Best of 2017: Free Apps

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I love a good smart phone app. Allow me to qualify that, I love a good FREE smart phone app. And I often share information about them on the air and on this blog. Below are examples of some of the apps I talked about, downloaded and uses (at least briefly) during 2017. All of them were free, though some were special “App of the Day” freebies that normally would have a cost associated with them.

I’m actually still using this app. It’s from Apple and it allows you to put text on videos. But the trick is that the app has a speech to text function that actually writes out what you’re saying as you shoot the video.

Deck Your Halls
Granted, this app will be of little use to most people for 11 months of the year. But between Thanksgiving and Christmas it will be one of the favorites. It’s an augmented reality (AR) video app that allows you put animated objects into your actual surroundings.

Holo & Jib Jab Camera
These two apps are sort of novelties. I did a video demonstrating both of them back in September. Holo was an early AR app that I have since deleted.

Clippy Cam
This app allows you to overlay a video on a photo or another video.

This is one of my favorite newer free apps. It allows you to make a sticker out of a selfie. And you can also use a video, though for some reason I can’t get the video version to animate here.


Another selfie enhancement app, this one lets you turn your selfie into sort of an emoji. Sort of. When I upgraded to a new phone I did not bother to reinstall this app.

Super Zoom
Technically this is a feature within an app. It’s part of Instagram. To access it you need to be in the Stories section of the Instagram app. It does pretty much what you’d expect from the name, does a very tight zoom in with some added music.

Epic Gram
This one is similar to Super Zoom in that it adds some dramatic music. It allows you to shoot a short video and then put a section of that video into slow motion with dramatic music.

Do you long for the days of old Super 8 film? You know, the kind of camera your dad shot home movies with? This app has a number of different video filters available. I shot this one using the 1920 filter.

On the App Store this one claims to be “The Music App of the Year.” Ditty sings anything you type into your phone and makes you the star of your own music video.

Pop Grid
“Tell your story from many different angles in a single video,” is what Pop Grid says about itself. You can add up to 9 video clips and then the app puts them into a single grid.

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