Tag Archives: iPhone

My Top 10 List Of Must-Have iPhone Apps For Journalists

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

As chair of NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force and certified digital media geek, I get asked all the time what are the best apps journalists should have on their iPhones. There’s a lot of great stuff out there, and 10 different journalists would give you 10 different apps.  Below are my picks, but I have many more apps I love to use.

  1. AP Stylebook: OK, this puppy costs $24.99, but I shelled out the bucks for this journalists’ bible.  The app offers searchable listings for the main, sports, business, punctuation and social media sections, and it allows users to make custom entries and notes. It also lets you bookmark things — like datelines — that you tend to seek over and over.
  2. Camera +: I thought the iPhone camera app was perfectly fine. Wrong!! I hate to pay for apps, but this has been worth every penny of the $1.99 cost.  I can use the camera flash as a continuous light.  I can better control and focus my pictures. I can shoot in different modes.  And I can automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Cool!
  3. TIE Photoshop Express and iMovie: You have a cool camera app. Now you need an app to edit and organize your pictures. Photoshop Express is it.  You can crop, change the exposure, add colors and tints and upload to your favorite social media outlets. The MovieCamera app just rocks! You can use your flash to light a scene, it has auto focus, exposure and white balance, you can go hi res and HD AND you can see the sound recording levels.
  4. iTalk: The iPhone comes with a perfectly good audio recorder.  But iTalk (the free version) is SO much more!! You get three levels of recording (good, better and best), a huge red record button and it puts your files in alphabetical order.  You can email smaller files, but need to download iTalk Sync to transfer larger files to your computer.  But if you buy iTalk Pro for $1.99, youcan use Dropbox to transfer your files.
  5. Audioboo:  this app that lets you record up to five minutes of audio and attach a phot, that is easily posted to Twitter, Facebook, Posterous or Tumblr. Some folks even use it for quick podcasts and radio broadcasts.
  6. Evernote: I’m one of those people who is addicted to the Notes function on my iPhone.  But the problem is, Notes is very static and I can’t access it when my phone isn’t around. In comes Evernote.  This app is Notes on steroids.  I can yype a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. I can snap a pic of a business card.  I can store web pages. I can copy notes from Twitter.  I could go on, but you get the point.  The bonus is that I can access my Evernotes from any device — iPhone, iPad or laptop computer!
  7. Dragon Go/Dragon Diction: The Dragon Go app lets you speak to find the things you need.  This app links you to everything from local businesses to books to maps to weather — all by voice. Keeping it in the family, I also like Dragon Dictation, which records you speaking and allows you to send an email, a tweet or a status update on Facebook.
  8. Ustream: this app allows me to shoot live video from my iPhone. I can also upload the video to my YouTube channel.
  9. Town Hall:  For 99 cents, you can track current and past members of Congress, including links to official sites, news, Wikipedia, OpenSecrets, VoteSmart and GovTrack.
  10. Merriam-Webster Dictionary:  this app is powered by Dragon Diction, allowing you to do voice searches of words. It will even pronounce the words you look up.

Top 10 Apps I Picked Up At NABJ 2011

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

At last week’s NABJ Convention, Val Hoeppner of the Freedom Forum taught MOBILE STORYTELLING 101 as a half-day Learning Lab. As part of the lab. Hoeppner showed us a bunch of iPhone apps that journalists can use in mobile storytelling, Here are my 10 favorites. All are free unless otherwise noted.

Val Hoeppner – Google+

If you need to take your multimedia skills to the next level check out our Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp in Nashville, Tenn. Oct. 12-16, 2011. Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp Offered Oct. 2011. Workshops and Conferences. Advanced Multimedia Boot Camp is for professional journalists, journalism educators, students and others with some multimedi…
2011 Convention – Tuesday and Wednesday – National Association of Black Journalists

NABJ BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING Location: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. REGISTRATION & WELCOME CENTER Location: Broad Street Foyer Make sure to visit the registration & welcome center for all of your convention materials. Sign up for the special events, including the golf tournament, the 5K Walk/Run, and purchase tickets to the Salute to Excellence Awards Gala and Saturday Gospel Brunch.
I have so many #nabj11takeaway moments, it’s hard to choose. I’ll pick @vhoeppner Visual Storytelling & @webbmedia top 10 #techtrends. #NABJ
NABJDigital
August 8, 2011
Let’s face it — even though we are all news gatherers, we are also voracious news consumers.  I’m shocked that I didn’t have the AP Mobile app on my iPhone, considering all the great content available on it.
AP Mobile

