Four must-have apps for today’s mobile journalist

Today’s journalists on the forefront of the industry and now learning mobile journalism: using mobile devices like iPhones and iPads to create journalistic work at an equal caliber of traditional journalism. As a student in the mobile section of a class (J2150: Multimedia Journalism) at the University of Missouri, the number one journalism school in the nation, I want to share with you the apps we have used in our class to become the mobile journalists of tomorrow. After each app, I've included some work I have done using each app.

1. CAMERA +

Camera + is the normal iPad camera on steroids. It allows users to adjust exposure and focus from a simple pinch of the fingers. A handy live horizon line that I have never seen on other apps ensures that the photo being taken is level. Exposure is easily adjusted with the swipe of a finger. Another reason it is better than the typical built-in camera is because it allows users to white balance and auto-adjust to different levels of lighting and weather. Photos are saved automatically to the camera roll, allowing for easy organization. Another helpful tool is the burst function: holding down the shutter to take quick, consecutive photos. This is important for capturing motion in a fast-paced scene.

An unedited photo I took in Camera +

An unedited photo I took in Camera +

2. SNAPSEED

SnapSeed is a photo editing app that allows users to perform Photoshop-esque edits from a mobile device. The clean and organized interface helps users keep track of each and every edit. There are nine different tools and twelve different filters to give users the variety needed in editing journalistic photos. Aside from typical editing functions like exposure and cropping, SnapSeed also has healing, transforming and a blur to imitate the quality of a traditional DSLR camera.

A photo I edited in SnapSeed to blur everything except for the sticker.

A photo I edited in SnapSeed to blur everything except for the sticker.

3. FERRITE

Ferrite is the recording app of dreams. The app has different upgrade packages for heavy users, but the free version should suffice for a college student completing assignments. It has in-house editing tracks with a pop-up menu allowing users to cut, copy, paste, delete, split and more from a simple tap. It performs nearly the same functions as Garageband and has a sound quality comparable to other desktop programs. An export function allows users to export straight into another editing app, like Pinnacle Studio, to pair the audio with photos or video. See the next point for an example.

4. PINNACLE STUDIO


Pinnacle Studio is the ideal app for creating audio slideshows. It is incredibly easy to drop photos in from the camera roll or audio from an app like Ferrite into the timeline and edit from there. The app offers a variety of transitions and titles for any kind of audio slideshow. Although relatively simple, it can create the same time of audio slideshow a desktop app could.

Here is an audio slideshow I produced. The audio was recorded and edited in Ferrite, the photos were taken in Camera + and the project was put together in Pinnacle Studio.