Here is a list of apps recommended to journalists by journalists that you can use to make your life easier!
These are the best two apps for photo editing. Darkroom is free to download with in-app purchases, and allows you to crop/rotate your photos, add filters, adjust the lighting and color, and — for purchase — adjust exposure and level of color values through the Curves feature, that most other apps lack. Focos Live is best for portraits as it allows you to modify the aperture size in order to get a blurred background. It also includes a wide range of video-editing tools such as color filters, transitions, opacity, and speed adjusting. It is free to download, but exporting in a high-quality format might require you to pay extra.
mmhmm is a very new app that flourished during the pandemic. It can be used for live and prerecorded presentations and features animated background and masking features. It also allows you to crop your portrait or avatar and move your placement on the screen (so your icon does not hide text from your presentation), as well as making it transparent or invisible. It is particularly useful for live streaming, tutorials, and meetings, and best of all, it is free to use.
Camo is a very useful tool in the era of social distancing and Zoom meetings: it allows you to use your phone or iPad as a webcam. Instead of logging on a Zoom, Meet, Skype, or Microsoft Teams from your computer and having to use your bad webcam facing right in front of you, you can set your phone or tablet any way you want (useful when you own a ring light!) and use that camera during your meetings — it would be like having an upgraded computer camera. Most webcams have way poorer qualities than smartphone cameras. Camo fixes that and it allows you to control the lighting, zoom, focus, and more from your computer. Camo is free and functions through a cable from your mobile camera plugged into your computer.
Krisp is a Chrome extension that uses Artificial Intelligence to get rid of background noises during phone calls or video meetings. It can detect the primary source of the sound (ie. your voice) and reduce dog barking sounds, children crying, cars passing by, construction sounds, etc. You might not always find yourself in a quiet office when having to do a phone interview or attend a meeting, Krisp can prevent your audience to hear background noise from wherever you are. It is compatible with a lot of apps including Zoom, Talk, Meets, and it is free up to a certain point (there is a limit of time usage per week).
If you are used to working on Canva, Prezi, Keynote, or another presentation app, but find them too complicated and not intuitive enough, you might want to try Beautiful.ai. It allows you to create visually pleasing presentations without requiring hours of work. It has a lot of templates to edit from, and the overall interface is fairly intuitive. It is free to use (with a slides limit) and is easily shareable.
These apps have been introduced during the conference “Mobile and Digital Tools for Your Newsroom and Classroom” hosted by Mike Reilley (data and digital journalism professor at the University of Illinois – Chicago) and Victor Hernandez (executive editor of Crosscut) as part of the Society of Professional Journalists 2020 Conference.