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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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.
Cost: Free version and $.99 version
Mobile devices provide lots of different apps and methods for keeping track of what you need to do. To do list apps, scheduling apps, calendar apps, note taking apps are all possible options for making sure life is on track. But, I’d suggest that the simple and free, or low-cost, IconMemo is a good app to use when you want very quick in-your-face access to your lists of errands, projects, to dos.
Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
Title: Plants vs. Zombies 2
Cost: Free, with in-app purchase options
Platform: iOS (so far)
The original Plants vs. Zombies was one of my first app reviews for this blog. Over the past couple of years the game has gained popularity; it has plush toys, cosplayers, and tons of accolades. The strength of this franchise is in its world building. All of the details of design, music, and comical backstory, come together to create a consistent look and feel. In the world of this game, an army of plants is obviously the best way to defend your home from zombies. A sequel was only a matter of time.
Time, as it turns out, is the theme of the sequel, the full title of which reads: Plants vs. Zombies 2 “It’s about time.” Crazy Dave, your neighbor and zombie fighting mentor, has found himself a time machine and gotten you lost in time and space in pursuit of the experience of eating a recently consumed taco again. You find yourself traveling through Ancient Egypt, Pirate Seas, and the Wild West, each decorated in typical Plants vs. Zombies style and populated by thematically appropriate zombies with thematically appropriate powers of destruction. But not to worry, you have plants: some old some new, and all with exciting power-ups.
Price: Free (but requires $9.95/month subscription to use)
Last week, a new iOS app called Oyster launched in private, invitation-only beta. Oyster offers users unlimited access to the company’s 100,000 book library for a monthly subscription price of $9.95, prompting some to refer to it as “the first true Netflix-for-e-books app.” After a short wait, I was fortunate enough to get an invitation to try it out. I haven’t had the app for very long and I am sure it will change over the course of the beta period, but here are some initial thoughts on the app. (more…)
Title: The Nightjar
The Nightjar is a game unlike any other I have ever played. It is set on a spaceship that has experienced a catastrophic failure and is slowly drifting into a black hole. Alone on the ship in the pitch black, you (known as “The Passenger”) must try to navigate through this darkened environment on the basis of nothing more than the sounds around you. You are guided by two voices, one is the voice of the ship’s computer and the other is the voice of a man who says he is part of the team on the way to rescue you. But, who should you trust? And, how long will you be alone? (more…)