APPS FOR REPORTING
Recommended Apps for Journalists (updated 2020): Use these iPhone apps (many available on other smart phones) to transform your phone into a reporting tool. Suggestions? Let us know: [email protected]
Teleprompter tool that works on mobile devices and on the web.
This app records short interviews or dictations and turns them into text. I’ve used it a few times and I like how it easily converts copy and drops it into an e-mail. But be warned with this tool and any other dictation: words run-together and are lost in translation. Won can be replaced by one. The context isn’t always clear. Plus, Dragon and other services, like Jott, struggle with accents and dialects. I would test this out a few times before trying it on a story.
This hasn’t caught on as much with newsrooms, but I think it will in the future. This app allows you to listen to police, fire and rescue and other emergency calls in several cities across the country, including Chicago. It may not be perfect, but it beats lugging a police scanner around.
iTalk and SpeakEasy
Easily convert audio interviews into sound bites for the Web. I prefer iTalk because you can wirelessly transmit audio from your phone to a nearby laptop without using a cable or e-mail. You just have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Google, Google Earth
Google’s app has voice-activated search. And Google Earth helps you find anything on the planet.
Beyond directions, it’s helpful for finding businesses, addresses and other locations. Even sources
Not sure of a city or neighborhood’s ZIP? Find it here.
Reference and Helpful Tools
Great tool for converting heights, weights and other measurements. I use it several times a week along with the calculator. Great for quick fact-checking on stories, too. (Formerly called Convertbot)
I like the interface better than the WeatherChannel’s.
Messy interface, clunky and a waste of $30. Using the reference book is much faster … and better! Don’t buy this app.
Wordpress, Squarespace, Medium, Substack (newsletter), Wix, Format are good choices for beginners.
Another great app for journalists who travel. This shows you where restaurants, bars, hotels, coffee shops, banks and (yes) Apple stores are based on your location. I’ve used it several times while on the road. It shows you locations, maps, walking distances, etc. Very similar to MapsBuddy. I prefer both to the Where app. Just friendlier interfaces.
Helpful for journalists who travel. I’ve found it to be very accurate for my flights the few times I’ve used it.
Photography and Photo Editing
Editing and effects that the iPhone camera won’t let you do. It’s only basic edits, but if you’re working as a backpack journalist or filing a mobile report, this is a handy tool.
Great app that allows you to layer text and direction arrows on top of a photo. Works well on mobile phone but better on a tablet.
Has some of the same tools that Photoshop Mobile has. I used this app up until the Photoshop app became available.
PhoneGrafer, Snapture, CameraBag, Camera Zoom
Zoom and add various lenses and features to your iPhone camera shoots. Choose one or two as you see fit. PhoneGrafer is my favorite as it offers many settings and effects, and has a built-in level to make sure your shot is true. PhoneGrafer usually costs a few bucks, but I picked it up for free during a holiday sale. Keep any eye out for a deal in the iTunes store.
Video and Audio Recording/Editing/Streaming
Build cool collage videos (think Brady Bunch opening or Zoom)
Videolicious, Magisto and Flipagram
Build/edit videos and audio slideshows in these easy-to-use apps. Videolicious is a personal fave for its easy of use and quality of production.
Video stabilizing app. Intuitive to use. Just load your video and adjust settings.
Mojo: Video slideshows for Instagram stories.
Layer geolocation, altitude, speed, etc. on top of your video. Good for verifying location, and it works well with GoPro, so it’s helpful for action sports footage.
Edit video on your phone. Some decent features but very basic.
GoPro video editing tool.
Create podcasts up to five minutes on your mobile device and post. It includes geolocation and photo features. Find many more apps on the Podcasting page.
The best out there, hands-down. Radio and TV feeds from games anywhere, any time.
I prefer the scoreboards to ESPN ScoreCenter. They download much quicker.
Affordable at $5. Great coverage and use of data analysis in reporting.
Listen to local broadcasts in larger markets, or tap in to the national feed. Very user friendly and great sound.
Listen to many CBS Radio stations, including many popular sports stations, and other regional/local broadcasts.
Pandora, Slacker Radio, WunderRadio
If you’re tired of listening to your iPod, this is a nice break.
Made famous by the Apple ad, this app identifies recorded music by musician, title and links you to the iTunes store to buy it.
Red or white with that steak and lobster? This will pair it with food, cheese, etc.
Nightlife tips galore.
Find out who delivers.
Break up arguments among those annoying people who can’t figure out how much to leave. This calculator makes it easy.
Shake and find a restaurant near your geo-location.
Funny. Offers suggestions on what point of a movie you can use the restroom … and not miss a key scene.