Bolster your smartphone arsenal with list of tools and apps for video effects, subtitles, data vis and much more

2022-05-17 12:10


(Credit: BBC trainer Marc Blank-Settle speaking at MojoFest (11 May 2022). Credit: Daniel Green)



When it comes to knowledge of mobile journalism apps that can help make your work pop, smooth out those workflow kinks or take the pressure off a shoot while on the move, there are few in the business who can rival BBC trainer and mobile journalism expert Marc Blank-Settle.


At Mojofest yesterday (11 May 2022), Blank-Settle rattled through 30 apps in an amazing 30 minutes, unearthing some real diamonds in the rough. Some of these apps let you do tasks that most of the main Mojo apps (LumaFusion, Alight Motion, FiLMiC Pro) can do, but they are handy to have because, unlike those all-purpose apps, they focus on a specific task and don't trap you in a long-winded workflow.


Belt yourselves in for some crazy...


Video effects


1. Efekt on iOS [free, in app purchases]: Jelly, dust, glass. Achieve loads of cool visual effects with this video editor, giving you plenty of creative options for Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat content.


2. Meisai on iOS [paid-for]: More AR filters here to give your social media content some sparkle.


3. Replace on iOS [free, in app purchases]: "A greenscreen in your pocket," says Blank-Settle. Wherever you are shooting, give yourself a range of interesting backdrops.


4. Mega Photo on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: Twist, pinch and morph your videos into a plethora of different effects. You can do this with live or recorded video.


5. Vochi on iOS and Android [free]: Completely free, which is a good start. What is better is the amount of "viral" video effects to achieve that TikTok vibe, like background clones of yourself.


6. Patternator on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: Create some ultra wacky videos by cutting out images and making a patterned video with them.


7. Rarevision VHS on iOS and Android [paid for]: If something ever possessed you to create videos that look at least thirty years old as if you have dusted off a VHS tape, this is the app for you.


Video editing and subtitles


8. Stop Motion Studio on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: If you do not know, stop motion animation is a moviemaking technique to make objects appear like they are moving. You might not produce the world's next Wallace and Gromit, but you can add another string to your video bow.


9. Hype Text on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: Create engaging intros and outros for your videos.


10. MoShow on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: Create slideshows, a good creative option for Instagram.


11. Clipchamp on iOS and Android [free]: Record video and add customisable captions easily all on one app.


12. Capcut on iOS and Android [free]: An all-in-one editing app commonly used for TikTok videos and well-loved for its stickers, music library and text overlays.


13. Mojo on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: A go-to option for making Instagram stories and reels. Tonnes of templates and text styles. Go nuts.




14. Multirecs on iOS [free, in app purchases]: Record with the front and back camera simultaneously. You can do this with FiLMiC Pro's DoubleTake, but you will find some more unorthodox layouts here.


15. Horizon on iOS [free, in app purchases]: This one is seriously cool and perfect for clandestine recording, this app allows you to record while pretending to be on the phone. Despite the fact you are holding the phone upright (vertically), it will record through the back of your camera in landscape (horizontal).


Data visualisation


16. Iconograph on iOS [free, in app purchases]: Create quick and eye-popping charts, graphs and maps for your social media content.


17. Viz on iOS [paid for]: Another graphic tool, but the "parliament" and "scrapers" visualisation options look like especially handy icons for election coverage on the go.


18. Chartistic on iOS [free]: Completely free and yet more advanced features to create dynamic charts.


Picture editing


19. Color Splash on iOS [paid for]: Excuse the Americanism. This allows you to add colour to selected parts of black and white images for emphasis.


Converting and changing formats


20. Video2Photo on iOS [paid for]: As the name suggests, a handy app that allows you to export a picture from any frame of a video. Bye-bye cropped screenshots.


21. Export Audio on iOS [free, in app purchases]: Rip the audio out of videos, pretty self-explanatory.


22. Tinywow on web [free]: Yes, it is not technically a phone app but you can access it from your phone's browser. You can convert to just about any format here. Bookmark this one.


23. Diptic on iOS [paid for]: A collage creation app, which also allows you to export your collage into an animated video.


24. Before and After on iOS [paid for]: Use images to create a 'Before and After' dynamic comparison video.


25. Wizabel on iOS [paid for]: Headliner on mobile devices. Create video waveforms using audio and images.




26. Teleprompter on iOS and Android [free, in app purchases]: An autocue on your smartphone to help you nail your piece-to-cameras. (Ed. So so useful for sounding eloquent in impromptu short social clips)




27. Typewriter on iOS [free, in app purchases] and Videotyper on iOS [free, in app purchases]: Both apps do as you might expect, use text to create a video with letters coming onto the screen in a typewriter effect.


28. Black Highlighter on iOS [free]: Censor text on an image with a black highlighter. Brilliant if you like your scoops hot off the phone and don't want a lawsuit on your hands.


29. This on iOS [paid for]: Make arrows to label parts of a diagram or image, imaginatively named.


30. Shortcuts on iOS [free]: Does this ring a bell? It should. It comes installed on an iPhone and is actually a handy place to make gifs, cut up video and even email yourself. Check it out if you have not already.


Network with your peers and learn from industry experts at our upcoming digital journalism conference Newsrewired, taking place on 24 May at News UK's stunning 17th-floor building in London. Grab your ticket today