As people increasingly turn to their mobile phones to catch-up with the news, or to engage with social platforms, more newsrooms are realising the full potential of mobile devices at all stages of the reporting process.
Glen Mulcahy, innovation lead at Irish broadcaster RTÉ, shared some of his favourite mobile reporting tips and tools at a news:rewired+ session hosted by Journalism.co.uk last week.
Below, in no particular order, is a list of apps for tablet or mobile, covering everything from shooting video, recording audio, editing, and even live-streaming.
1. FilMic Pro
FilMic Pro is an essential app for journalists looking to shoot video on their iOS mobile devices. As well as displaying audio levels on-screen, it offers the ability to lock focus and white balance.
Filmic Pro, which costs £2.99, is also a great tool to control the quality and compression of video. A simple tutorial for the app can be found on Mulcahy's blog.
Mac users may be familiar with the desktop version of iMovie. The mobile app, which costs £2.99, is slightly different, but well worth exploring and getting used to.
As well as editing video, users can easily create image slideshows and add a voiceover or music to produce a quick and effective clip.
3. Pinnacle Studio
Pinnacle Studio is the new version of the Avid Studio editing app for iPad, and can used to create video to TV broadcasting standards, and in the correct formats.
Pinnacle, which costs £8.99, used to be available only for the iPad, but an iPhone version was launched three months ago as a separate app.
Journalists can record three-minute long video clips with Vyclone.
However, the best thing about this free app is that it can detect all smartphone cameras in a 'ten metre geolocation bubble', allowing users to create a multi-camera edit of the segment.
It can be used as a collaborative filming tool and also by one individual operating multiple mobile devices to get different angles of a subject or action.
Voddio is a free app that journalists will either love or loathe according to Mulcahy. It is an "extremely powerful app" that allows users to shoot and edit all in one, and has professional editing features for up to two track of video and four tracks of audio. However, it can be rather complicated to come to grips with at first.
6. Voice Record Pro
Usefully, Voice Record Pro records audio without imposing a limit on the length of the clip.
The free app also offers an impressive number of options when it comes to saving and exporting audio, including the ability to convert it into a movie clip and saving it to the photo gallery.
TwistedWave is an audio recording app with a user-friendly interface that includes a waveform.
Although it costs £6.99, Mulcahy noted that it has "two features worth the price" – it can export audio, and also open audio from other apps.
It also supports audiocopy/audiopaste, which makes it easier to transfer audio to different apps, and works on both the iPad and the iPhone.
This free audio editing app is free to download, but users may have to enable in-app purchases to use certain features.
Using Hokusai, users can edit on multitrack, mixdown the edit to stereo, and then export or copy the audio.
JamSnap is a free app which makes it possible to embed audio into images – a useful tool for creating shareable content for social media platforms.
This app enables live video streaming wherever a user can access a 3G or 4G network, or a Wi-Fi connection.
The video is streamed on Ustream's website, but users can also grab an embed code to include the livestream on a websites or blogs.
The free mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Free daily newsletter
- Seven free tools for journalists to try in 2021
- App for journalists: MyScoop, for commissioning mobile and citizen journalism
- App for journalist: JSafe, for reporting online abuse
- Want to discover more constructive journalism stories? This app curates them in one place
- App for journalists: Emulsio, for stabilising shaky camera footage