Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

You might have recently received a new iPhone, iPod Touch or an iPad, during the holiday season. There are the obvious apps that you downloaded right away, such as Facebook, maybe Angry Birds, and the AT&T or Verizon application so you can pay your bills on the go, but there is so much more to your device than that.

First off, as far as cellphone cameras go, the iPhone has one of the best out there, in my opinion.

Before I get into the apps, you should know that the cameras are not the same throughout their products, so if you want Apple's best camera, you are going to have to pony up for an iPhone. The iPad records at HD (720p) while the iPhone records with its 8-megapixel camera at HD (1080p). The Touch is somewhere in between.

With that said, there are hundreds of apps out there for the camera on these ranging from video editing software to collage-making apps. But where do you start?

For taking photos, I would highly recommend Camera+ (

It is currently 99 cents (normally $1.99) with a small expansion filter pack available for another 99 cents. It is by far the easiest camera application that I have used that gives the user both really well done presets along with the ability to customize the variance/ intensity of the filter.

While taking a photo, you also have the ability to focus on one object while using a second finger to set the exposure. This gives the user tremendous control over the photos they take (

If you would like a decent camera application that is free, I would check out Instagram ( There are 15 different preset filters you can use along side a blur-vignetting tool that really makes a regular photo artistic (

Those two should get you going on taking pictures. If you would like to try some video editing, I would look into Vimeo's app. It is a simple drag and drop video editing app that is kind of buggy and might crash on you a couple of times, but it is free and fun to make something on the go.

If you liked the grungy look that you get with Instagram, but would like that taking over into video, there is the 8mm Vintage Camera application, which is $1.99 (

It gives the user the ability to record video as if they have an old style 8mm film camera. You can choose from any combination of seven different types of film mixed with six different types of lenses. You can also add frame jitters while filming.

The app also allows you to import videos and add the vintage look to them in post-production.

Now beyond using the camera, you have access to banking apps from your own bank, along with applications like Mint Personal Finance (, which is a free app where the user can import their banking information, budget and manage their money. It is rated as one of the top apps of last year and considered to be one of the essential, must-have apps.

I am not going to get into games, because those are a dime a dozen. If you want to play games on your device, you know what you like, and you don't need someone like me telling you what to play - but I will tell you this. There are tons of free games out there, and if the entire game isn't free, they usually will have a "lite" version, which is a demo version where you can at least try the game out. There are educational games for kids, 18+ games for adults, and everything in between.

To manage your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and whatever you are using for your social life online, you might look into TweetDeck ( or HootSuite ( You can manage all of your accounts at once through these apps. Both are free.

Lastly, there are the apps that I will download and when my wife's phone automatically syncs, she will say, "What is this dumb app?" And that is exactly what the app is - a stupid app to waste time, make people laugh, or be mildly entertained for a bit, and then you delete the app.

An app that I saw last week was the Action Movie FX app that is "Inspired by Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol." Essentially it is a free app where you can add a movie special effect to an ordinary day. Take for example Explorer Editor Thelma Grimes and Explorer Publisher Ryan Kedzierski in this video - it got a few laughs around the office, and that's about it.

Another app that is "dumb" (and free) is Songify. It is an app where you simply talk into it, and it will then auto-tune your voice into a song.

You can put a mustache and crazy hair on someone with ‘stachetastic (99 cents - $3.99), you can make yourself or friends look fat with FatBooth (99 cents).

If all of this is too much for you, you can simply pour yourself a virtual beer in iBeer (free - 99 cents), sit back and make a phone call with your phone, but don't forget to download the Last Call app (free) to monitor your Blood Alcohol Content as you input your drinks as you consume them.


(2) comments


I hope we start talking about Mobile Device Privacy.

MIAmobi SilentPocket addresses this issue and many more problems associated with mobile devices.There over 500,000 mobile app developed for smartphones, many of which are stealth and ease dropping on your every move capable of turning on functions on your phone like your mic, camera, GPS, address book and more, even when it has been turned off. There is only one sure way to stop this if you really want to know for sure that you have control of your mobile device is to block all wifi coming in or going out.
But we don’t all have to be worried about that do we. The conveyance of instantly silencing your phone or putting the phone away when getting in your car without having to powering it down. (out of site out of mine) may save a few lives in 2012. Website http:/

House O'cards

Man! So helpful!

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