By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
3:05 PM EDT, June 4, 2013
iMovie ($4.99 for iOS)
What it is: An app that transforms stills and video into movies and Hollywood-style movie trailers.
How it works: After launching the app, you can either create a movie project or a movie trailer. The app provides project settings with theme music for full movie projects and 12 trailer templates with customizable title pages for movie trailers. Each template includes an outline with customizable text and a storyboard that describes shots such as landscape, action, close-up, two-shot, etc.
Why it's great: This app has turned my so-so travelogues into captivating Hollywood-style mini-movies and trailers. You can optimize playback before saving a project to your device or sharing it on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. I usually create movie trailers because the templates make me feel more like a Steven Spielberg prodigy. Trailer templates come with orchestrated soundtracks and superb title pages, and the outline and storyboard make it easy to quickly shape video clips and stills into a movie trailer within minutes. You also can incorporate footage shot on a camera by saving images and video to the camera library of your iPhone or iPad.
Why you might hesitate: I hope a future update provides a storyboard template to help me choose shots like the trailer template does.
ALDF Crime Tips (free for iOS and Android)
What it is: An app from the Animal Legal Defense Fund to help users report animal abuse and neglect while traveling the United States. The app provides the ALDF's phone number and a link to additional resources and info on its website about preventing animal cruelty.
How it works: You launch the app to either make a report or consult the ALDF resources page. The reporting tool allows you to describe the abused or distressed animal and also provide audio and a photo or video. Once you submit the report, ALDF's partner, LiveSafe, a mobile safety and incident-reporting firm, ensures the report is transmitted to local law enforcement. Reports can include your contact info or be made anonymously.
Why it's great: I love having an app in my pocket that can help an animal in need whether I'm at home or in another American destination. Though the app has no coverage overseas yet, if incidents are reported in Canada, LiveSafe will send the report to local Canadian law enforcement.
Why you might hesitate: This could be expanded to destinations worldwide.
Kona Royal Footsteps (free for iOS)
What it is: A travel guide app created by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District to highlight the history, activities and significant sites along Alii Drive in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
How it works: After launch, you can explore Kailua based on things to do, see or know or whether you want to travel north or south on Alii Drive. You also can learn about royal history, local lodging and services.
Why it's great: Though Alii Drive only spans seven miles, the area encompasses seven centuries of Hawaiian history. The app does a good job of detailing historical facts about Hawaiian royalty, burial grounds and battles along with providing Hawaiian names for popular surf spots and suggesting where to enjoy Kona's brilliant sunsets. You can build a trip itinerary by saving whatever interests you most to your favorites folder. The app even taught me that "alii" means royalty.
Why you might hesitate: An update should include hotel addresses and provide website links for lodging and attractions.
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