Appy Monday – AmpliTube and its hardware interface iRig by IK Multimedia

On this weeks Appy Monday we will be looking at AmpliTube and its hardware interface iRig by IK Multimedia.

AmpliTube and iRig allow you to turn your iPhone or iPad into a mobile Guitar and Bass Sound Studio.

iRig

iRig is a small device that lets you connect your guitar or bass to to your iPhone or iPad. The iRig is very simple to use; it connects to your iOS device with the attached cable and has a cable interface for your instrument and another for headphones or for connecting to a sound system. Once your instrument is connect you can open the AmpliTube app.

AmpliTube

This review will focus on the free version of AmpliTube for iPad. AmpliTube is also available for iPhone but is much better suited to the larger screen on iPad and iPad mini.

Once the app is running you are presented with the main panel which shows you your amp and chosen effects.

The free version gives you one amp and two stomp boxes (delay and noise filter). This doesn’t give you a huge range of sound to play with but enough to get up and running and an idea how the app works.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use; want to increase volume or treble? Just tap and drag the knob as needed. As most users of this app will be bedroom rockers or musicians it’s safe to say that they will be familiar with the hardware that the app emulates and will feel right at home using it. Extra amps, effect pedals and a studio feature for mixing your recorded tracks can be bought individually as in-app purchases.

The app also gives you the ability to play a song from your library to play along with or to play a drum beat for practising to. Again extra drum beats can be bought as in-app purchases. The ‘tools’ tab gives you a metronome and very responsive tuner and a recording interface lets you record your licks and riffs. One cool feature of the app is the ability to let the app keep working in the background to allow multitasking which I found great for listening to songs on Spotify or YouTube to play along to.

AmpliTube offers good sound for its price. If you’re a guitarist who already owns an iPad or iPhone then investing in the iRig is a no brainer and a very small investment for all you get when you consider the price of AmpliTube’s bigger brother for PC/Mac which will set you back over €150.

iRig currently sells for €15 – €25 depending on retailer with AmpliTube available for Free, with prices ranging €10.99 to €13.99 for the pay versions which include extra amps, and effects but in-app purchases are still present and at this time it doesn’t seem possible to buy an ‘all-in’ app that contains all those extras for a once of fee.

Despite this iRig and AmpliTube offer excellent value for money and is a highly recommend for the beginner just learning or the veteran musician as the app offers a lot in a very small package for a very small price.

So plug in your guitar, plug in your headphones and turn it up to 11*.

*Obligatory Spinal Tap reference.

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Appy Monday – iMotionHD

iMotionHD is a time-lapse and stop-motion photography app developed by FingerLab for iOS.

What are Time Lapse and Stop Motion Photography?

This is probably best explained by the app developers themselves:

“Time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. It can be used to photograph cloudscapes, plants growing, crowds… Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object looks like it’s moving on its own. “

Viewers of the Netflix series House of Cards would be familiar with time-lapse sequences as the opening credits were created using this technique and stop motion photography would be familiar to fans of The Wallace and Gromit franchise.

How it works?

Without going into too much detail, this is an app review after all…

Time-Lapse sequences are created by taking a series of photos at a set interval and then playing these back at a user defined rate to give the effect of movement.

Stop-Motion works in much the same way, though the images are usually taken manually after the object has been moved to create the desired look.

Using iMotionHD 

The interface is extremely easy to use and a total novice will be creating visual masterpieces in minutes. Upon launching the app you are given the option to create a New Movie with definable options such as movie title, and the recording mode such as time-lapse, manual, remote, or mic. Though not exclusive to this use; the latter 3 options are more relevant to creating stop motion videos.

If choosing time-lapse you can also define the interval that the images are record at ranging from 0.1 seconds to an entire day (though I would recommend having your charger handy if recording sequences at that rate!).

Videos are recorded at 1080 x 1080 pixels if using the device in portrait orientation and 1920 x 1080 pixels in landscape orientation giving you full high definition videos which look superb.

Other useful features of the app are the ability to control focus and exposure controls as well as a grid to allow you to get those landscape shots straight before you sit back and call Action!

The free version of the app only allows you to save your completed video to your photo library or to your iTunes sharing folder whereas the full version gives you email, Facebook, and YouTube interfaces direct from the app.

The app offers an in-app purchase to upgrade to iMotionHD Pro, though it’s hard to see if the Pro version offers anything extra besides the unlocked sharing options mentioned above.

In Summary; iMotionHD is a really fun easy to use app that lets you see the world in a different way or gives you a reason to play with some toys and bring them to life.

iMotionHD and iMotiondHD Pro are available from the App Store with the Pro version setting you back only €2.69. It is compatible with all camera equipped iOS devices (though the developer states some features are only available to newer devices).

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Appy Monday – 5 Apps For Entertainment On The Go


Away at a meeting but fancy some Game of Thrones action? or perhaps there is nothing on TV tonight that takes your fancy, fret not because we have put together 5 must have apps for entertainment on the go. All Apps picked are available on IOS from the App Store and Android from the Google Play Store. Enjoy! 

RTÉ Player: 

RTÉ player allows users to stream programmes shown on RTÉ for up to 21 days after transmission, as well as watch selected shows live. This app was a god send when I was visiting family in the UK last year and was set to miss the Toy Show #LifeSaver You can search for shows by a-z, most recent, most popular, and category. The App is free and there are no subscription fees, download today and you will never have an excuse not to catch up with Tommy & Co in Fair City again.

4OD:

The 4OD App is full of great content from across the companies network including Channel4, E4 and More4. The app is free and there are no subscription fees. From a usability point of view the content is well laid out, the search features are impressive, and some content is grouped into categories which is handy if you have specific interests. The ads can sometimes be choppy when loading but the content generally streams well. Another point to note before downloading is that because of the ability to download some shows, the app will not work on rooted devices. 

