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posted: 8/30/2014 7:43 AM

App reviews: Foursquare reboot; Fly video editor

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By Hayley Tsukayama


You may know Foursquare as a check-in service -- a network where you let friends and the public know your whereabouts. But the company has gone through a reboot, taking its expertise in processing location data and applying it to a new Yelp-like service that relies on "tips" from previous customers to judge local businesses. It works as a research tool and as a just-in-time review site, so you can find out if the coffee shop on the corner has a good iced mocha or if a restaurant in another city is worth a reservation. You also can feed Foursquare your preferences, so it can suggest things you may like as you visit new places. It's different from the original service, so traditionalists should expect a lot of changes.

One thing you should know before you download: Foursquare is collecting your location data -- a lot of location data. The app is designed to pick up data about where you are even when the app isn't open. That may not sit well with folks who don't want to share all their location information with the app. You can opt not to share location information with Foursquare -- or turn it off when you want -- but the app won't work as well. Free, for iOS and Android devices.


Video editing is often neither quick nor easy, but Fly aims to make shooting footage from your phone's camera a little bit of both. The app has a simple look that makes it easy to shoot video -- including a built-in reminder to shoot in the horizontal landscape orientation for more professional-looking videos. Users can combine multiple short clips for quick videos and use basic editing features, such as the ability to adjust the volume of each clip individually, for free. They can share finished videos over YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

Fly undoubtedly works best when you pay for additional features that include the ability to trim and reorder clips, add voice-overs or music from a stock library, add transitions or use tools that let you include split-screen or picture-in-picture footage. Those cost $5.99 as a package, and will seriously up the quality of your mini-movies. Ideally, Fly would include at least some of these features in the free version -- trimming and reordering come to mind -- but the overall quality of the app mitigates some of that high price. Free, with optional add-ons, for iOS devices.

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