As a journalist, the only thing better than a piece of new equipment is a piece of new equipment for a rock-bottom price. Everyone is doing more with less these days, so it’s more important than ever to take advantage of sales that will boost your toolset without breaking the bank.
Luckily, those doldrum days between Christmas and New Years have become a boon for people who are looking for a good deal, and you can see that phenomenon no better than in the Apple app store. Whether you’re taking advantage of a new device or interested in updating your apps, these four products will become your go-to for on-the-fly reporting and task management — and might make you a better reporter in the process.
Featured in Apple’s “Best of 2012″ for productivity, Clear is the minimalist journalist’s best friend. Simply pull down on the sleek interface to create a new item, write down what you need done, and swipe when you complete it. What makes Clear so great is the fact that many of its features can be controlled with just one hand, meaning that you can swipe clear an interview call reminder as its happening, or quickly pull down a new task while on the run. The best part, of course, is that at a sale price of a dollar, it’s a long-term tool that will cost you less than a typical trip to your newsroom vending machine.
Taking photos with your phone can be a bit of a hassle, but on-the-go journos have begun to swear by Camera+ as the secret to snapping perfect, compelling mobile shots. The reason Camera+ has endeared professionals is the extensive editing software built right into the app. Users are able to not only crop and place filters on their photos but adjust for brightness, clarity, depth of field and color correction — features that make your phone’s standard camera app feel lightweight and lackluster. An extra plus to Camera+ is its immediate sharing features and quick email abilities, which means that you can share photos almost as fast as you can take them. Marked down 50% off of its original retail price, this is a must-have for those who want great photographs without spending a mint on a camera.
While the article writing experience is ideal on a computer, sometimes — particularly when filing on a tight deadline — that’s not really an option. Thankfully, you can take advantage of the simple yet powerful FioWriter to get it all done and save it directly to your iCloud or Dropbox. One of the biggest timesavers built within FioWriter’s system is the simple reintroduction of the “command” key back into the iPhone/iPad keyboard, so you can utilize handy writers’ shortcuts to get your work done faster. But perhaps the best thing about it is that it’s completely and totally free for both iPhone and iPad for a limited time, so snap it up and try it out.
A great journalist is always in the know, and the smartest way to do that is to keep constant tabs on your best sources for news. Unfortunately, news feed generators are perhaps the most costly apps to get for an iPhone or iPad — and they rarely go on sale. Luckily, fortunes have aligned and the pretty and easy to use Perfect RSS reader has bumped down its barrier of entry to a dollar for the post-holiday rush. Perfect RSS Reader syncs with your Google Reader, boiling down all of your news sources into a clean and simple interface to interact with, but it also syncs up to plenty of other places — including Twitter. With a host of customizable features to boot, this may be the best dollar you’ve spent in a long time.
What’s your must-have mobile app? Let us know in the comments.