Tag Archives: app

Here is how you can turn your smartphone into a 360-degree camera

2017-01-20

Often, the best ideas are so simple that you ponder why didn’t I think of it. Dunkam 360-degree camera is exactly like that: a small, low cost product that you attach to your smartphone and start shooting 360 photos and videos.
Dunkam 360 degree camera
This is how the Dunkam 360 works:
– Download Dunkam application to your smartphone
– Plug the Dunkam camera into the USB port on your smartphone
– Open the app and take 360 photos or shoot 360 video.
– You can share your videos directly from the app to YouTube and social media.
– The app also features some special effects if you want to spice up your videos.

When you are done, unplug the Dunkam camera and continue using your smartphone as usual. The Dunkam camera is so small that it is quite easy to carry it in a pocket or purse – even just in case you would happen to need it.

The Dunkam 360 camera requires two things: you must have an Android smartphone (Apple version should be available later), and the USB port on your phone must be OTG (On-The-Go) capable. If you don’t know if the USB port can act as a host device for the camera, there is an app for that in the Play Store.

Since the image processing takes place on the smartphone – using the memory and processor of the phone – it is a good idea to clean the phone from unnecessary apps and data so that there is as much free RAM and storage space for the 360 images as possible.

The Dunkam camera is a beta product at the moment, but it can be purchased for 99 Euros/USD directly from the company that is behind it.

A tech reporter of El Pais met with the inventor of the product Julián Beltrán who demonstrated how it works. Here is a video (in Spanish) where you can see the Dunkam camera in action.
Dunkam 360 camera for smartphone

Technical specifications for Dunkam 360

– Two 8 megapixel cameras
– For smartphones with USB OTG connection
– Android only at the moment, Apple version under development.
– Resolution 1920×960
– Streaming HD 1080p
– Filters, tiny planet mode, exposure control
– Size 2.6 x 2.2 inches
– Weight 63 grams.


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The best camera apps for smartphone travel photography

2016-07-12

Many smartphone owners are happy with the camera application the phone manufacturer has installed on the device in the factory. In general, the factory-installed camera apps get the job done, but may lack an extra feature photographers maybe looking for. Fortunately, this is exactly where smartphones are strong: you can install another camera application on your phone. But which one is the best for travel photography?
samsung, smartphone, open camera app
Many camera apps are available both for Apple devices and for Android phones and tablets, but in this article we focus on Android camera applications. Joe Hindy on AndroidAuthority wrote brief reviews of popular camera apps for Android. First, let’s list the best apps, and then, we make our recommendation for the best apps.

samsung, open camera

Open Camera can show if you are holding the camera at level.


BestMe Selfie Camera
– as the name implies, the app has been designed for selfie photography
Camera FV-5
– manual control over images, including RAW format
Camera JB+
– simple photo shooting
Camera MX
– in addition to capturing photos, the app lets you edit images
Camera Zoom FX
– manual controls, RAW, 360 panorama
Candy Camera
– lots of filters
Cardboard Camera
– 360 photos for Google Cardboard
Cymera
– filters, stickers, photo editing
DSLR Camera Pro
– manual controls, histogram display, volume button as a shutter
Go Camera
– simple photo framing with filters
Google Camera
– HDR mode, slow motion video capture, wide angle mode, burst mode
Manual Camera
– strictly for taking photos exactly the way want with manual controls
Open Camera
– an open source, free, app with plenty of features
Snap Camera HDR
– plenty of features: 4K video, RAW, manual controls

You can read more about the camera apps introduced above here. What is our recommendation? Of course, it depends on what your requirements are. If you only want filters and don’t want to learn to use manual settings, download a simple app that can automatically snap decent pictures and has plenty of filters. If you know how to shoot on an SLR camera, you probably want more control over your images, and you should get an app with manual controls.

Settings in Open Camera app.

Settings in Open Camera app.


Our favourite for travel photography is Open Camera. It is a free app, and comes with features that have proven handy on the road and at home:

– an indicator that shows if the camera is at level with the horizon,
– burst mode,
– and burst interval.

Used together, the burst mode and burst interval features let you shoot timelapse picture sequences. You need a tripod or something else to hold the phone steady during the photo shoot, which can be as long as you want. For instance, we have created a timelapse from photos shot with Open Camera that has pictures taken at one minute interval for 24 hours. Open Camera won’t create the timelapse video for you, but you have to create the final timelapse on a PC.

The best apps for reading ebooks on smartphone and tablet

2016-06-26

Reading books on smartphones has increased along with the rising popularity of mobile devices that have bright, large, and sharp displays. Reading ebooks on a phone or tablet is convenient only if it is easy to download and read long texts on the device. And that is a job for an app. Which app?
reading ebook in kindle app on LG G3 smartphone
First, we will list most popular reading apps for Android (for instance, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony tablets and smartphones ) and Apple (iOS apps that run on iPad and iPhone) devices. Second, we will give a few tips how to choose the app that’s best for you.

