Telly for iOS review: Social video continues to grow up

Social-video apps are more popular than ever, but with Telly you get more options and features than are currently available in other popular apps.

Jason Parker

Jason Parker

Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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Telly is a video app that gives you a way to shoot and share video with effects and watch popular videos posted to Facebook, Twitter, and Telly's own network.

Telly (iOS)

Telly for iOS

The Good

With <b>Telly</b> you can shoot video, add effects and theme music, and then share with Twitter, Facebook, and the Telly community. You can also view videos posted by your friends and the people and celebrities you follow on Twitter.

The Bad

The video effects are pretty basic, with not a lot of variation.

The Bottom Line

If you like social-video apps like Vine, but want a little more shooting time and control over the content, you should download Telly.

Instead of a YouTube client or other video player, Telly shows you a feed of videos taken from your friends' posts on Facebook and Twitter, and those of other Telly users. If you follow celebrities, sports figures, or television networks on Twitter, you'll also get whatever videos they post as part of your feed. Basically, depending on your friends and who you follow, you'll have a place where you can view all the most popular video content on the Web. To quickly browse videos, you can turn your iOS device sideways to autoplay each video in your feed, and swipe if you want to go on to the next video. The interface is laid out well for both the Web video app functions of watching and sharing what you see.

Telly isn't just a video viewer, however. You also can shoot video with no limit on length, and you can add simple effects and music to give your movie a unique look and feel. Before you start recording, you can choose an effect, turn on the flash in low-light situations, switch to your front-facing camera, or add a simple vignette to outline the action. There's also a pause button while recording so you can shoot several scenes in one video.

Telly's layout makes creating videos easy (pictures)

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The effects are pretty basic, a lot like what you would find in a simple photo editor, but they're functional. And in a way, it doesn't matter, because once you've chosen an effect, Telly has several selections for theme music you can add to your video. Some are whimsical, some sound like gangster rap, and others are like old-timey movie music. Once I'd added some theme music, suddenly I didn't care as much about the somewhat mundane video effects. The best thing about the music is that it automatically detects the end of your clip and quickly ends the song to match the end of your video. The combination of the action on screen, an effect, and theme music can make for some really interesting creations.

When you're finished just add a title, and then you can share your video on Facebook, on Twitter, and with the Telly community. Another option is to share it with only your friends who use Telly. But the app also saves the full video with effects and sound to your photo library so you can share it in all the same ways you share photos.

If you like the idea of shooting quick videos with scenes, effects, and music, Telly is definitely a fun app to have handy. Even if you just want to keep up with all the videos on Facebook and Twitter, you should download this free app.

Telly (iOS)

Telly for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 9Features 8Interface 7Performance 9