Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Slideshow Builder (Lite) 2.3.2 by BitWink Ltd.

Initially tested under iOS 5.1.1 on a 4th generation iPod touch.

I wanted to make, entirely on my iPod, slideshows with captions. Primarily, I wanted to be able to share such slideshows in person, but ideally they could also be shared with (at least) other iOS users. The latter is possible, although the other parties must similarly install the free Slideshow Builder Lite (or the paid version SlideShow Builder) app, and then download slideshows. Users of the Lite version can make a single slideshow (at a time; you can delete one and make a different one repeatedly). I used the free Slideshow Builder Lite to test whether this app suited my needs. Subsequently, I bought Slideshow Builder.

Within the iOS Camera Roll, the right-facing triangle starts slideshow (you would presumably use an album of images for slideshows, as opposed to the entire Camera Roll), but captions would have to be added to the images in some other app, after which the images would need to be re-added to the Camera Roll (and your targeted album). Music is an option. Beyond these Camera Roll's basic capabilities, Slideshow Builder allows:
  • Reordering of pictures
  • Basic captioning (3/28/15: When viewing a slideshow, captioned images can be saved as iOS screenshot images, which I first did under iOS 6.)
  • Sharing of slideshows
  • Special effects
  • Option to store independent copies of images and music, insulating slideshows against deletion of the original source from Camera Roll or the Music app, at the cost of using more storage memory. I particularly like this option because I prefer my slideshows kept separate from Camera Roll.
  • Each slideshow can be saved either on only the device where it was created, or on all devices using the same Apple ID. In the latter case, updates (at least revised captions) will automatically be shared across devices via iCloud.

Lite has a limit of 20 pictures, and includes one advertising slide (which is displayed for a shorter time than the default 3.5 seconds of other slides). 20 slides may be a decent limit even in the paid version to avoid taxing viewer tolerance.

Slideshows can be shared with other iOS users via Dropbox/email/iCloud (time limited) running either the Lite or full version of the app, so iOS only. iPod photos with their relatively low resolution don't look great on an iPad 2 up close, but look "good enough" (depending on your photographic sensibilities) from farther away. iPhone picture quality is better than that of an iPod so shouldn't suffer as much. According to what I see, the Dropbox/iCloud (though I only tested iCloud) apparent advantage over email is that until the recipient downloads the slideshow, you can continue to make changes (e.g., tweaking captions), so the recipient will see the most up-to-date version when they download it.

My settings choices (in case I ever have to reinstall):
  • Photos and Music: Copied to Slideshow
  • Default Settings for Slides (can be overridden for any slide):
  • Play Each Slide For: 3.5 seconds (default)
  • Zoom to Fill Screen OFF
  • Ken Burns effect OFF
  • Faces Animation OFF
  • Slide Transition: Dissolve

My two Chinese keyboard choices (Chinese - Traditional: Handwriting; Chinese - Traditional: Zhuyin) are not available for captions.