All posts by Student Tobias Estrella

Google Photos vs Apples Photos

Which of these apps is better to trust to sort and save all of your memories?

By Tobias Estrella

With our reliance on our cell phones for communication has also lead to reliance for storage. Smartphones have awesome cameras we use to capture memories within the moment in high-quality images and videos. However, as this data builds up, it becomes more and more difficult to find certain videos. Technology giants Apple and Google both have their own universal apps that sort your photos and videos not only by date, but also by person, event, colors, and more. Which should you use to keep your important moments?

Both apps rely on the sorting method of albums. Apples sort in videos, selfies, live photos, portraits, slo-mos, screenshots, and so on. Google photos have fewer categories with more broad descriptions; people, places, things. In the main photos menu, Apple and Google sort photos by exact day, month, and year. When looking for a specific date, Apple gives you all of the units of time for you to narrow down your search. Google has a scroll bar on the side that scrolls through photos and tell you when the photos are from. Google’s method is significantly faster, but Apple’s feels more immersive since as you go through previews are shown of highlights.

These apps also both integrate in their respective artificial assistants, Google Assistant and Siri. This artificial intelligence allows the user to search for certain people through facial recognition, tag a photo to its location, and extract text. Apple has the upper hand here in that it also includes categories, like swimming, beaches, snow, or sports. Using my own photo libraries, both apps were able to identify people with surprising accuracy, even recognizing them in low resolution and old photos. 

Where the apps differ most is within editing and sharing. Editing photos in Google has more automated options, such as filters or intelligent corrections, whereas Apple’s contains more sophisticated adjustments. Google Photos also focuses on sharing photos through other apps and the cloud. You can put the photo to nearly any app that can take photos. Apple, on the other hand, retains you within the Apple ecosystem, such as Apple Mail or iMessage. This would be a disadvantage except the focus is more on sharing between devices rather than sharing between apps. AirDrop is a quick and efficient way to send and receive full quality images in what seems like an instant through magic.

Overall, Google’s Photos app is more universal. You can access it anywhere at any time, no matter the operating system or device. It is all connected through your google account. However, Apple’s Photos has more useful features for users that have plenty of Apple products and plan on sharing mostly with other Apple users. All in all, these two are the best options for sharing photos with friends, storing pictures of homework for school, or sorting funny memes.

TSA Taking it to State

In the district competitions, many of Legend’s TSA members will be progressing to state.

By Tobias Estrella

TSA—the Technology Student Association—is the program to join if you are a technological affluent kind of person. It is an opportunity for students to take their learning in sciences, math, and engineering into applications. One of the most important aspects of TSA is competition where members have the opportunity to test their skills against other students. These competitions allow members to bond through completing difficult intellectual challenges.

“TSA has connected my team and I with a lot of people that share our same interests and in that way guided the creation of our company. It gave us the tools and inspiration to start building apps for personal benefit. I also participate in Software development with a few of my friends so we can all improve our overall skills within our personal software business,” said Steven Kuyon, 12

To complete the projects to compete in district, members had to spend numerous hours to design and create their projects. Many members spent long nights days before the competition to perfect their projects.

“The best part of the whole experience is the sense of completion at the end. A lot of time is spent with your friends building the projects so it’s really awesome when you get to finally present something you made to compete with,” said Kuyon.

The FractlyDev team placed in Webmaster, Software Developement, and Engineering Design, among other awards received by Legend students. These awards and experiences are relevant for the members not only today but for the rest of their careers.  

“The skills and awards I earn through TSA will benefit me by first, having proof of my talent, and second providing me with experience relevant to what I want to do later in life. The best thing I got from this was friends,” said Ethan Alvey, 12

As Legend TSA students advance into state competitions, only more awards and success are to come.

Videolicious or Videoscusting?

Does this app have what it takes to help the average joe make professional videos?

By Tobias Estrella

As technology continues to advance and we become more and more reliant on our devices, the video media has taken an essential role in how we share and process information. This means that being able to make and edit videos is now a necessary skill for all ages to keep up with this digital age. As a result, many app developers have created apps that are made to be simple for all kinds of users to create videos for various purposes. One of these is Videolicious; a video editing and recording app specialized for journalists and marketers. However, is getting an app that has a specific use rather than unlimited creative control better? Has simplicity led to laziness and monotony?

The app needs to be first explored through its built-in tutorial. From launch, it explains to you the entire process of creating a video using the app, from start to finish. This includes creating a script, recording a video of yourself reading at a reasonable pace, and sharing your video. Immediately Videolicious is one of few apps that implements a teleprompter efficiently and seamlessly. The script is placed next to the camera in a changeable font and speed, based on the user’s preference. This means that you do not have to memorize long scripts and do not look like a confused fool trying to remember or looking off-camera to read. Next, the app quickly compresses your file for sharing, making the whole process contained within the app.

