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Sharp Shooters: Instagram Vs Vine

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Six seconds isn’t a lot of time, it takes a luxury sedan only about that long to hit a 100 kmph. It’s also the precisely chosen length of time that made Vine the overnight mobile video sharing success; bringing social sharing of creatively strung together videos into the mainstream. But now that Instagram has launched video on its super popular photo-sharing network, are Vine’s six seconds of fame over? How do the two services compare? Read on…

Duration: While Instagram gives you a roomy 15 seconds of video length, Vine follows its parent Twitter in terms of brevity with the six second limit, forcing the creator to think out of the box to tell the story succinctly (again, much like Twitter). Is more always better? Is fifteen better than six? It depends on what you’re filming – while Instagram certainly gives you more room, fifteen seconds can seem interminably long if the video’s boring. Vine’s 6-second videos are simpler and therefore more likely to be shared. Interestingly, both use roughly the same amount bandwidth, probably down to Instagram’s better compression technology.

Creation: Tap and hold anywhere on the screen and Vine records the clip for as long as you keep the finger on the screen. With Instagram, you have a traditional button on the screen to start and stop recording, which comes with the additional benefit of letting you change focus in the middle of your shoot. As a bonus, Instagram has a Cinema feature, which lets you stabilize your video after you shoot it. Of course, this comes at the cost of video quality, something that really shouldn’t matter to the Instagram crowd which regularly sacrifices image quality for funky filter effects. Bear in mind, neither app will let you import video from your phone’s camera roll.

Editability: While both apps let your string multiple disjointed clips together, if you’re not happy with the Vine you’ve captured, your only option is to trash it and start again. With video on Instagram, you get basic editing capabilities – you can delete the most recent clip taken (just in case it was a bad take) without losing the rest of the video. And Instagram brings one of its marquee photo features – filters – to video as well, so you can give your video a creative effect (or just cover up any number of lighting and shooting offenses!)

Community: You’d have noticed that in the story so far, Vine versus Instagram is much like parents Twitter versus Facebook – a classic “do I write more succinctly or do I get to say more?” conundrum. Where Instagram will likely pull ahead is community – an active user base of about 130 million monthly users that far surpasses Vine’s fledgling installed numbers. In fact, a week after Instagram’s video launch, Vine sharing on Twitter tanked.

While Instagram seems to have made a big splash into the mobile video sharing space, the battle is far from over, and there are exciting times ahead, based on the features Vine has since teased. Grab a bowl of popcorn and let’s watch the story unfold, shall we?

Office iDeas
You know what question I’ve been hearing for as long as the iPhone has had apps? “When will Microsoft release Office for the iOS platform?” Well, here’s the answer. Now, but rather reluctantly, I might add. Let me explain. Office Mobile is now available in the iOS App Store, but it comes with a number of caveats. You see, it’s important to note that the official name of the product is Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers, which means that while the app by itself is technically free, you’ll have to have already forked out Rs  4,199 (family pack pricing) for a subscription of Office 365, Microsoft’s pay-as-you-go subscription model for its Office suite. Also, bear in mind this app is intended only for the iPhone, and there’s no separate version designed to take advantage of the iPad’s larger display.

Features wise, Office Mobile contains pocket versions of three of the Office suite’s core applications: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can create Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but the feature set is rather stripped down. Sure, you can view any Office file – PowerPoint, Excel or Word – but editing is restricted to only the latest .docx and .xlsx formats, and not the more compatible-across-platforms .doc and .xls variants. PowerPoint mavens will be even more disappointed – there’s no way to create a new PowerPoint presentation or add new slides into an existing file. It has to be said – as a document viewer, the app perfectly displays all your stuff with full support for charts, animations, SmartArt Graphics, and shapes. It’s just that as options go, there are far better Office-compatible apps already available for iPads and iPhones, such as Apple’s own iWork suite and QuickOffice Pro.

Price: Free for Office 365 subscribers

Turn On the Sun
A USB charger is handy gadget to have around most smartphones these days, but how about one with its own solar charger? With the PowerTrip’s internal 6000mAh battery, you can rest at ease, even more so with the solar panel obviating the need for a power socket to recharge this baby. What’s more, you can even add 4, 8, or 16GB of flash storage so you can backup important files on your computer too! Neat or what?

Price: $99

technocool at kanwar dot net
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