All the applications can be downloaded fro Apple App Store and Google Play.

The following reading applications can open EPUB ebooks, and some can open HTML, TXT, PDF books and documents as well.

24 Symbols
Aldiko Book Reader
Bluefire Reader
Bookmate
FBReader
Google Play Books
Kobo Books
KyBook (Apple only)
Marvin (Apple only)
Moon+ Reader (Android only)
NeoSoar
Nook
Scribd
Universal Book Reader (Android only)

If you download your ebooks from the Amazon Kindle Store, you must have Amazon Kindle ereader app on your mobile device. Kindle app is available for PCs as well.

Kindle

If you purchase your books from the Apple iBooks Store, you have one choice only: Apple’s own ereading app that runs on Mac as well (in addition to the iPad and iPhone).

iBooks

Listening to books instead of reading is convenient on mobile devices as long as you remember to keep a headset with you. You need an app for that as well. Two audiobook services are popular:

Audible
Storytel

reading ebook in fbreader app on LG G3

Which ereading app is the best for you?

If you already are buying, or you are going to buy, your ebooks from Amazon Kindle Store, you must install the Kindle app. The same applies to Apple iBooks Store: if it is your bookstore, you must use the iBooks app.

If you are subscribing to a service that lets you read ebooks or listen to audiobooks for a monthly fee, you must use the application provided by the service. This applies to 24 Symbols, Audible, Bookmate, Scribd and Storytel.

Many book lovers purchase their ebooks where they happen to discover them or where they get the best deal. In addition to a must-have app, you should have an ereader application that can open EPUB and PDF books. FBReader may not pretty, but it can open many document formats. Google Play Books and Bluefire Reader are both fine EPUB and PDF reading apps.

Ebook news digest: best reading apps, tips from The Atlantic, unique travel photography

2016-06-12

Ebook News Digest June 12th, 2016

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish
Five e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets: from Wattpad to Scribd (EveningStandard)

– We would like to add FBReader and Kindle to the list of ereading apps as well.

Lemonade and Sketches of Spain: The Week in Pop Culture Writing (The Atlantic)

– Tips for fine nonfiction reads.

Best eReaders 2016: What’s the best eReader? The 8 best e-book readers you can buy in the UK today: Best eReader reviews (TechAdvisor)

– 4 out of 8 are Kindles, but the other 4 ereaders are fine products as well.

The amazing world of Kiwi photojournalist Amos Chapple (Stuff)

– Intriguing travel photography.

Technology – 6 excellent e-book reading apps for your smartphone (Mid-day)

– Try Google Play or Bluefire reading app as well.

Non-fiction ebooks for your smartphone, tablet, ereader or PC: download here.

The best smartphones for reading ebooks

2016-01-01

The original Kindle ereader had a six-inch greyscale display and Sony had really nice compact ereaders with five-inch screens. Today’s smartphones tend to have five-inch and larger screens. Additionally, smartphone displays have at least two times higher pixel density than ereaders. It is not surprising that book industry experts are saying that reading on mobile phones will be one of the strongest trends in the near future.

Which features are the key factors that affect the reading experience on a smartphone? Once you have identified them, you can pick up the perfect smartphone for you.

lg g3 smartphone, kindle ebook reading app

Kindle reading app

David Rothman has identified seven features that define the reading experience on a smartphone.

1. Screen quality. Numbers don’t tell the whole truth, you should always take a look at the display yourself – if possible, both indoors and outdoors.
2. Battery life.
3. Volume button position (often used for turning pages in reading apps).
4. Robustness of the phone.
5. Operating system version. The newer, the better, because all apps won’t run on old operating systems.
6. Storage capacity.
7. The amount of RAM memory.

Tips from our experience are that screen quality really is important. Make sure you are happy with it before buying. No matter how durable the glass on the display is, it breaks if it falls on concrete or bends in a pocket of tight jeans. Protective case may help. A smartphone that comes with a memory card slot solves storage problems. Memory card is a highly recommended feature on a phone.

Usually, factory installed applications on smartphones don’t include reading apps, so you have to install one. Here are a few popular choices:

Kindle Reading App (available for phones, tablets and PCs)
Aldiko
Bluefire (for Android, for Apple)
FBReader
Google Play Books
iBooks (for Apple devices only)
Kobo

samsung s2: fbreader ebook reading app

Fbreader ebook reading app


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Book Weather app recommends new reads based on your book ratings

2015-09-25

Many companies have recognized the need book lovers often have when they are looking for their next book to read. Amazon has one way of recommending books, Goodreads another, and then there are dedicated apps that try and help in the discovery process. One of the applications is called Book Weather that has borrowed its symbols from weather forecasts.
book weather application on Apple App Store
Book Weather by Basement10 is a free app on Apple App Store (other versions coming later). It is intended for the iPhone but runs on an iPad as well.

