If you’ve ever tried turning pictures into a video slideshow complete with nice yet subtle animations and music you’re licensed to share, you’ve likely wondered why it’s not easier. It’s at best something that’ll take you a half hour in an app like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, and that’s if your internet upload speed is decent. Making a video online sounds ludicrous at first bluff, since web apps are usually relatively slow and cumbersome to use.
But not Evver. It’s a web app designed solely to turn your pictures into beautiful music videos, and is the only web app I’ve ever seen that dumbfounded me with its speed. We looked at it back in July, but it’s grown up so much since then, it’s only right to take another look at it. Here’s why Evver is the app to use, on desktop or mobile, if you want to make an animated photo slideshow video.
If your library is anything like mine, it’s likely filled with great books that you’ve only half-read. You bought them with the best of intentions, but it’s just hard to find the time to read all the books that come out. Plus, it can be rather expensive to keep an up-to-date tech book library.
Safari Online, started in part by O’Reilly Press, has been the online tech library of record for years, with an extensive catalog of books from O’Reilly, Wiley, Peachpit, and more for your online reading pleasure with a subscription. And now, they’ve reinvented themselves with the new Safari Flow. More than an online eBook library, it’s an attempt to make longform books relevant to the Twitter generation of professionals.
The prevalence and compactness of high quality photographic equipment today is fantastic. The always-there, always-on nature of the smartphone makes missing a photo opportunity a rare occurrence. We’ve always captured parties, weddings, births and graduations, but we’re now able to fill in the gaps between these big events by recording everyday happenings, which are often just as precious, and are usually a great deal more intimate. These life-documenting images are stored as digital files, so they are memories which we will forever have access to.
Well, it should be forever. But ever since digital photography became the norm, we’ve all shared one problem – what do you do with all those images? As a committed DSLR photographer, I’ve filled hard drives with my camera’s output alone, so the increased photographic output made possible by my phone is a serious problem. Sure, you can back up online, but most options are worrisome or expensive, or a combination of the two.
Both Google and Apple have, in recent times, sought to address this issue. Google+ and Photostream both provide automatic cloud backups, and both also provide later access to your images online. A new service called Loom (still in private beta) thinks it can do better still. It provides automatic backup, 5GB of free space, Mac and iOS apps, as well as a web interface. But does it provide a compelling alternative to the built-in OS backup systems?
In the digital lives of today, chronology is everything. Our experiences are mapped out via timelines, and every turn of events is a narrative without a beginning or an end. This is a change of culture which has mostly been brought about by the concurrent social and mobile revolutions. Together, they have supplied us with the platforms and the technologies to make both real-time updates, and later access to them, a reality.
This functionality, of course, opens up the possibility of constructing compelling stories from real-life events. Sadly, the selection of elegant, reader-friendly tools with which we can deliver our reports is painfully limited. Social networks are nothing better than pragmatic, and the structure of a blog is not inherently suited to multimedia.
Hence, I’m very interested in trying Line. It is a new platform dedicated entirely to the creation of multimedia-rich timelines, and their subsequent presentation in a beautifully minimal, Medium-like design. But can it really provide the format that digital storytelling has been crying out for?
Did I get geekier over the years or did coding just become mainstream? With so many youngsters online, it was foreseeable that a great share was peeking beneath the surface of the web at those huge walls of code. Using recent services, such as GitHub and StackOverflow, it has never been so easy to solve doubts and receive feedback. Communities became larger as new users flew into the adventure of creating code to call their own instead of relying on WordPress themes.
We still needed a tool to put all this learning to work — a truly universal service we could carry anywhere regardless of the inclemencies. That’s where CodeAnywhere stands out, offering the versatility of a web service and native alternatives to every mobile platform imaginable (there’s even a BlackBerry app!), without ever waiving the great features you’ll find out in this review.
Bookmarking is far from dead. Sure, we reflexively Google for sites instead of looking through our bookmarks half the time, but when you find something awesome online, you know you’ll have to save it. We all do. That’s why our recent discussion about bookmarking brought in dozens of different apps and tools for bookmarking. It may look like madness, but we’ve all got a method to our madness, and we keep saving links.
But look through the discussion, through the apps people suggested, and you’ll find that most of them take several steps to save your bookmarks. Saving bookmarks directly in your browser doesn’t work so great these days unless you use the same browser on your phone and all of your computers.
That’s why Saved.io blew me away when I tried it out. The last thing I would have thought the web needed was a new bookmarking app, and yet, here was one that was so much simpler than everything else, it’s absolutely worth trying. (more…)
Not too long ago, I had this sudden realization that I really wanted to get out of Google’s products. I never dipped my feet too far into them, unlike some people, but the services I did use every day — Gmail, Reader, and Blogger —were either changing too much for my own liking or simply going extinct. After Reader’s demise, I switched to Feed Wrangler and didn’t look back. I moved my Blogger to Squarespace, and I’m in love.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been taking a much more significant challenge and moving all my email to FastMail. Before upgrading, I considered every other possible option. I read countless blogs and opinion pieces on what mail service to use, and none of them felt as up-to-date as they should be. It’s with that in mind that I wanted to take a closer look at the service.
The modern browser is becoming more than just a tool to get to the internet. It’s now almost synonymous with our usage of a computer itself. Most of the things we do are online, and a lot of times, each task requires certain websites to do the job.
OverTask, an extension for Google Chrome, wants to help you sort through the websites you visit when you are doing anything. It’s been getting a lot of buzz about its ability to automatically “convert tabs into tasks”. It’s unclear how that works, but we were intrigued and took it for a spin.
Unfortunately, OverTask seems as confused in its execution as it does in its idea.
When we browse the web, or flick through the latest updates on our favourite networks, the unstoppable flow of graphics which bombards our eyeballs is remarkable, and bewildering, in equal measure. We are seeking content, but our gaze falls just as frequently on adverts, profile pictures, banners and logos. These often feel like visual distractions, but quality graphics are unquestionably a key component of any marketing push.
Sadly, for many small business owners, and for individuals wishing to raise their personal profile, it is a component which is out of reach. For many businesses, high quality, professionally-devised branding seems like an extravagantly large investment in these times of financial hardship. Equally, graphic design is by no means a universally held skill. The complexity of most popular graphics apps is also a significant barrier to entry, meaning bootstrap branding may not be an option.
That’s where new online graphics editor Canva, currently in private beta, wants to intervene. Amongst its ingredients you will find a vast image library, numerous preset layouts, a range of commonly used print and online document sizes, and a plethora of professionally created, ready-to-go graphics. On the face of it, you might wonder why something like this hasn’t come to market before. The question is: does Canva reinforce this point, or does it actually illustrate why web-based graphics composition is still, largely, an untamed beast?