the FiLMiC Pro video app allows you to run framing overlays for the different TV aspect ratios (choose wide for more film-like) as well as gives you the rule of threes guide for composition. It also has audio metering and color bars for post production.

After you’ve shot your masterpieces, FiLMiC Pro allows you to upload to DropBox, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and an FTP Server. With an app like this, you’ll probably be taking footage, saving for later and then editing, but if you’re just that good and can take in one shot and upload you can do it.

If you’re a videophile, enjoy customizing your videos and like the film-like look, you’ll very much enjoy FiLMiC Pro. You’ll be hard pressed to find this many features packed into one app for the price making this a must buy app.

app category: Editor's Picks, Photography



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Banjo Tames Social Networking on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.

Banjo Social Discovery AppIs social networking reaching a tipping point? With Facebook’s recent slump in North American growth, one is lead to believe that we as a society might be overwhelmed with the amount of options within the space. Think about it. Between Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Gowalla, etc. nobody has time to truly connect with everyone, all the time and on all sites. It’s a social mess.

What if there was an app to rule them all?

Enter, Damien Patton, veteran of Desert Storm, former professional racecar driver and now CEO of Banjo, the new social discovery service. Of course, like most useful inventions, Banjo was born out of necessity. A missed connection with a friend that happened to be at the same airport, in the same terminal and at the same time, but Patton didn’t find that out until he got home.

With the ever-growing amount of social clutter, the next big trend isn’t a new social network, but rather a way to make sense of the chaos. I liken Banjo to Google in that Google tames web content into an easy to use search engine. Banjo uses this same idea to ensure you’re in the know about your social network in the convenience of one app.

“Every day, people use mobile phones to access social networks to connect with the world around them. With so much activity, it’s hard to connect the dots between all the information being shared. Banjo was created with this in mind.” remarked Patton.

Now, as of today, the app allows you to send tweets straight from the app, but only view your friends’ updates from Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla. The company plans to integrate two-way communication with the other social sites as they continue to grow.

Banjo is truly epic in that it can be used to interact with your friends around you or with anybody, anywhere. The social discovery app allows you to zoom in and out of different places such as Apple in Cupertino. I was poking around for the latest gossip, but was only able to find some guy working out at the Apple Fitness Center. Maybe he left the iPhone 5 behind.

“Banjo provides a layer of intelligence on top of existing networks so people can easily discover friends and new people or places around them, regardless of what social network they are on,” said Patton.

Think of the marketing possibilities Banjo could have. Say your client is offering a discount in a certain store in a certain city. Dial into that city and connect directly with people in real time in that area. Genius.

“Banjo is poised to take social discovery well beyond the technology currently available. We are so impressed with Banjo’s innovation and the quality of user-experience, and look forward to supporting their continued growth as they take social exploration to the next level,” said John Malloy, partner at BlueRun Ventures, initial investors in Banjo.

The user interface is simple, yet very robust. Once you open the app, you’re shown the closet 16 people based on latest status updates. You can easily customize who you see (show all, friends or favorites) in the settings tab. You don’t even need to sign into any of your social networks. You can just let your curious eyes wonder. However, I recommend signing into the various social networks under the social tab to see what your friends are up to.

Click on the map for a quick view of who is doing what in your area. Zoom out and find other areas that might be fun to check out, i.e. Paris, Hong Kong, etc. If you like what you see, simply tap the places tab in the upper left and then add favorite place to drop a pin and name your location for easy revisiting. You can also set your nearby notification parameters such as miles and recency of activity within this tab.

Banjo’s ability to bring calm to the social networking chaos that seems to be taking over our daily lives just might be the next big thing.

app category: An App For That, Breaking News, Social Networking



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Panoramic City Views USA is Google Earth for XIX Century

Panoramic City Views USAHistorical Society eat your heart out, the Panoramic City Views USA iPad app is by far one of the most interesting ways to travel back in time to yesteryear and experience America as it was over a 100 years ago. With up to 400 megapixels of historical detail for intense zooming, the iPad app is the equivalent to Google Earth back in the XIX century complete with street view because of the amount of detail.

I remember being at the top of the formerly named Sears Tower and found the incredible views very interesting not just for the sky line, but also to see how the city was laid out in a grid pattern. It spoke to the history of how the city was planned. Looking through the telescope also allowed me to check out the city streets from a birds-eye view and try to picture how it used to look, which I feel is where the Panoramic City Views USA app becomes very handy.

Also, I’ve done a lot of travel in my time and always find interesting tours to take such as the Seattle Underground Tour, Portland Underground Walk and even the Architectural Kayaking Tour in Chicago. The tours are the true way to learn a city’s history. Well, that and having older relatives from those areas. But the drawback is that while you hear about the history you only see the present, which is tomorrow’s yesterday, but I digress.

Panoramic City Views USA allows you to go past the facade of the current city and experience how cities like Seattle, San Jose, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago looked liked at the turn of the XIX century.

Once you launch the app, simply select a city and the map is loaded almost instantaneously. Sure you can go to the Library of Congress to check these out, but for only $2.99, pinching and zooming is a bit more realistic than packing and traveling.

The maps have a large amount of high-resolution details and can easily be zoomed in and out via the pinch and zoom motion gestures, which should only get better with the new iOS 5 release this fall. Information such as year is in the upper right corner and you can find the name of the city and date the map was drawn under the info button.

Traveling to a city and exploring their current infrastructure unveils a lot of history of where the city evolved from, who it was built for and why it still exists. However, the Panoramic City Views USA historical map app is the only way to easily access all 50 maps in one location and truly experience the old time America that you’ve most likely only heard about from your great grandparents.

app category: Editor's Picks, Lifestyle, Travel



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