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A few weeks ago the guys over at laan labs came out with a video recording app for the iphone for the 2G/3G.  I was pretty excited about this and gave it a try.  You can read my initial review here  http://bit.ly/4U9P35.  Laan labs were very upfront with this first go around with the app.  They said it was doing about 3 frames per second (fps).  But they also promised bigger updates.  So I decided to take stab at the app and buy it and try it out.  It was definitely slow, but I liked the sharing options and decided I would wait around.

Well, today they came out with ver. 1.1.  And it is a big improvement from 1.0.  Here are the new features.

Speed and High Quality

First of all the overall speed of the video recording has gone from 3 fps to 10 fps.  The video doesn’t seem as choppy which is nice.  They have also have a high quality mode that you can switch to that gives your videos a little better quality, but sacrifices on length of video recording.  In the low quality mode you can record a video for quite a while.  I recorded a 5 min video in my testing. The other new feature as far as shooting video is concerned is that you can now do landscape videos in both modes

Sharing Options

This I think will be this apps strong point in the future.   For the moment, it is its downfall.  They have added to the original list of places that you can share to.  In addition to YouTube, Facebook, and email, you can now share to Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, TwelveSeconds, or even an FTP transfer.  The other cool thing is that you can share the video over a WIFI network.  So if you want to put the video on your computer as long as your iphone and computer are on the same WIFI network you can get the video.

The bad part about this is that I have been having troubles uploading to YouTube as it takes a few tries to upload and once it uploads successfully, I have yet to be able to get my video to play on YouTube.  I get a message saying that an error has occurred.  I was able to successfully email the video and got it to play on my computer, which I couldn’t do in the previous version.   At the moment I cannot get the video to upload to Facebook or Twitter, which is a little frustrating as those are the two social networks that I use the most out of all the ones that iVideo offers.  I have put in an email to laan labs about this.

So as promising as the sharing options are, at the moment, they need a little work.  Once they get stabilized  and are able to upload the videos properly, the better this app will become.

Library

iVideo now has a place to store your video.  You can still choose to save your videos to the camera roll, but now you can also save videos to the video library that iVideo has provided.  From the library you options to share your video or delete it.

All of these are nice features and I am glad to see that this app is improving.  For the next update it looks like they plan to push the fps rate up to 15 and make the resolution even better.  It would be nice if they can work out the kinks with the sharing and uploading of videos also.  A couple of features I would like to see in future updates are touch zoom and video editing.  I am excited for the potential of this app, I hope it is able to continue to get better and better.  Feel free to go over to the laan labs website for more info and demo videos of the apps features http://bit.ly/8MgBRy

Here is a short test video that I did with the app:

Here is a link for the app in the app store: http://bit.ly/7iIi0E, right now it is $.99.

Feel free to leave comments or feedback.  Also you can follow me on Twitter @theeasymac or on Facebook on my fan page The Easy Mac.  http://bit.ly/2oHHN2\

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So I am always on the look out for a good application for my social networks that I use, mainly Twitter and Facebook.  I came across a few weeks ago a web application called Threadsy.  They are currently in private beta at the moment.  Threadsy is an application that pulls your email, Twitter, and Facebook into one page so you can look at it all.

The application is split between two panes.  The first pane on the left hand side pulls all your messages from your email and facebook.  For Facebook, it pulls your private messages as well as your Facebook status, and any public messages that are sent to you and that you send out.  You can look at all your messages, just your email, or your Facebook messages separately.

The second pane pulls your Twitter messages and your Facebook homepage posts into one.  You can again choose to see only your Twitter posts, Facebook posts, or both.  You can also do Twitter searches as well as see people’s bio’s that you are friends with.  There is also a place to post updates to Twitter and Facebook as well as a URL shortener.

One last feature of the application is that it also gives you the chance to chat using AIM and Facebook Chat. The only caveat is that you need to have a Meebo account to chat.  Here are some of my observations of the application.

Pros

  • nice to have email, Twitter, and Facebook in one.
  • email in Threadsy syncs with your email account.  So if you erase a message in Threadsy, it will also erase in your email account.
  • multiple Twitter accounts
  • You can do most functions for Twitter and Facebook without compromising a lot.
  • It is free, at least for now.