AP Mobile is an award-winning multimedia news portal developed by The Associated Press that provides anytime access to international, national and local news. In addition to AP’s own worldwide coverage of breaking news, sports, entertainment, politics and business, more than 1,000 AP members and third-party sources provide content for AP Mobile.
I’m one of those people who is addicted to the Notes function on my iPhone.  But the problem is, Notes is very static and I can’t access it when my phone isn’t around. In comes Evernote.  This app is Notes on steroids.  I can “Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot.” I can snap a pic of a business card.  I can store web pages. I can copy notes from Twitter.  I could go on, but you get the point.  The bonus is that I can access my Evernotes from any device — iPhone, iPad or laptop computer!
Remember Everything | Evernote Corporation

Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see. Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there. Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images. Get Evernote Download Now It’s free.
And here I thought my installed iPhone camera app was perfectly fine. Wrong!! I hate to pay for apps, but this has been worth every penny of the $1.99 cost.  I can use the camera flash as a continuous light.  I can better control and focus my pictures. I can shoot in different modes.  And I can automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Cool!
Camera+ …the ultimate photo app

Use the iPhone 4 LED flash as a continuous fill light to improve photo quality, especially for portrait and macro shots. Use the grid to line up your shots and eliminate tilted shots. Up to 6× zoom with advanced digital processing provides you with quality that simply blows away the competition.
You have a cool camera app. Now you need an app to edit and organize your pictures. Photoshop Express is it.  You can crop, change the exposure, add colors and tints and upload to your favorite social media outlets.
Photo Editor, Online Photo Editor, Photoshop Express | Photoshop.com

First things first… create an account Create a free Photoshop.com account so you can use Photoshop Express apps to upload photos, store and organize them, and create interactive slideshows-and to quickly post your edited photos to sites like Facebook. Does your photo need a quick fix? Crop, straighten, adjust color, and touch up imperfections.
Staying with the photo theme, Hoeppner told us about the Pano app, which allows you to easily take fantastic panoramic pictures.  I love that this app tells you just where to move the camera to use up to 16 photos for a 360 degree shot.

I’ve used the iPhone video camera, but the MovieCamera app just rocks! You can use your flash to light a scene, it has auto focus, exposure and white balance, you can go hi res and HD AND you can see the sound recording levels. Sweet!

iPhone – iPod Touch – iPad Apps

Finally! A motion picture camera app for the iPod touch, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 that allows your professional skills to shine. Movie Camera is designed for professional cinematographers who want to leverage the small size and portability of the iPod touch or iPhone but still want complete control over the picture settings.

The iPhone comes with a perfectly good audio recorder.  But iTalk (the free version) is SO much more!! You get three levels of recording (good, better and best), a huge red record button and it puts your files in alphabetical order.  You can email smaller files, but need to download iTalk Sync to transfer larger files to your computer.  But if you buy iTalk Pro for $1.99, youcan use Dropbox to transfer your files.

iTalk Sync Free Download for Mac and Windows | One More Tap

Griffin Technology has just released a public beta version of iTalk Sync for Windows computers. iTalk Sync is a companion program to iTalk. iTalk Sync for the Mac is also available and requires Mac OS X v10.4 or greater. iTalk turns your iPhone, iPhone 3G or 2nd generation iPod touch into a high-quality recording device.

Hoeppner had nothing but high praise for Tumblr,a microblogging site that can be used via browser, phone, desktop or email.  Tumblr allows you to post content including ext, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos.  Check out how NPR is using Tumblr, below.

When analyzing the black women who are 35 and older, the percent who have never been married drops to 25 percent, indicating that a solid majority of black women get married before they turn 35.

The Dragon Go app lets you speak to find the things you need.I used it in Philadelphia to find a restaurant that had late-night delivery because I was still starving after an evening reception.  I highly recommend the soup dumplings!  This app links you to everything from local businesses to books to maps to weather — all by voice. Keeping it in the family, I also like Dragon Dictation, which records you speaking and allows you to send an email, a tweet or a status update on Facebook.

Dragon Go! Say What You Want and Dragon Go! Delivers Across the Mobile Web

Imagine – one app access to everything you want on the mobile web! That’s Dragon Go! You just say what you want and Dragon Go! not only hears what you say – it also understands what you want and gives you direct access to the best sites on the Mobile Web delivering what you want.
Compose message and update Social Networking status – by voice on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch

Dragon Dictation, powered by Nuance’s world-renowned Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, allows you to stay connected all the time, even when your hands are busy.

