Givit Video Editor App Review

This is the 200th article I have written on Technology Bloggers! I really enjoy writing for the blog and value the community. :-)

Technology Bloggers top smartphone app reviewers are without a doubt, Steve and Ron. In the past I have attempted app reviews myself, however I have never reviewed just a single application in one post. What better time to try something new then than in post 200!

I’m playing it safe with my first app review, and choosing an app that has already been reviewed by TechCrunch, and written about on the The Wall Street Journal’s website. The app is called Givit Video Editor, and is available for all iDevices.

What is Givit?

So what exactly is Givit Video Editor? Well in the words of (the apps creators) Vmix Media:

“Givit is a free, fun and simple app to quickly make and share great videos on iPhone.”

As I am sure you know, Instagram is a photo sharing application, which lets you share photos you take, pretty much instantly, to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Givit offers a similar service, but for video.

Sharing

One of the key features of the app is its sociability. The app interoperates ‘one-click’ sharing to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as email compatibility, so you can privately email clips. You can also upload your videos to the Givit cloud, where you get 5GB of free storage.

Share videos iPhone application

A screenshot of the Givit sharing screen.

The latest version of the app (3.2.0) enables you to find and invite your Facebook friends, so you can see which of them are sharing their videos, and post your clips to your stream.

Features

The app is a clever video editor, which lets you mash different clips together, so you can chip and chop the best bits of clips and the stitch them together to make great montages.

The app is also compatible with live editing, so you can modify clips as you are filming, adding effects and music wherever you choose.

Cost

One of the best things about the app is that it is completely free! With the Standard Account (as I mentioned earlier) you get 5GB of permanent free storage; so long as you use it once every 3 months. 5GB is enough room to store around 30 minutes of uncompressed HD video; Givit probably have some clever compression going on, so I would imagine you get a bit more that 30 minutes.

Half an hour is all I think I need, as the clips I want to share are only usually a minute or two long, however if you are a budding videographer and need more space you can buy a Premium Account, which costs $29.99 a year, for an extra 100GB of storage.

So far, reviews of the app seem positive. The apps official iTunes rating is currently 4 stars in the UK store and 3.5 in the US store. Coverage on sites like Macworld, CNET and the above mentioned TechCrunch indicate the growing popularity of the service.

Interested in getting the app? Click here to download the Givit from iTunes.

Shoot, edit, share and store – that’s Givit!

There’s an app for that

On June the 26th 2007, smartphones didn’t exist. Mobile phones, and computers were two very different things. A day later (27/06/2007) Apple launched the iPhone.

You could argue that there were ‘smartphones’ pre-iPhone, but many in the technology industry view the iPhone as the tipping point and birth-date of the modern smartphone – no inverted commas.

With the launch of the iPhone, came the launch of apps. A few years later along came tablets – and what would a tablet be without apps?

In this post I want to explore some of those apps. Not the apps like Angry Birds, Rayman Jungle Run, Skype and Fruit Ninja though, they are what you expect from applications – games and communication. In this post I am going to explore some of the more innovative uses for apps.

Mirror

Ever desperately needed a mirror just when there are none in sight? Mirror by mmapps mobile, is a free app for Android which turns your phone into a usable mirror! The app even lets you zoom in and out and freeze the mirror, something that no mirror I have ever used does.

The app is available in many different languages, and similar apps are available for iDevices, however mmapps mobile don’t make an ‘i’ version.

Square Wallet

Square Wallet is an application which lets you fully embrace mobile payment. With Square Wallet, you can link your credit card to your phone, and then, in a surprisingly large number of retailers, pay for goods, using your phone! The app also lets you track transactions, so you can keep track of what you are buying.

Square Wallet is available for iDevices with iOS 5.0 or later, and Androids via Google Play.

Inflora Flower App

Interflora smartphone appTen years ago, who would have thought that you could be out and about, and on a device which fits in your hand, and order a bouquet of flowers? Probably not many people!

The flower delivery company Interflora has an app where you can do just that. Naturally its called Interflora, and can be download for free for iDevices – any iPod, iPhone or iPad with iOS 3.0 or later. Interflora is also available to download for Android devices. The app gives you access to a wide range of flowers, information (such as delivery details and a description) and prices; you can even order your gift using the app!

Zite Personalised Magazine

If you like to keep up to date with the latest news, and you like the news your way, then Zite is the perfect app for you.

Zite trawls through your Facebook and Twitter feeds to work out what you like to read. The application then created you your very own personalised magazine to read, and the more you use it, the cleverer it gets, and the more tailored your content become – to a point where it should only be displaying content you really want to read.

Zite is available for free for all iDevices with iOS 6.0 or later, although the developers state that is is specifically designed for the iPhone, as opposed to tablets. Zite is also available on Android.

Flow Powered

Flow Powered - NutellaAmazon have recently released an augmented reality app called Flow Power, which can identify millions of real life products (using your phones camera), and can then tell you more information about them.

The app ‘knows’ thousands of books, games and CDs, and is able to tell you about almost anything, if you scan the barcode.

Be it a novel, or a box of chocolates, the app can tell you how much it costs and what other people think of it – pretty clever huh?

Flow Powered is available for Android via Google Play and iOS 4.2 and more recent iDevices through iTunes.

It seems like there is an app for almost everything these days, be it an app to help you apply make-up, order flowers or tell you the price of a video game. There’s an app for that!

Smartphones really are smart.

