Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I realized something as I was sitting around doing next to nothing today. Here I am two-thirds of the way through my master's program in digital strategy and social media, and I haven't posted anything relating to those topics yet this month. I know I posted about school, but I feel like I should at least be talking about some of this stuff that I spend all my time looking at, thinking about, learning and using. Don't worry though. I'm not writing about anything intellectual (god forbid). What I'm going to do is show you some mobile apps I love that you may or may not already know about. I'll try to stay away from the really obvious ones like Instagram. Who knows, maybe one of them will end up on your phone tomorrow.

I discovered some of my favorite apps directly through school. We talked about them in class or one of my classmates showed one to me. Others came from other friends and from my “free app of the day” app, but I still found them indirectly because of school in that I wasn't all that interested in any off-beat apps people were trying to show me before I started this program. Now I must have more than a hundred apps on my phone. Fear not. I'm only going to tell you about five.

1. Timehop – One of my classmates presented a review of this app to the class. It's like it was made specifically for me. Every day, you open the app and it takes you back in time(line). What did I post on Facebook on this date last year? Two years ago? Three? OMG even four years ago today? Yup. All of those. I love seeing what idiotic things I was thinking and foisting on all my friends. I'm pretty sure it's free, but I don't remember for certain.

2. Demandar – This one I got from a friend in San Diego. It's a really simple concept and pretty simple to use as well. You hold the camera up vertically and spin around slowly in a circle. About five times during the process the camera snaps a picture. Voila! A 360 degree photo view. It's awesome. This one might have been 99 cents. Totally worth it. I love love love this app.

3. Emulsion – This one's a little crazy and hard for me to describe. Basically you start with either a photo from your library (or you can take a pic directly from the app) or a blank canvas. Then you choose your brush type, the style of the spatter and the color. Then you just run your fingers over the canvas. Instant art. For someone like me, with no talent for visual art, it's a really cool way to have a little fun without feeling like I can't draw. It's essentially mobile finger painting.


4. Feedly – I almost broke down and cried when I found out iGoogle is shutting down as of November 1 of this year. They have been issuing the warning since the beginning of 2012, so I've had plenty of time to get used to the idea. Still, change is traumatic for me. I don't know what's going on in the world unless it's right there on my home page when I open my web browser. Other than that, if someone doesn't share a link on Facebook I'm completely in the dark. I finally had to start hunting down another news reader. Feedly has a website AND an app. Sold. Plus I love how clean and easy the UI is. I'm still going to miss iGoogle, but at least I won't miss out on what's going on in the world.

5. GifBoom – I don't use this one all that much, mostly because Facebook doesn't support gifs and that's where I spend most of my time. But when I do open it and start to play, I can't stop. If you've never made a gif, get this app. It's so incredibly simple you'll be giffin' up a storm in no time. If you love making gifs and haven't tried GifBoom, check it out. I had to review a whole bunch of gif-making apps for a project at my internship and this was by far my favorite one.

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