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iPhone apps for journalists (or how to justify your new toy!)

July 8, 2010
Blue Mickey in action in an iPhone 3g with FiRe

Blue Mickey in action in an iPhone 3g with FiRe

The iPhone like many smart phones is a brilliant piece of kit, but getting the best from it takes a bit of work and research, and often a lot of trial and error to discover the right app that does what you need it to do.

So to make things a bit easier, here’s my list of iPhone apps for journalists. This is based on my experience with an iPhone 3G – you may know of apps for the iPhone 3GS and 4 models that do the same job better.

Audio

Audioboo: Record audio, take a snap and send it to the internet. The quality of the audio is very good (not like a phone call) and it’s already used by a few radio journalists to file from the field. You can’t edit the audio though, not even a top and tail. (Free)

FiRe: Produces very high quality recordings, in a variety of formats (wave, AAC, Ogg Vorbis) Again no edit facility, but this app allows you to FTP the audio or send it to Sound Cloud. (£5.99) There is a free version called Blue Fire, but it lacks the audio effects that improve the audio quality.

VC Audio Pro: A fairly well featured audio recorder and editor, but it’s quite demanding on the hardware and isn’t user friendly – you really have to read the manual to get the best out of it. But it will let you multi-track. Downside is the limited methods of getting the audio of the iPhone – either by email (max. file-size of 10MB), or via wi-fi connection on the same network.

Photo

Flickit: A photo uploader for Flickr and better than the official Flickr app! Lets you add detailed descriptions, tags and post the image to your sets and groups you belong to. And if you have and blogs linked to your Flickr account, it will post to those too. (Free) The paid for pro version adds search options for viewing images, including using the GPS in your iPhone to find images taken near where you are.

Autostitch Panorama: Create large and / or panoramic images from a series of images. Requires little user interaction to create the final image, which you then save and can email or post to Facebook. (£1.79)

Gorillacam: A replacement for the standard camera app, that allows you to use a self-timer, take time-lapse images and provides a grid and level on screen. (Free)

Kyte Producer: Create audio and video slideshows, viewable at kyte.tv (needs a free account). Quick and simple to use and can be integrated with Twitter. (Free)

News

MobileRSS: Sync your Google Reader subscriptions and read them on your iPhone. (Free) There is a paid-for version, but the free version does a fine job, and the ads are barely noticeable!

Broadcast

iPhone with Anycam Powerpack

iPhone with Anycam Powerpack, Blue Mickey and Griffin power adapter

Qik Live: Lets you stream a report live to the internet, which can be flagged up on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. (Free)

UStream Broadcaster: Lets you stream a report live to the internet, which can be flagged up on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. (Free)

The above two apps are nearly identical in use and features, it’s just which interface you might prefer that’ll be the deciding factor.

TCoder: A notpad app that time codes your notes – ideal for note making when recording an interview  / PR thing etc …(Free)

i-Prompt: An iPhone based tele-prompter that is very customisable (and for which you can buy some expensive accessories too) but the basic app is free.

Social Media

Twitter: This was Tweetie, one of the best Twitter clients available for the iPhone. Twitter has since bought out Tweetie and gives it away for free!

Tweetdeck: Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and your twitter searches in the one interface and syncit up with the desktop version too. (Free)

WordPress: Post to and edit your WordPress blogs and moderate comments too.

Accessories

Blue Mickey: A plug-in stereo microphone designed for the iPhone. The latest version now has a mini USB port and a mic/line-in port. Costs £59 / £69.

Eternal battery pack: Using the iPhone for any of the above, especially the streaming stuff really puts a strain on the battery. There are any amount of external power packs and battery cases available for the iPhone, starting from around £30.

Car power socket adapter:
Again there’s a whole load of these available, but do check what’s included in the kit … often they lack a cable!

Note: The prices of the apps were correct when written; but as ever things change! A site I’d recommend for tracking app prices is Appshopper.

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One comment

  1. […] The busiest day of the year was September 10th with 46 views. The most popular post that day was iPhone apps for journalists (or how to justify your new toy!). […]



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