Day to day use of my Remote Heating Control system

This is the fifth in a series of articles in which I am exploring Remote Heating Control – a technology of the future. Learn more about this series by reading the introductory article, called stepping into the future of smarter living.

Well Autumn really has begun, it’s now mid-October and the days are starting to get shorter. Trees are starting to drop their now golden brown leaves and there is a chill in the air that hasn’t been there since last winter.

Now that it is Autumn it is getting much colder, and this means that my heating is now really important to me. It’s that time of year when I want to stay warm, but at the same time am conscious to save energy.

Controlling My Heating Via Smartphone

I have recently bought a Samsung Galaxy S III, a smartphone powered by Google’s Android operating system. This means that I am now able to test out the Remote Heating Control app. British Gas have made an app for both Androids and iDevices, as I have an Android powered Samsung, I will be talking about the Android app.

The application is available for download from Apple’s App Store and from Google play, and is called myHome – after the online portal that you log into to control your heating.

The app is free to download, however (as you would expect) you need to have Remote Heating Control technology in your home for it to be of any use. You need internet access to be able to use the app, as it has to connect to the myHome portal in order to fetch real time data and store any changes you make; however that shouldn’t really be an issue though, as most smartphones now come Wi-Fi enabled and have optional 3G/4G. A smartphone isn’t really that smart without the internet!

Installing The myHome App

I was pleasantly surprised by how fast I was able to install and log into the app. I clicked on the Google play icon on my handset, I then searched for ‘myhome’ and third on the list was the app I wanted. I clicked on the app and pressed install and within seconds it had installed. I then ran the app, and it brought up a login screen, very similar to the one that can be seen if you log in to myHome on your PC.

British Gas myHome

British Gas’s myHome log in screen

After I logged in I was presented with a very similar screen to the one I see when I am online. I was able to control the temperature of my heating right this moment. As you can see, I was at work at the time, so the temperature in the house wasn’t set very high, however it had been on earlier in the morning, so the house was still relatively warm.

A screenshot of the myHome dashboard

A screenshot I took of the myHome dashboard once I had logged in to the Android app.

The heating status was set to Auto, as it was following the schedule. It was really easy to change the temperature, which I did by moving the sliding on the right up and down with my finger.

If you click on the thermometer at the top you get a temperature summary – showing you the temperature in your house and outside.

I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t edit my heating schedule via my Samsung, however I suppose the settings could get a little fiddly on the smaller screen.

If I want to change the schedule, the easiest way is online. That said, it is really easy to change the immediate temperature via smartphone. I am happy with the app, it loads very fast and is well designed. The layout is clean, and easy to use.

Other Features Of The myHome Portal

In previous article I have discussed some of the main features of the myHome online portal, such as being able to see your heating status and the temperature, and being able to set up a schedule for your heating, however there are some other features which are of use.

Under the ACCOUNT heading you are able to change details like your name and email, along with your PIN (the code you have to text when you want to change your heating via SMS) and alerts. I have the system set to alert me via email in the case of a failure of any of the technology and also it will contact me with any warnings that may be relevant, like to let me know the battery on my smart linked thermostat is running low.

As I mentioned in a previous article, it isn’t ideal that my thermostat now needs a battery, that said, it has been running for around 3 months now, and still has 5/5 bars of battery, and if it does start to run low, I will be told in advance of the batteries dying.

If you click on the DEVICES heading, you will be taken to a page displaying all the devices that are currently in your system. On this page I can see my wireless hub and smart linked thermostat. Both are reading status ‘All ok‘ and have full battery and signal strength. My wireless hub is plugged into the mains, to the battery should always read full on that, as the power is mains supply.

Finally, if you click on the HELP heading, you are taken to a screen where there are various guides to help you use the software. If you ever get stuck you can either call British Gas, send them an email, or consult one of their PDF help guides. There is also a link to the app download pages on this page.

British Gas myHome Help and Advice page screenshot

A screenshot of the Help and Advice page in the myHome online portal.

That’s about it for this week.

In two weeks time I will publish the sixth and final article in the series. It will summarise and conclude what I have learnt and shared with you over the last five articles, and I will also give my verdict as to whether the system met my expectations, and whether it is really a technology of the future. See you on the 2nd of November!

Improve your device speed with Super Speed for Android

If you are an Android user, sometimes you may be frustrated with the low performance of the device. Especially when you are loaded with lots of apps and media files in your Android mobile, the chance for reduced efficiency goes high. Super Speed is an Android app that helps you right on this situation!

As many other apps in the store, Super Speed may not have the best of screens and features visually visible outside. The app shines where your device is in trouble with loaded cache memory and slow performance. It almost works on the background and keeps your device as a real “smart”phone.

SuperSpeed android app

The first tap on the app takes you to the one and only screen where two buttons are shown to activate the app working and deactivate it. If you activate Super Speed, you will be notified with a simple pop-up message followed by the confirmation. As said, you may not see any further graphics or performance charts from the app, but it should be working behind making your Android device faster!

Once you activate the app, you can simply tap on your home screen to add the Super Speed widget. I am sure there will not be any differences on your devices for the initial few hours, but the app started showing some good results after few hours. The only let down is there are no measuring arrangements on how the device improvements are working!

SuperSpeed app options

There should be some screens that show the memory usage, processor speed and active applications, etc. Some of the competitors of Super Speed clearly showing these features, only the improvements in the speed or memory won’t work in big time! This is a downside for the app, but the effectiveness in the output is highly appreciable!

Super Speed is a paid app available on the Google Play Store for $0.99. It runs on Android mobiles and Tablets with OS version 2.1 and up.