creative juice

might as well face it, you’re addicted to apps

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You’re in for a treat! Todd Schultz (Design-developer, Support Specialist) will be writing a once-a-month post geared toward technical subjects. And now for something completely different…

By guest blogger Todd Schultz

todd-profile-4There! I said it… Okay??

I’m addicted to apps. I freely admit it. One look at my smartphone will tell you it’s true. You can ask my fiancé, any of my four kids, all of my grandkids, my family members, my friends, acquaintances—pretty much anyone who has spent five minutes with me within the last few years.

It always starts the same way. “Have you seen this?” I pull out my smartphone and proceed to turn the innocent person I’m talking to into a bulldog on the screen via the amazing Snapchat app or show them how they look with their face and my face swapped. (Usually not very pleasant.)

Most people listen politely and kindly tolerate my ridiculous antics. Often times folks are genuinely enthusiastic about seeing how easy it is to change their voice into an 80s sounding robot with a backbeat on a device that fits in your pocket. Sometimes, they write down the name of the app and walk away with a smile. My friends say, “Where do you find this stuff?” I’m not responsible for the amazing technology I’ve just revealed to them, of course. I didn’t have any part in the creation of it, nor of its discovery.

In fact, the discovery is usually due to the hard work of app store curators who sift through mountains of apps every day. They find unique programs that make you look at the world in a different way. This says nothing of the countless talented, creative, ground-breaking teams of people who actually dream up these amazing pieces of technology. Apps which put a smile on your face, and empower users to make something fun and creative, all while you’re walking down the street. Many of them are available for the bank-breaking price of $1.00.

It never ceases to amaze me. All that technology and creativity packed into a little piece of software that runs on a mobile device. Not to mention the fact that some apps are updated daily! I can’t imagine what kind of hours must go into a release schedule like that. I plunk down a dollar, and I get to turn my grandkid into a frog on my screen. These are truly amazing times we live in.

As you know, not all apps are time-wasters. A large percentage of them actually empower users to be more productive or help people in some other unique way.

In this ongoing series, I hope to highlight both kinds of apps. The silly, “time-suck” kind, and the ones that actually help you be more productive. Being the guy that I am, I decided to start with a few of the former. After all, I’m the fellow who missed the deadline to submit the very words you are reading. So it’s only fitting that I start with a few cool apps that put a new spin on images and video. There seem to be quite a few of them lately. Seems like it may have all started with Instagram’s Boomerang. I’m no historian, however.

I seem to have taken a shine to one in particular named Fyuse. You capture moments in time by either rotating yourself and the camera in orbit around an object, person, or whatever while filming. This can be panorama style or manually, like freestyle. You even get rails to follow to get a good shot. It does a cool sequence once you’re done shooting, where it overlays vertices over the shot. I haven’t tired of looking at this little delighter yet. The extra coolness comes when you look at the finished product. Tilting, rotating or sliding your finger on the screen reveals the motion. They have tons of editing tools, 3D stickers, and text that move with the objects you filmed. They even render with beautifully painted illustration styles similar to Prisma. There’s a whole social aspect to it as well; sharing, liking, etc. There’s a ton of other features I haven’t even mentioned.

I do love all the sparkly new technology that seems to be advancing so rapidly. It opens up so many fun possibilities. I was showing off this nifty stuff to my better half in a recent snowstorm. I was expecting her to be jealous of my fancy new phone as I poked fun at her old iPhone4S with its broken screen and no storage space. I was quickly taught a lesson by my lovely lady, however. All the fancy tech in the world can’t replace a little ingenuity and some creativity. My shot of the snow, aided by this cool app and latest phone hardware, pales in comparison to a pretty girl twirling in the snow with a smile… and a little music for flavor.

Here’s my version created with the latest technology...

Here’s her version, created the old-fashioned way. Which one do you like best?

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