While it’s understandably difficult to see anything that isn’t Pokemon Go related at the moment may we draw your attention away just a brief moment to focus on Prisma.
You may have seen the name appear here and there, or in the bottom right-hand of an Instagram picture or two.
The reason you’re probably seeing it crop up more and more is because quite simple, it’s really really good.
Quite simply it’s a photo-editing app that thanks to some seriously clever visual wizardry is able to transform your picture beyond all recognition.
While filters on Instagram or VSCO will simply change aspects like the lighting, contrast etc Prisma lets you apply art filters instead.
Now we know what you’re thinking, art filters sound great but they almost always end up looking like the kinds of cards you buy in train stations because you’ve forgotten your nephew’s birthday.
Don’t panic, Prisma works.
Created by a small team based in Moscow, the app’s genius lies in the sheer quality of the filters that it can apply.
Using machine learning and a whole bunch of cloud-based number crunching the app analyses your picture and then applies the style with a terrifying degree of accuracy.
If there is a downside it’s that Prisma needs the cloud to perform its magic, and that means being connected to the internet.
That said it’s a small price to pay for a free app which offers some truly impressive photo-editing features.
The company have just unveiled a beta version for Android, while the iPhone version is available to download now from the App Store.
Become A Modern Renaissance Master:
Writing is the purest form of creation; using the written word combined to lay the foundations for a picture that the reader will then render in their imagination. In todays world of instant gratification and short attention spans the environment for writing is hard to come by. WriteRoom then is your incubator
, it's your virtual room which takes away every digital distraction and replaces it with a simple, blank canvas. From there you're free to write, ramble and rant to your heart's content. There's a reason that writers use this app, and that's because it only has one agenda: to remove all others.
is the place to go if you're stuck for ideas. With over 35 million members and more than 75 million uploads it's the place to share your stories and read other people's. Get feedback on your work, try out ideas or just browse through the enormous library of writing that's freely available.
The modern composer is no longer constrained to the manuscript paper of old. Lead mountains of notations are now replaced with digital swipes while brief flashes of inspiration can be turned into whole albums thanks to the power of apps. Leading this musical charge is Propellorhead's superb Figure app
. Its minimalist and blocky layout may seem simplistic but devote more than an afternoon and you'll soon realise that this is in fact industry-leading software masterfully condensed into mobile form. Pair it up with the company's companion app Take
which allows you to record snippets of sound and voice and you'll have a song ready to share on Soundcloud in days, not weeks.
22Tracks originally started as a website but thankfully it quickly became clear that people wanted to listen on the go. This is the ultimate app for finding music loved by the industry. Each playlist is just 22 tracks in length. Pick one of four cities and then dive into each genre, curated by an industry-leading artist or producer. A true hidden gem in the gigantic Apple App Store.
If there's one thing we've noticed over the months it's that Instagram has lost its way. The photographer is no longer at the centre of his work, instead it is about seeking approval. Talking to professional photographers however it became clear that an alternative was hiding in the wings, slowly amassing followers. This alternative is called VSCO Cam
. Be warned, its beautiful design is not for the feint hearted but check out the tutorials here
, spend a week using it and you'll soon start taking pictures for your own pleasure, not for the adoration of others. Journal your work into short picture-led blog posts then share them, or alternatively, just leave them for the community to discover.
Pencil by FiftyThree
is the iPad stylus you've been waiting for. The fact that Apple still hasn't made one for iPad yet is something of a minor travesty but for those who want to draw, design and generally get creative this is the closest thing you can get. While it doesn't have the precision of Adobe or Wacom's rival products it's the easiest and most enjoyable to use. It's also beautifully made with a real wood body and surprisingly precise nib.
Behance is the place to go for all things visual. Whether you're looking for inspiration on drawing or want to share some of your finest works it's Adobe's community of artists. Free to join and hard to leave you'll be glad you swapped Facebook for this mosaic of art and photography.
Rosetta Stone might be the industry standard but it can't be with you everywhere. Duolingo can
. It doesn't know what stubborn means so when it bugs you with alerts telling you to keep learning you feel far less inclined to throw the offending article out the nearest window. Learning a language is hard. It's hard and it requires patience, absolute devotion and the kind of attitude that doesn't object to spending hours listening to Italian radio shows. What you get in return though is priceless. You will have become the true renaissance hero.