Platform: iOS 6 or later
If you watch Shark Tank you may have seen the Cycloramic app featured and actually funded by the sharks. If you don’t watch Shark Tank you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Either way Cycloramic is an interesting app that is sure to be of interest to teens and adults. The idea is to make it easy to take panoramic images. Sure, there are other apps that make it possible to take panoramas, but here’s the difference between those and Cycloramic, the app uses the iPhones features to take the panorama image in a hands-free mode.
The video clip below shows the pitch by the Cycloramic developer on Shark Tank and you can see how the app works.
Cost: $3.99 for use on all devices
Platform: iOS and MAC OS 10.8 or later
Have the teens you work with ever copied something on an iPad or iPhone and wanted to take that thing they’ve copied – text or an image – and paste it into a document on a library or their own MAC computer? Have you ever wanted to do that? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then Command-C is an app for you to check out.
In order to use Command-C the app needs to be added to all devices that will be involved. That means I have the app on my iPad, my iPhone, and my laptop. Once the app is installed the devices have to be synched. That means I have to tell my iPad, iPhone, and laptop to talk to each other in the app. It’s a pretty simple and quick process and the on-screen directions are clear and easy to follow.
The video below, produced by the developer, shows how the app works.
Title: Niko and the Sword of Light
Cost: Free download (first three chapters), 3.99 for full comic
Platform: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
This fully animated comic stands on the line between comic book and cartoon. It tells the story of Niko, a young warrior, in an archetypal struggle between good and evil, portrayed in this world as light and dark. Niko has sworn to avenge his people by fighting the dark beasts and ridding the land of evil. Along journey he comes across strange creatures who help and hinder his progress. Continue reading
Platform: iOS 6 or later
Sometimes the simplest apps can be the most powerful. Viz is a very simple app that can be quite powerful as teens, and library staff, collect and visualize data. Teens who are working on projects for school or collecting data about programs, services, etc. for the library, or related to their own personal interests, can use Viz when they want to give others a chance to understand that data through a visual. One of the great things about Viz is that teens can enter data into the app no matter where they are. As they collect data in school, on the street, in a mall, at the library, etc. they can add it to the chart information they are putting together with Viz. It also is a great tool to use to start conversations about analyzing and presenting data.
The screencast below shows how easy it is to use Viz.
Cost: Free ($1.99 in app upgrade removes ads)
With PiciBooth, you can use your phone as an old-fashioned photobooth. When you begin to take a picture with the app, it will start a countdown to a series of four photos. In between each photo, you have a couple of seconds to strike a new pose or reposition. The idea is to create the same style of photography found in photobooths, so after the photos are taken you are asked to choose between a traditional strip display of four photos in a row or a 2×2 square of photos. In the free version of the app, these photos include a small PiciBooth logo; you can pay $1.99 to have this photo removed.
Title: Shadow Puppet
Shadow Puppet is a great new iOS app that has uses for both teens and librarians. The app, which has versions for iPhones and iPads, makes it easy to create slide shows of your pictures and add a soundtrack or voiceover to the resulting video. You can either take new pictures from within the Shadow Puppet app or load one or more images from your device’s camera roll. Once you have selected images, you can rearrange their order and then record an audio track with the click of a button.
Cost: Free (with in-app purchase options)
Imagine yourself in a dark hallway. You don’t know the shape of the room, or which way you need to go. The only way to navigate is by playing Scrabble with round tiles that light the way. As you place each word, more of the space becomes visible. Welcome to QatQi.
Named for two words that use Q without U, qat an evergreen plant whose leaves are chewed as a stimulant and qi, life energy in Chinese philosphy, QatQi provides a puzzle for every day, ranging from easy to excruciating. You might have one small room and 11 letters, or several rooms and over a hundred letters. All the while, you try to structure your words to branch from each other in ways that will let you build into each new room, and place letters on spaces containing coins to collect extra points. Like many word games, longer words are worth more points, and being mindful of word spacing will give you opportunities to get rid of your letters by building off of words you have already played. Continue reading
Title: ZombieBooth 2
Cost: Free (for Lite version; Pro version costs $1.99)
Platform: iOS (an earlier version of the app is available for Android)
Just in time for Halloween, ZombieBooth 2 will give you the power to see what you or any of your friends (or even pets) would look like as a Zombie. Using an image from your device’s library, camera or even your Facebook account, this app will create a fully animated zombie. The results are actually surprisingly believable and slightly disturbing!
Once you have selected an image, you will be asked to line up the eyes and mouth with a prompt from the app. This helps the app to detect the location of key facial features and allows it to replace the eyes and mouth with animated, zombified features. The result is a moving image with bloodshot eyes, a gaping bloody mouth and a senseless, zombie moan. If you swipe your finger around on the screen, the eyes (and mouth) will follow you. If you make the mistake of getting your finger too close to the mouth, you might even have a bite taken out of you.
You can also edit the image to change the appearance of the mouth or eyes or to add additional facial wounds and accessories (such as a cleaver in the head or glass shards). You can also add filters to the image to change the look of the image. The resulting image is recognizable as the subject of the original photo but altered just enough to look like a zombie from your favorite zombie movie.
Once you are satisfied with your new zombie, you can take a picture or even capture of a video of it moving around to share on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Whether you are looking for a fun project for Halloween, need an app for use in a zombie program, or are just a zombie enthusiast, this app is well worth a try. Check it out in action in the video below.
For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!
Title: Discovr by Filter Squad
Platform: iOS 7.0 or later on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (optimized for iPhone 5)
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been busy spreading the word about one of my library’s Teen Read Week programs, Express to Speak. The workshop is the culminating event of our second annual writing contest and will focus on hip hop and spoken-word poetry. With Teen Read Week and hip hop on the mind, I was inspired to “Seek the Unknown” through Discovr, an app created for music exploration.
There are a few different apps on the market designed to introduce listeners to a variety of artists (e.g. Spotify, Pandora, etc.), but Discovr offers something unique–interactive Music Maps that draw connections between similar musicians. Start the process by searching for a musician, and the app will create a map with new bands. If you wish to expand your options, tap a musician and watch the map grow. Continue reading
Title: Explain a Website
Platform: iOS 5 or later – iPad compatible
About two years ago I reviewed Explain Everything, a great app for iPads and Android tablets that gives users the ability to create videos comprised of images, screenshots, and more. While I love Explain Everything it wasn’t all that I wanted it to be. I was still looking for an easy to use app that made it possible to create screencasts that showed how to use websites. And showed that by recording actual screen movements, navigation from page to page, and so on.
That is why I was really happy when I discovered Explain a Website. It’s exactly what I was looking for. As you’ll see in the video below using Explain a Website users can screencast web content straight from an iPad.