Apps play an increasingly large role in journalism. We can use our phones to record, film, edit, message and much more. But with so many out there, it can be tricky to know which apps to download. We take a look at some of the best apps for Android and iPhone below.
Have we missed anything out? Let us know and we’ll add it to the article.
Good note taking is an essential part of any journalist’s job. Personally, Google Keep is my favourite note taking app – it has to-do lists and can record audio and picture notes, but my housemate Niall swears by Microsoft OneNote.
Even if you have impeccable shorthand skills, there will be occasions that you will need to record audio. While a dictaphone is perfect for this, there are also loads of recording apps. The default Voice Memo app is perfectly good for iPhone, and Audio Recorder is free and easy to use for Android.
Some apps record in new and interesting ways. Cogi allows you to record only the interesting parts of your interview, skipping ‘back in time’ to 30 seconds before you pressed the record button.
The ability to record calls varies from device to device. A good way to record inbound calls is with Google Voice. However to record outbound calls you will need an app or an external piece of hardware. Popular apps include TapeACall [iOS] and Automatic Call Recorder [Android] (note: the type of Android device you have affects whether you can record calls or not).
Social media is a necessary part of the job for most journalists, for sourcing stories, keeping on top of the news and publicising your work.
To get the most out of your Twitter experience, use Tweetbot [iOS] or Tweetings. Nuzzle is also useful for keeping up to date with articles that the people you follow are sharing, and you can set it up with lists, to get the top shared articles by niche.
A top tip for Instagram is to switch your account to a business account. This allows you to access the analytics feature, meaning you can see what your followers are interested in and better target your posts.
Keeping up to date
RSS may be so 2005 but plenty of websites still offer a feed. Feedly is most popular RSS app, but personally I use Inoreader and find it excellent. Google alerts are great for keeping on top of developing news, and topics that you are interested in.
Podcasts, if you are one of the few people who aren’t already using them, are a great way of learning about an issue on the go. iOS comes packaged with a perfectly serviceable podcast app. For Android, use Acast or PodcastAddict.
A good journalist always protects their sources. And in an age of GCHQ spying and data leaks, communication encryption is more important than ever. At the very least, download WhatsApp – even better, get Signal and iPGMail [iOS]. For collaborating with colleagues, you will find that Slack is a must download and is used in plenty of newsrooms.
Phone cameras are improving year on year. Mobile video editing software is still catching up however. Currently the best options are Apple Clips on iOS, and for Android, try Kinemaster. Unless you’re pushing out very simple content, you will probably want to use a desktop for editing however.
WeQ4U is great if you find yourself calling a lot of premium rate numbers. It also waits in line for you so you can skip the irritating hold music.
Adobe Scan will convert your paper documents into a PDF document, and also does some rudimentary OCR (text recognition).
Would-be political reporters should take a look at these apps for Android and for iOS.
Still need more apps? This page on mobile journalism is an absolute beast, and has more than you’ll ever need.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add your suggestion to the list!