By Leah Walters
A smartphone might be a journalist’s best friend. The Internet browser and email are invaluable on the beat, but take a spin through the app store and it’s clear there’s more to be had than plain 4G. Whether you’re reporting, researching, reading, or writing, there’s an app for that. Here are 6 downloads journalists ought to check out.
Evernote (Free): This multi-platform application is loved for its versatility. Think of it as a mobile workplace that stores files, notes, images and videos: Create to-do lists, mark up PDFs, clip links from the web, and set task reminders. Evernote syncs wirelessly on phone, tablet and computer, so gone are the worries of losing notes–and your mind.
Ban.jo (Free): Twitter is great, but Ban.jo makes it an even more valuable social resource. This website and mobile app indexes trending stories by location and content in real-time so users can browse relevant social posts from around the globe. Sure it’s fun to be in the loop, but the app also has real journalism prospects: use it as a tool for finding eyewitnesses and potential sources.
Zite (Free): This clean and simple reader app recommends stories from all over the web based on your interests. As you interact with Zite—by bookmarking stories for later and “hearting” topics—it tailors a magazine-like newsfeed to your interests better and better. Basically, you’ll spend less time hunting for content and more time reading.
Werdsmith (Free): When inspiration strikes, take note with Werdsmith. The app, for iPhone and iPad, lets users organize and work on writing projects anywhere. It also boasts a sharing feature so you can get feedback, and a word goal feature that helps motivate you to write daily.
Dropbox (Free): Dropbox lets you access photos, documents and videos from the mobile app or on the web. You can also instantly upload files and share them with others. So, the video footage you shoot on the job can be in the hands of your coworkers before you even get back to the newsroom.
Camera+ ($1.99): When you have to play photographer, this app lets you capture professional-looking photos with the ease and convenience of an iPhone. With manual controls for shooting and easy-to-use edit features, Camera+ is a step-up from the built-in camera. If you frequently take photos for web or print, this is worth shelling out a couple dollars for.
Share your favorite digital tools in the comments.