Cons

  • because it is in private beta, there are some bugs.  One major one is Facebook.  Every time I exit Threadsy, and I log back on, I have to reenter my Facebook settings.  This is kind of annoying and a deal breaker for me if I am going to continue to use the application.  Threadsy knows about the issue and says they are working on it.
  • even though Threadsy supports multiple Twitter accounts, you can only post a message from one account.  I wish you could have the choice to send a post from all Twitter accounts and Facebook at the same time ie like HootSuite does.
  • would like to see support for Facebook pages as well.

Well, there you have it.  I believe Threadsy is off to a good start and has a lot of potential.  If they can fix the Facebook connect issues as well as add more social features, they may be on solid ground.  If you would like an invite, either let me know on Twitter @theeasymac or feel free to leave a comment.

A couple of days ago an app on the App Store appeared that really caught my eye.  It is called iVideo Camera, http://bit.ly/7iIi0E.  The app lets you record video from an iphone 2g and 3g.  This is a huge step forward for Apple as they have restricted apps like this in the app store before.  I downloaded the app and started testing it out right away.  The brothers who made the app let you know right away that the app is not perfect. The app only captures video in 3 frames per second, which is pretty slow.  You could also only make videos of up to about a minute.  In my tests, I found that this is true.  The video wasn’t the best quality, and it was pretty choppy, especially if you were moving around a lot.  The app also gives you multiple ways to share your videos as well.  You can share on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo, as well as save to your phone or email.  At the moment I tested both YouTube and Facebook and sharing on YouTube would work inconsistently and sharing on Facebook wouldn’t work at alll.  I also tried to email a movie and I could only hear the audio when I emailed it to myself.  So, it looks like for now you can only save the video to your iPhone, which is kind of a bummer.  As far as uploading the video, both WiFi and 3g were pretty fast, and Edge was definitely too slow. The app itself cost $.99.  Laan Labs, who made the app, says there is an update coming with fixes for these bugs as well as making it faster.  I truly think this is a step in the right direction for Apple.  Below are some screen shots of the app and a video in the next post that I made as well.  Check it out and leave your comments.  Do you think this is a good thing?  Worth the price for now?

I am always looking out for a great Twitter and Facebook Client. There are a handful out there with Tweetdeck being the most famous of them all. For me, there is something about being able to look at my Twitter accounts as well as look at Facebook within the same application. It is just nice not having to switch between apps to update and check tweets and Facebook statuses. So in my quest for this Twitter and Facebook integration application, I came across Hoot Suite.

Features

1.  Twitter and Facebook Integration

Hoot Suite does a great job of integrating both Twitter and Facebook into their app.  You can have multiple Twitter accounts as well as multiple Facebook accounts as well as Facebook pages.  It is so nice that I can integrate everything from both Twitter and Facebook into the app.  Hoot Suite also doesn’t skimp on features of Twitter and Facebook within their app as well.  For Twitter I can do the main functions (mentions, dm, retweet, favorite/unfavorite) as well as groups, searches, and lists.  For Facebook, I can see my news feeds as well as comment and “like” comments as well.  Hoot Suite has really done a good job of making the transition seamless from using both Twitter and Facebook separately into one client with all of its features.

2.  Message Area

This to me is one of the nicest features of Hoot Suite.  When you are ready to tweet or update your status on Facebook, all you do is type in your message and click on the accounts or Facebook pages you would like the message to show up on.  This is a feature that is also on TweetDeck, if you are familiar with their interface.  Hoot Suite also provides its own URL shrinker.  So, if you have a url you would like to insert it will shrink it for you.  But it doesn’t stop there, if you have a file or image you would like to upload, you can upload the image or file to Hoot Suite and they will automatically upload the file and create a url for it.  This is very handy if I want to send a file or image to someone and it is too big to email.  The other nice feature of the Hoot Suite url shrinker is that Hoot Suite keeps stats on the url.  So you can see how many people clicked the link, where they are from and from what site they clicked it on.  This is a really nice feature to have if you are wanting to keep track of traffic to your site.  The last thing about the message area is that there is a button called “Send Later”.  So you can type a message and schedule a time when you want that message to go out and Hoot Suite will make sure the message gets sent out when you want it to.

3.  Miscellaneous features

Hoot Suite also connects to LinkdIn, as well as Ping.fm.  I have not tried to connect to these services as I don’t use them so I cannot speak to how well Hoot Suite does with them. You can also have multiple editors for a single Twitter account if you so choose.  HootSuite is also working on an Iphone app, which I am definitely looking forward to.