Once you have installed Book Weather, create an account so that the app can remember which books you have and your ratings for the books. You can follow other readers and they can follow you.

Search for books you have or you wish you had and add them to your library. Rate the books as you add them to your library. Book Weather calculates average ratings for the books, and displays a weather symbol to indicate how hot the book is among readers.

The application worked fine on iPad, but the number books it recognized was low. We tried to enter several popular English non-fiction books into our Book Weather library, but since the app didn’t recognize the books, they weren’t added at all.

A video shows you the key features of Book Weather:

book weather application

Analyzed: the best travel apps for smartphones

2015-08-24

Travel related activities are dramatically changing thanks to innovations in digital technology. GPS-assisted maps on a smartphone or travel guidebooks on a tablet are essential tools for all travelers today. A new wave of travel applications has disrupted established industries, like lodging and car rental. Probably because of the phase of change at the moment, however, only few travel apps are truly useful and easy to use.
booking.com screen shot
Applause, an enterprise that tests and evaluates mobile apps, analyzed travel apps that had been rated more than 150 times on Apple App Store or on Google Play Store. Only 8 of those apps earned high quality scores according to Applause’s own rating system. 8 high quality travel apps were:

Booking.com – hotel reservations and reviews.
Alaska Airlines – flights.
Kayak – hotels, flights, car rentals.
TripAdvisor – hotels, vacation rentals, flights, restaurant reviews.
TripIt – travel organizer.
Hotels.com – hotel booking.
Zipcar – car sharing.
Orbitz – hotels, flights, cars.

All these applications have been developed by established organizations. A large number of startup businesses that have entered travel business recently may need more time and effort to finetune their great ideas and vision into truly usable apps.

One thing we hope travel app developers should really take seriously is offline use. Recently, we made a tour in a remote area where mobile network connectivity was patchy at best, sometimes we couldn’t connect to a network at all for most of the day. None of the apps from big brands, like Here, Google Sheets or Google Docs, that had offline functionality actually worked in offline mode. We used them on a smartphone and on a tablet. Naturally, an app that makes hotel room reservations requires it is connected to a network, but many other apps should work when the mobile device is offline.

Adobe Digital Editions Ereading Application Is Available for the Apple iPad

2015-01-31

Adobe Digital Editions is a popular application for reading ebooks on Windows and Mac computers. The app is free and fairly simple to use. Now, the Digital Editions is also available for the Apple iPad. On the iPad, however, many established ereading apps have already won the hearts and minds of reading public. Do we really need yet another ereading app on the iPad?

Every new Apple iPad comes with the iBooks ereading app (it is possible to download iBooks to old models from the App Store). iBooks is probably the best ereading app available at the moment. It can open books that only include text and books that feature audio and video. iBooks can handle EPUB2, EPUB3, PDF and Apple’s own multimedia book format.
adobe digital editions ipad menu
So, do you need Adobe Digital Editions at all? Adobe says the app can open EPUB2, EPUB3 and PDF books. First and foremost, the Digital Editions is for reading books that are copy-protected with Adobe’s technology. If you buy a book from Kobo or Google Play Books, or from many other bookstores, the book is copy-protected. You have to use your Adobe ID to open the purchased book, and this is the trick the Digital Editions can manage (and iBooks can’t).

It is not possible to read books that require Adobe ID in iBooks. It is, however, possible to download free and easy-to-use reading apps like Bluefire Reader or Google Play Books that can open books protected by Adobe’s technology.

Adobe Digital Editions suffers from minor teething problems common in the first releases of practically any software product. The Digital Editions can’t properly layout a book when you hold your iPad in landscape mode. There is no way to remove books from a bookshelf. One of the biggest benefits of EPUB3 standard is the possibility to include audio and video in ebooks, but the Digital Editions couldn’t play any audio or video. Yet, Adobe claims the app is compatible with EPUB3.

Who should take the time and install Adobe Digital Editions on the iPad? If you don’t already have an ereading app on your iPad that can open ebooks that require Adobe ID, the Digital Editions is an app worth considering.

Adobe Digital Editions for the iPad can be downloaded from the App Store. More about the Digital Editions app at Adobe’s web page.

Adobe Digital Editions, Apple iPad
Adobe Digital Editions, Apple iPad
Adobe Digital Editions, Apple iPad