Shadow Puppet for iOS review: Quick slideshows with audio have never been so easy

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Shadow Puppet makes quick presentations easy with an intuitive process that just about anyone can use. The ability to flip pages at your own speed while recording your voice is convenient and smart.

The Bad Text animations are buggy at certain font sizes. The selection tools for fonts, text color, and alignment can be frustrating.

The Bottom Line With a simple process that's incredibly easy to follow, Shadow Puppet is a must-have for quick slideshows with audio.

Free

7.7 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 8.0
  • Features and Support 7.0
  • Interface 7.0
  • Performance 9.0

Shadow Puppet is an app that helps you make presentation videos with text and graphics, but is simple enough for kids to get in on the fun.

Whether you're sending a friend a slideshow of your vacation with voice-over descriptions, or your son is explaining his latest Lego creation, Shadow Puppet's step-by-step process is extremely easy to follow.

There have been a number of simplified presentation apps to hit the App Store, with one I reviewed recently called Adobe Voice. But Shadow Puppet is even easier to use letting just about anyone create quick and dirty slide presentations using photos or video.

Creating your own project

The best way to learn what Shadow Puppet does is to watch the brief demo videos on the home screen. Here you'll see examples of people using the app to record a trip to a San Francisco landmark, a birthday slideshow for a friend, and even a kid's video showing off things he made.

All of these were done by choosing photos or video, recording voice-overs while flipping through the slideshow, and adding a musical backdrop.

In addition to the basic slideshow options, you can also add text overlays and draw onscreen in real time as you record. Text can be added for each slide before you start recording and you have a few font selections as well as simple animations that zoom in on the text or make the text spin into the slide. You can also choose the text color and alignment on the slide.

While recording your presentation, you can touch a magic wand icon at the bottom to bring up some drawing tools. You get a few different colors you can drag across the screen for a decorative effect (think fireworks), and there are a couple of icons (a heart and a star), but there are also a bunch of icons that are locked.

To get these additional tools, you'll need to do an in-app purchase for $1.99/£1.49/$2.49 AUD. I suppose regular users of the app will want to pony up the cash, but these items aren't very useful beyond providing a little extra color.

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