The best new iOS and browser apps for video and graphics
Most video and graphic design work takes place digitally these days, but developers are constantly dreaming up new ways to improve on the wealth of software already available. These iOS and browser-based tools showcase new combinations and features that could make video and design creation increasingly mobile and accessible.
This video recording app stands out because of the intuitive way it harnesses Apple's 3D Touch technology to tackle one of the biggest time-suckers in video recording.
When shooting video, it's common to take longer recordings and trim them down to the highlights, a task both time consuming and mundane. Velapp seeks to streamline this process. When recording with Velapp, you can press harder on the display during the periods with the most action. Depending on how hard you press, Velapp assigns a 0-10 rating to the footage in real-time.
When it's time to view, edit and share your video, Velapp has automatic tools for clipping your footage down only to the highlights you've indicated with your deep touches, devoting more reel time to footage with higher ratings. After you've recorded, you can generate a highlight reel almost instantly.
While we've been underwhelmed with the way that iOS 10 incorporates 3D Touch into its system shortcuts, applications like Velapp use the technology in a much more exciting way.
Velapp is iOS-only, and is available free through the App Store with in-app purchases. It requires iOS 10 or later. For best results, use a 3D Touch device (which was introduced with 2015's iPhone 6S), but if you don't have 3D Touch, there's a backwards-compatible version that uses a slider mechanism to indicate highlights instead of deep presses.
Clips is Apple's latest app offering – a video creation and editing tool that's heavily informed by social media trends but infused with slightly more powerful, iMovie-like editing options. The app seems to occupy a sweet spot between trends and substance.
While it requires a bit of a learning curve to get started, once you're well versed, it could be used to create a broad array of videos quickly and easily. We see potential for everything from sentimental videos for sharing with friends and family to more polished possibilities like marketing and presentation materials.
If you've ever dabbled in graphic design, you may recognize Vecteezy as a reliable online source for free high-quality vector graphics. Last January, the site launched an in-browser vector editor for making your own graphics from scratch, or fine-tuning some of Vecteezy's content before download. That makes it a convenient one-stop-shop for sourcing and customizing stock art.
Vecteezy Editor is barebones compared to professional-quality tools like Adobe Illustrator, but it provides all the essential tools for hobbyists, dabblers and designers that only work with vectors occasionally. Once you've made your edits, you can export the graphic as a .jpg, .png or .svg.
Since Vecteezy Editor works in your web browser, it could be used across a number of devices, including Chromebooks and tablets which can't ordinarily run full-blown professional graphic design software.
Launched in January, the Booxie app is a number of things – a social network, a photo book creation tool, a print shop and an e-commerce outlet.
With Booxie, you can create "books" from your own images and videos, combined with a number of in-app text and graphic effects. Once you complete a book, you can share it online with the general public, your Booxie connections or keep it private.
When viewed online, these books have page-turn effects that mimic an actual book. Alternatively, you can order printed versions of your projects in-app through Booxie. That way, you can have a physical version of your book, or your friends and family could order one for themselves. There is also a postcard option.
You could also generate some extra pocket change through Booksie through its royalties program. Opt in, and Booxie pays you a percentage of sales from the photo books printed from your profile. If nothing else, this represents a novel approach to app monetization.
Booxie seems to offer a potentially good mix of features for users who aren't interested in millennial-centric social media outlets, or a good bridge between older and younger generations. For example, a parent could put together smartphone photos of their kids, while grandparents view and print their favorites.
Like so many other emergent apps, Booxie is iOS-only. Free through the App Store with in-app purchases.
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