Sky Go:

I only recently discovered the gem that is the Sky Go app. This app requires access to an active Sky login and subscription to work but is well worth downloading if you have Sky at home. The available content on the App varies depending on your sky subscription. With the most basic Sky package, I have access to box sets including Game of Thrones, 24, and Sherlock on the go. Shows can be streamed over WIFI or downloaded to watch on the device for up to 7 days. Again, because of the ability to download shows, the Sky Go app will not work on rooted devices

Netflix:

The Netflix app is great, I love it, it’s easy to use, and so addictive. Every time I decide to cancel my subscription I get addicted to another show. While the app is free, Netflix comes with a price tag of €7.99 per month. Sign up online for a free one month trial, and you won’t regret it. The Netflix app is loaded with a host of original series including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and Lily Hammer. It also has classics such as 24, Breaking Bad and for the geaks amongst us Battlestar Galactica. 

Youtube:

Having the YouTube app gives you access to all the entertainment you will ever need and then some. Catch up on the latest viral videos, music videos, and vloggers, Watch unboxing, the boxing, or learn how to draw a box. Youtube has it all and for free. 

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Appy Monday – Tinder

“The application is clearly addictive.” – The New York Times “Everyone I know is suddenly talking about it.” – New York Magazine

Tinder is the must have app for all singletons in 2014, it is a social discovery app that allows users to view other Tinder users nearby and decide if they like them based on basic information such as a photos, interests and mutual friends. The information used within the app is pulled from Facebook which is needed to log into the application. Tinder users also get to add a brief intro to make their profile more appealing.

“‘Tinder’ is a verb. It has become so popular that the name of the application is an action.” – The Huffington Post

Setup of the app is easy, users log in with Facebook, select what sex they are interested in, add an age range and radius to search. Users are then presented with their matches which they can “like” or “pass”. If you both mutually like each others profiles you are then allowed to private chat in the app. If you pass on someone, you’ll never see their profile again, and they can’t see yours.

As I’m in a relationship my use of the app was limited to watching a friend scroll through the women of Dublin, swiping right for a like and swiping left for a pass and cursing profoundly when he made a mistake or doubted his judgement on the last left swipe knowing his mystery women was now off his Tinder radar forever. 

Tinder is available on Android and iPhone get it whilst it’s hot! 

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Appy Monday – Eight apps for a stress free Summer holiday

 

BarcelonaPhoto by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Just a little word of warning, Always make sure to check out the cost of data roaming from your network provider before using your smartphone outside of Ireland. See Vodafone, O2, Three, Meteor or Tesco Mobile for more details. All Apps featured are available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Appy holidays everyone!

Ryanair

The Ryanair app allows users to make bookings on all of the budget airlines routes, check flight timetables, review current bookings, and add optional services such as priority boarding and checked-in bags to existing bookings. The reason I will be using the Ryanair App over a price comparison app such as Skyscanner or Expedia is I know that Ryanair will have the cheapest prices on my chosen route. I will use the App to keep an eye on prices and book through their new easy to use website.

Accuweather

Crowded House said it best with “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you” this App will allow you to do just that. Accuweather is an easy to use weather app. Open the app see clear visual weather predictions for your destination broke down by hour and off you go about your day.  It is also pretty useful for posting pesky screen shots to social media so everyone knows you’re lapping up 27 degrees heat when they are sitting at home enjoying an Irish rain shower.

Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the handiest apps I have installed on my phone. It allows users to book hotels all over the world in just a few steps with no deposit and the added bonus of free cancellation on most reservations up to 48 hours before arrival. Another great feature on the booking.com app is your reservation can be added to Passbook on IOS devices. I use booking.com at least once a month for weekend breaks in Ireland so it is definitely my go to accommodation app for any trips abroad I have coming up this year.  

Hailo

I am obsessed with Hailo, I have long thought it was possibly the best app to have on your phone when visiting Dublin and I was delighted when they rolled it out all over Ireland earlier this year. It is my go to app for a convenient quick taxi ride. I love the efficiency of it, I love the cash free nature of the transaction and most of all I love that I will be able to use it in Barcelona and know that I will be in safe hands on any taxi journeys I take.

Google Maps

Never get lost on holiday again! I once went astray in Glasgow and ended up 11 miles away from my destination after missing my bus stop, there was no such thing as the Google Maps App back then when I was rocking around with my Nokia brick in my pocket.  Google Maps has been my saviour on more times than I care to admit from finding toll free routes when cash is a bit tight to helping me navigate my way around public transport in San Francisco. For me this is a must have app whether you are holidaying at home or away this year.

TripAdvisor

A hotel managers worst nightmare and a savvy travellers go to app. TripAdvisor is a community based review forum covering everything from hotels to excursions with real honest reviews from people who have been there done that and bought the t-shirt. I usually wouldn’t base my restaurant choice on what users have to say but for accommodation and day tours this is always my last port of call before booking. I always go back and leave a truthful review in the hope that I am helping others to make an informed decision on their travels.

Whatsapp Messenger

Always handy at home or away to keep in touch and let the mammy know that you are safe, not sunburned and drinking plenty of water. Whatsapp messenger is an alternative to texting that works over data or wifi. It is free for the first year with an annual 99 cent subscription free thereafter.

Snapchat

How else could you get your super snaps showing off just what an amazing time you are having directly onto your friends phone and be happy in the knowledge that they have looked at them! Snapchat is a must have holiday app for some silly fun! Check out our Appy Monday on Snapchat here.

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