We live in the age of the citizen journalist, restaurant Instagram bans be damned. Going on a trip isn't just for your own personal entertainment anymore; it's a storytelling (read: bragging) opportunity. But instead of cringe-worthy projected slideshows of over-exposed landscapes, we now have the tools to produce high quality digital stories about our globetrotting ways. To get you started, here are five cool apps that will elevate your story-telling...but not too much, because then we'd be out of a job.
($2.99 for iPhone and Android)
This little app is pretty much exactly what it says it is, and is the most straightforward travel-logging tool on this list. With Trip Journal, you use GPS to track places you've visited. The camera allows you to take pictures and video in -app, and a notebook is available for jotting down cool tidbits, details, and highlights. Trip Journal even clocks your distance, altitude, elapsed time, and average speed. You can share your trips with social media buddies as well, via an in-app Google Earth upload, as well as Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube export functions. All told, it's a simple way to keep friends and family continuously impressed/jealous with your adventures.
Adobe Photoshop Express Editor
(Free for iPhone and Android)
There's not much to say when it comes to Photoshop Express. It's a (massively) scaled down version of the photo-editing standard bearer, but still packs a ton of editing power into a tiny app. Enrich that hue! Sharpen that picture! Crop out the creepy guy who photobombed your shot! It's all possible in Photoshop Express, making it a really useful tool for people who like to edit and share their travel photos on the fly. Export to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Photoshop.com from within the app. Note: Certain cool features, like noise reduction and self-timer, are available in app but require purchase of the Adobe Camera Pack for use.
(Free for iPhone and Android)
Yes, we're on Vine, too. But we've fallen harder for the editing capabilities of Viddy. (Our videos can't always be perfect from the get-go, Vine!) Use Viddy's in-app camera to shoot and edit super-short videos, adding effects and music (from a limited selection). You can follow other Viddy users and see their uploaded videos, like Vine, too. And Viddy provides trending video streams, and lets you choose from different categories (like travel or celebrities). You can like, tag, comment on, and share others' videos as well. So which one gets your vote for being "video's answer to Instagram"?
($.99 for iPhone)
Love a photo collage but hate all that glue? Introducing Diptic, your mobile photo collage machine (because everyone needs one of those). Diptic offers a wide array of collage formats (with more available for an additional price), and utilizes easy drag-and-drop functionality to place and edit photos, and add frames, borders, and text. Once you've created your collage, export to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and other outlets.
(Free on iPhone and Android)
Despite your huge list of Instagram followers, there are some people who either don't use smartphones or just deserve a little special treatment (read: family, far-away friends, significant others). Enter Postagram, powered by Sincerely. Here's how it works: snap that artsy picture of a boardwalk or some palm trees, bring the image into Postagram where you'll crop it up, write a sweet note, choose your recipient, pay for postage within the app, and BAM—Grandma's got a personal postcard from her favorite granddaughter. We don't want to get too meta on you here, but you can also send a postcard made from within Diptic (that app just above this one).
Photo credits: Postagram courtesy of Sincerely; Viddy courtesy of Viddy; Adobe Photoshop Express Editor courtesy of Adobe Photoshop Express Editor