We ended the session with Hoeppner sending us out into the halls to use one of our tools to do a small mobile storytelling project.  I chose to use Audioboo, an app that lets you record up to five minutes of audio and attach a photo, that is easily posted to Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr or Friendfeed.  Below is one I did with one of my fellow attendees. Enjoy!

NABJDigital: My Top 5 iPhone Travel Apps

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Those who know me know that I’m not only an aviation journalist, but I’m also an aviation/travel geek (you can see my personal writing on this over at AviationQueen.com). As we all prepare to travel to Philadelphia next week for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Annual Convention and Career Fair, I thought I’d share the top five travel apps on my iPhone that can help you organize your travel to and from Philly.  All are free, unless otherwise noted.

  1. Gate Guru.  This app was featured in an Apple iPhone TV commercial. It gives locations and user reviews (including mine as Aviation Queen) of retail, restaurants and services at airports across the country.  I was in Atlanta last week and needed a drug store at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Gate Guru told me that Drugs & More was there, pre-security, in the atrium. Nice!!  And when you have a tight connection and want to make sure you get something to eat for the plane ride, this app is a godsend.
  2. Currency Converter, by Oanda. This app converts currencies from the Afghan Afghani to the Zimbabwe Dollar, quickly and easily — so I don’t have to!
  3. I HEART Travel Packing ($1.99). Kids, my mind isn’t what it used to be, so I need all the help I can get. Believe me, it is NOT fun to realize you’ve reached your destination and forgotten to pack underwear (yes, this has happened to me). This app has sample lists for men and women; it also allows you to create your own list and create a master catalog where you can drag items for new lists.
  4. Next Flight ($2.99). Let’s say you’re at JFK Airport and your flight to San Francisco is delayed or canceled. What do you do? Go to this app, type in the city-pair and it will tell you what airlines have the next flights going there. Call your airline (using the Flight Sites app for the phone number), give them the options and voila-you’re on your way, while the rest of the crowd is standing around the gate agent desk praying they get on a flight.
  5. FareCompare. This app gives you real-time air fare alerts from the city of your choice.  As of this morning at 10:08, I can go to Boston for $107.  It will let you post the fare you found on your favorite social media outlet.  It will even take you right to Orbitz to book the flight.

So what apps am I missing? What travel apps are on your smartphone?

Friday Fast Five + Five: The NABJ Convention Edition

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

The National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair is only 12 days away, and I’m in full preparation mode.  First, I hope you’ll attend my workshop — BRAND YOU: CREATING YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY — on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Room 119B.  My goal is that by the end of this interactive workshop, you will be well on your way to creating your own brand.

Today’s Fast Five + Five is all about the iPhone apps I’ll be using to help me keep up and document everything going on at the show.  For you Android users, I’m sure you can find similar apps. And for Blackberry users? I’m really sorry (don’t hate – my work phone is a Blackberry).

  1. Concur: My company uses this program to track travel and work expenses.  I’m blessed that my company pays for me to attend NABJ, and this app will allow me to keep track of expenses on the run.  And after the convention, there’s no huge pile of receipts to track. Nice!
  2. WordPress: I write two blogs — AviationQueen.com and this one — on this blogging platform. The app allows me to review, approve and write comments and even churn out a quick post on the run.
  3. CamCard ($6.99): every year I collect a huge stack of business cards and 0nly input a fraction of them on Microsoft Outlook. I hate paying for apps, but this one was worth the money.  I can take a picture of a card and the information is automatically updated in my NABJ contacts group. Plus it’s environmentally friendly.
  4. Ustream: this app allows me to shoot live video from my iPhone. I can also upload the video to my YouTube channel.
  5. Instagram: anyone who knows me knows I’m always carrying my camera.  I love the pictures I can take with my iPhone, which makes this app a joy. I can do all kinds of photo tricks and upload directly to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
  6. Tweet Deck: not only can I keep track of my five Twitter accounts, I can also create columns to follow the #NABJ11 and #NABJ hashtags.
  7. Dragon Dictation: Let’s say I’m in a workshop or plenary and I want to dash off a quick message about what I’m hearing.  I can use this voice recognition app to record and upload the message to Twitter, Facebook, email or a text message.  The translation isn’t perfect, but it’s still quicker than typing.
  8. BlueFiRe: the audio recorder that comes with the iPhone is adequate. The FREE Blue FiRe audio recorder app ROCKS!!  It has markers, different sound recording levels and an FTP site that automatically allows you to upload up to 2 GB of recordings.
  9. QR Reader: more and more convention exhibitors and attendees are using QR codes to provide information on goods, services and data.  This reader allows me to snap a picture with my iPhone and download information.
  10. Around Me: when you’re in an unfamiliar city, you need to know where certain things are, like banks/ATMs, parking, pharmacies, restaurants, stores and even hospitals.  This app will use the GPS function on your iPhone to tell you where the nearest outposts are.

