Todd’s Top Apps

A monthly review of must have, worthy of looking or just plain interesting apps that are relevant to the design industry. Compiled by Todd Pearce, MBDAV.


As happens from time to time, an app comes along that seems to really punch above its weight in some way. Focos is one of those apps. So beautifully simple but effective. This is a photographic app that lets you take a photo – doesn’t sound too exciting yet does it? What it can do from there is very cool – you can press anywhere on the screen and it will shift focus to that location (i.e. adjusting the F-stop and focal length) so from one picture you can simply tap on the area you wish to focus on and blur out the rest in the depth of field. The depth of field can be adjusted for severity. The result is a bokeh perfect shot anytime you need it in seconds – using your camera phone and pretty much zero photography skills. This is a free app – and wouldn’t surprise me if Apple and other phone outfits include this feature as standard on future updates. Makes anyone a photographer in seconds.


Hey Camera is another handy app for photography. The key trick this has is that it allows you to take photos and video using voice commands. This is particularly handy if you’re trying to take a group shot, get out of the picture or the reason I went looking for this feature was – when I was driving and happened across a cigarette butt thrower outer of the window – I can legally take a photo of the car and driver without illegally touching my phone. I have a holder that positions the phone so it can see out of the windscreen. You may recall the EPA Victoria App ‘Report Litter’? about which we wrote about some time ago. Great to have a photo to both geotag the location, but also as a reference or evidence of the car colour, licence plate etc.


There are a few PDF readers that allow annotations and mark ups etc. Many doing similar things and work very well. One thing I found recently is that an IT manager I work with for some projects prefers to use Sugarsync to manage syncing of files over Dropbox (my previously preferred method – due to being able to open, modify and save almost instantly and have it change on all platforms – so I could have it open on my desktop and iPad and be marking up, saving, updating more or less in real time. The viewer I was using didn’t support Sugarsync as file sharing option – so I went looking and found PDF Free. If anyone is on the lookout for a PDF viewer and annotating program and uses Sugarsync, also then give this a try – seems to work as good as any but adds the compatibility for some different files sharing platforms. Also available in a Pro version with added functionality.

If any other members use or know any new or interesting websites, tech or apps, please feel free to drop me a line to info@bdav.org.au and I’ll share it with the other members.