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Spotliter app adds real-time effects to your iOS videos

With the arrival of iOS 7, iPhone and iPad users received a smattering of Instagram-style visual-effect filters for snapping photos. But they can't be used when shooting video.

Enter Spotliter Video, a free app that provides a choice of distinctive filters for video recording. It is, quite simply, like Instagram for video, though without the integrated sharing options.

It works like this: fire up the app, then tap to choose an effect from the scrolling selector along the bottom. Spotliter offers a dozen of them, but not just the usual assortment of sepia, black-and-white, and so on.

Rather, you … Read more

Instagram invites press to 'share a moment' at NYC event

CNET today received a mysterious invite -- sent via FedEx, not e-mail -- from Instagram for an event it's hosting next week.

The package, wrapped with brown paper and a white ribbon, contained a wooden block, 4 inches long and wide and 1.75 inches thick, covered with a printed Instagram shot and a slot in the back so it can be hung on the wall. The included note invited the press to "share a moment with Kevin Systrom and the Instagram team." The event will kick off at 10 a.m. on December 12 in Midtown … Read more

A fresh approach to photography with our smartphones

Editors' note: This review was updated on December 5, 2013, with more detailed information we received about specific features from the developers of the app.

OKDoThis is the latest app to enter into the mobile photography space with a new twist for Instagram users. With a crowded market and new apps popping up almost daily, the fresh approach OKDoThis takes to chasing the success of Instagram is very appealing.

Setup The first thing you'll need to do after installing OKDoThis is set up an account. The account creation process is a breeze if you have either a Facebook or … Read more

Darth Vader took an iPhone selfie?

Does evil love itself?

Does it crave to stare at its own image and perhaps even one day sext?

This might seem possible after witnessing a selfie posted to the new "Star Wars" Instagram account.

For here is Darthness itself, in the person of the Lord Vader, behaving like a 13-year-old high school student.

He chooses his best side and he shoots.

Of course, this is all publicity for "Star Wars: Episode VII," whose premiere is a full two years away.

Will Disney be able to maintain Instagram interest for those two years? And look at … Read more

Flipagram helps create videos using your photos

Currently sitting atop the top free app spot in the App Store is an app called Flipagram. The concept behind the app is to help you create what amounts to a slideshow using nothing more than your iOS device. The app -- a universal binary -- works on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

Upon launching the app you can connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts to it, or rely on photos stored in your Camera Roll to curate your short video.

You can place as many photos, or "Moments" as the app refers to them in your … Read more

Instagrammers go turkey-wild with Thanksgiving Day photos

Photos of golden-crisp cooked turkeys, dark red cranberry sauce, family football, and the lighting of menorahs crowded Instagram on Thursday. In fact, so many people took to the photo-sharing social network that the company announced it was its busiest day ever.

"We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping helping of holiday cheer," the company wrote in a blog post on Friday. "Your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah-related photos and videos helped make yesterday our busiest so far -- and for that we give thanks to you."

Thanksgiving this year was historic in that for the first … Read more

CNET's Tech Turkeys of 2013

Ah, 2013. The year Microsoft continued to be, well, Microsoft, everyone tried to get their mobile on, and Samsung tried to show the world that it's going to be king of wearable tech.

Yup, there were gaffes. There always are. We also saw the launch product for a now-failing platform (and failing company), and the company that wanted to the entire planet to phone Home. And who can forget our nation's Capitol: A stream of leaks that showed the world that, yes, Uncle Sam is watching every click you make, not to mention those of foreign dignitaries. And … Read more

Eat your Instagrams in marshmallow form

Some Instagrams look good enough to eat, especially when they're glorious food photos. You could just pop them in your mouth. With a little assist from Boomf, your Instagram-eating dreams could come true.

You start by connecting your Instagram account with Boomf. The service takes your chosen Instagram images and prints them out on edible marshmallows. Imagine the possibilities. You could go meta and eat marshmallows printed with pictures of marshmallows. You could snack on adorable photos of your cats. You could roast your buddies over a campfire.

Each package consists of nine marshmallows with your choice of images and costs about $20 with free shipping in the UK. Boomf recommends avoiding images with large dark areas because the details get washed out.… Read more

How to automatically back up Instagram photos to SkyDrive

Backing up photos from your iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone is easier than ever and doesn't even require you to use a computer. Services like Dropbox and SkyDrive can automatically back up your photos so you can access them from practically any device.

Instagram photos, however, aren't typically included in the automated backups. After carefully cropping your image and selecting the perfect filter, you might like to keep a backup of it as well. Here's how to automatically back up your Instagram photos to SkyDrive using an IFTTT recipe:

Create your own recipe

Step 1: Go to … Read more

Focal shift: Press photogs riled by White House social media

Apparently disrupting commerce, education, and entertainment wasn't good enough for the Internet. Now it's disrupting the White House press photographers, too -- and they don't like it.

The photographers are objecting that the Obama administration is saturating its social media channels with its own photographers' photos while often denying access to the White House press corps' photographers, according to a New York Times report.

In a letter, the photographers likened the White House restrictions to the propaganda-heavy style of government-supplied press materials from the Soviet Union: "As surely as if they were placing a hand over … Read more