So did I miss any? What are your must-have iPhone apps for the convention?

Friday Fast Five + Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

  1. 10000 WordsFive ways to visualize your personal data
  2. Journalists’ ToolkitFlash Journalism Updates
  3. Mashable11 Excellent iPad Apps for Meetings & Presentations
  4. Ragan’s PR Daily5 writing tips from newspaper editors
  5. MakeUseOfThe Top 5 Best Search Engines To Search Photos On Flickr
  6. Innovative Interactivity IIFive tips for emerging video journalists
  7. Web Design Ledger10 Blogs to Help You Become a Photography Expert
  8. Gizmo’s Freeware9 Superb Free Apps that you Simply Must Install on Your Android Phone
  9. Social Media Examiner17 Ways to Grow Your Blog From Top Bloggers
  10. Dumb Little ManTop 12 iPhone Apps That’ll Increase Your Productivity

Required? Required.

By Bliss Davis, Multimedia Journalist

Editor’s note: The Digital Journalism Task Force is joining with Knowledgewebb for a FREE webinar: 10 Steps to a Tech-Savvy You TODAY from  2:00-2:45 pm EST.  This webinar will outline the 10 steps — and critical websites, social networks and gear — to help you become more tech savvy. You’ll get complete notes as well as a primer on how to manage information overload.  The webinar is free, but you must register to attend. I hope you can join us!

I recently read an article about a private school in Tennessee that’s requiring students in grades 4-12 use an Apple iPad for class. This reminded me of several newsrooms I’ve heard about recently that are doing away with hard copy scripts and turning to iPads.

This sparked a debate at work about how much or little we need technology to function. A minimalist anchor bragged about his Motorola Razr and a meteorologist said she would be lost without her Apple iPhone 4. Regardless, based on the list of requirements for my own entry-level journalist job (a cell phone being one of them), communication is essential in an industry that’s centered on…communicating.

Now having a phone hasn’t done much for me, except be a mode through which my boss calls me in as needed, but in terms of our whole newsroom we got a look at how those with phones–specifically smartphones–won on January 24.

On my usual morning shift, shortly after our broadcast, our assignment desk suddenly got a lot louder than normal. For those in broadcast, you know exactly what I mean. Reports started coming in about several houses blowing up, with people calling in about major fires and the heavy smell of gas in the area.

Being too early to have our entire photog team in yet, they had to send anyone with a means of video recording any way they could. As a result, we were the first on the scene and the first with first-hand accounts of what was happening.  One of our own came back smelling terrible, but he got what he needed! He used his iPhone 4 and BlackBerry, and the anchor with the Razr had to admit he wouldn’t have gotten as far as our reporter did with his phone.

What our photog did wasn’t extraordinary in terms of how he used technology—it is 2011 after all—but it did speak to the faithful few who are holding on to older technologies. While we had the resources to be first with that story, we also could have just as easily been last.  Even the bare minimum can leave you out in the cold.

Friday Fast Five + Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Yesterday, an article in Forbes magazine noted that Mashable has topped the list of the most influential media outlets, as ranked by Klout, which tracks online influence.  Anyone can go to Klout, type in their Twitter handle and check out their own scores.  Check out the results for NABJDigital here.  But to celebrate Mashable’s achievement, today’s Fast Five will all come from that website — minus the required link from 10000 Words. Enjoy!

  1. 10000 WordsOnline Journalism Tool of the Day: WordCounter
  2. Mashable (here and below) – HOW TO: Make the Most of Your Twitter Profile Page
  3. HOW TO: Start Your Own Internet Talk Show
  4. HOW TO: Create Your Own Customized Short URL
  5. HOW TO: Develop a Branded iPhone App on a Budget
  6. 10 Unique iPhone Photography Accessories
  7. 5 Fresh Places to Find Great Online Video
  8. 6 Ways to Score a Job Through Twitter
  9. 6 Essential Steps for Executing Your Social Media Strategy
  10. 16 Handy iPhone Apps for Better Blogging