Overall HootSuite is a great web app.  It does just about everything I want it to do for Twitter and Facebook, with the exception of being able to play Facebook games 😉  I love it so much that I have even made it a Fluid app.  If you don’t know what Fluid is, go check out my previous review on it.  I would even contend to say that Hoot Suite is better than TweetDeck.  Yes, TweetDeck can do most or all of the things Hoot Suite can do, but Hoot Suite just seems to work well and gets the job done.  TweetDeck, seems too flashy for me and doesn’t always work correctly.

So there you have it.  My review of Hoot Suite.  For you visual people, I have set up a video to give you a visual tour of Hoot Suite.  Hit the link for the video.  http://cld.ly/4bp88 As always, please leave your comments and feedback.  Hit me up on Twitter (@theeasymac) or on Facebook (The Easy Mac).  Would love to hear from you!

To preface this post, I subscribe to other Mac blogs to see what they are writing about and to discover what other applications other avid Mac users are testing out.  I love doing this because there is a lot of people who know a lot about the Mac and, what I like to call the “hidden gems” of Mac applications.  It is a great way to be in the know what is the latest and greatest when it comes to the Mac.  So last week, I was reading a blog post from Mac Stories (which by the way, is an amazing blog and I love reading his stuff!) titled “30 Web Apps You Should Turn into Mac Apps Using Fluid”.   But as I saw the title it caught my eye.  I have been reading a lot about Fluid, but I really didn’t know a whole lot about it.  But as I read this blog post, I started to realize that Fluid was an app that was going to essentially declutter my web experience.  I don’t know about you, but before I started to use Fluid, I would have about 6 or 7 different tabs going on my web browser (email, facebook, Pandora, calendar, work email, Twitter,  ESPN, etc).  Now with Fluid, life is so much easier, let me tell you how.

Fluid is an app that takes just about any website and turns it into its own standalone application that you can start up from your desktop on your computer.  For example, take Facebook, I use it all the time, but if I want to use it I have to open my web browser and if something is already open, I need to create a new tab and then get to Facebook.  Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just have a Facebook application right on my desktop that I can just click onto and wham, Facebook opens up as it’s own application. This is what Fluid does for you!  So now, instead of opening up several different pages or tabs to get everything I need, I just made Fluid apps for websites that I use frequently.  Below is a snapshot of just some of the ones that I have made.

As you can see I made a Fluid app for Jott, which I just previously blogged about, Gmail, Pandora, Facebook, Brizzly (a Twitter and Facebook Client), and Google Calendar.  Now, the nice thing about this is that I don’t have to always open up a web browser to open one of these web apps, I can just click on the icon and that site will load.  Let me show you how this is done.  You will see that it is very easy and in no time you will hopefully love it!

The first thing you need to do is download the free fluid app, you can get it here (http://fluidapp.com).   After you download the app, click on it and you will get a screen that looks like this.

Pick a website that you would like to use as a Fluid app.  In this example I will use Jott.  So in the “URL” box, I type in http://www.jott.com.  Then in the “Name” box, I can put something like “Jott” or “My To Do List”, then select a location for the application and an icon.  Now as far as the icon is concerned, you can leave it as it is and Jott will have an icon you can use, but I have noticed that most times when you do this, the icon is very blurred and doesn’t look good.  So I went online to Google and just searched for “Jott Icon” and there are a myriad of choices for icons out there.  Pick the one you like, right click on it, then select “Save Image As” and then pick a location as to where to download it.  Then go back to the Fluid app screen and now you can pick your icon by letting it know where it is.  Here is a short demo video to explain all of this.

So there you have it!  Fluid is an amazing app that, in my opinion goes a long way to declutter your web browsing experience.  I love the fact that now when I need to go to my Google Calendar, I can just click on the Fluid app I made for it and not have to open a browser or another tab within a web browser.  If you like Fluid, again go and check out the Mac Stories blog about the 30 apps that you should have as Fluid apps; they are great ideas and I have a lot of them.  Feel free to comment below about any apps that you have created into Fluid apps; I am always looking for more ideas for Fluid apps.

Thanks again for reading, I really appreciate it!  I love doing this and I hope my passion and simplicity shows through my writing.  If you already haven’t done so, please add me on Twitter (theeasymac) and/or become a fan of me on Facebook (The Easy Mac)

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