Simplicity is just as much as a reason to get Videolicious as it is to not get it. There are not a lot of options to give your video uniqueness or precise editing. This means it might not always come out perfect or seem amateur when the app is aimed at professional situations. Most of these editing features are only available through a premium subscription, a cost that could be better used on a higher quality software or equipment. Since all of the process is contained within the app, it also encourages the user to use their phone camera instead of a DSLR or Camcorder where settings are easier to control. If the user wants to do something specifically, for example, add a certain transition, it is more difficult to figure out how rather than settle for something basic.

Overall, there are plenty of free editing apps. Especially for Apple users, iMovie is an excellent option that is both universal and fast. Taking the time to learn this inutive software reflects greatly on the professionalism and care put into a video. Videolicious could improve by adding video editing basics like a timeline or project management, and more tweakable options for more demanding users.

Legend Korean Club

A new club at our school.

By Tobias Estrella

One of the most important ways for students to express themselves academically is by being involved in the school by creating or joining a club. Created just this year by junior Seneca Lamphier, Korean Club aims at celebrating Korean culture by learning about the language, traditions, food, and art. She was inspired in a Korean school while creating a reporter project about misconceptions about Korean.

“My idea was to make a club at my school and they flew me to Seattle and I got a scholarship so I started it,” said Seneca Lamphier, 11.

During the meetings, members participate in various activities that relate to Korean culture. These include games, trying different kinds of Korean dishes and snacks, practicing and learning words from the language, and learning the truths about the culture that have been blurred with time.

“I think that Korean club is unique from other clubs because it focuses on having the club members enjoy their time there rather than focusing on the content of the club, which makes it more fun to go to. During the meetings we do lots of fun activities, one of my favorites being origami, I like doing origami because Seneca talks about the meaning of the object we’re making as we’re making it” said Ella Huston, 11.

The club plans to continue to grow and improve with time. Additionally, as the members become more involved and informed about Korean culture, the activities become more valuable and rewarding.

“I think that the club will become more fun and involving and maybe more people will join. We might cook some food or make paper mâché Korean traditional masks. The club can improve by making it more audience involving and hands-on” said Lamphier.

As the club continues to improve with its members’ ambition, there will be more diverse activities during meetings and more participation.

Spotify VS Pandora: Which is worth your money?

These two music giants both have giant libraries, but which one is better?

By Tobias Estrella

Music is one of the most useful tools for students to concentrate, motivate, and inspire themselves. You can go to the library and always find someone working hard with earbuds in or in the parking lot the faint sound of bass from someone blasting their favorite jam in their car. However, what can sometimes make a difference is the app they use to source their music. While there are many options ranging all over the internet and app stores, from Soundcloud to Google Play, the two biggest players in the streaming industry seem to be Pandora and Spotify. So which is better?

First, the differences need to be accounted for. The basis of Pandora more like a radio where the user chooses a genre or artist they like and a seemingly infinite playlist is created from it. On the other hand, Spotify lets you pick specific songs or albums to download or listen to. Immediately, Spotify has the advantage since it gives the user more control and decision making, but Pandora does have the ease of use and accessibility for less enthusiastic users. 

Next, the library size also holds importance in that it refers to the number of songs you can find and listen to. Spotify wins this category by a large margin, having over thirty million songs whereas Pandora only has somewhere over one million. Since Spotify has more of a search and find type of listening experience, the library needs to significantly bigger so the user can find the exact song they are looking for. Pandora is more hands-off and gives the user music that matches their taste and is similar to their favorite songs. Since Spotify has built-in algorithms and millions of other users, it is just as easy for users to find playlists for discovering music. 

Sometimes, decisions ultimately come down to price. Pandora is only $4.99 a month for its premium subscription while Spotify doubles that at $9.99. However, Spotify seems to be the better buy for enthusiastic listeners since they can download music and find nearly all of their favorite artist’s music. Also, at the end of the year, Spotify gives users useful statistics about who they listened to and how much. On the other hand, Pandora is great for users who want a worry-free experience, a set and forget without ads.

Basketball Ballers

The start of the new season for the sport to watch.

By Tobias Estrella

Even though summer is gone, winter brings the fun and excitement of basketball season. Girls Basketball has already had their first two games, and their first win. Winning, however, has not come without weeks of preparation and trial.

“After tryouts we have just started practicing, conditioning, working on plays, and team bonding to ensure we are a close, well connected team,” said Ally Lowe 12.

This year will be different in that a large portion of the varsity team last year were seniors that have graduated, leaving big spots to fill by underclassmen. This has created the difficulty of building a team that works together and performs consistently well.

“We have a completely new team so we have done lots of team bonding,” said Gemma Gibbs, 9.

These underclassmen have had to improve to be competitive at the varsity level and support the team.

“I would say we have the challenge of experience since most of the varsity players graduated, we need to keep growing our skills and keep improving so we are on the varsity level,” said Lowe.

While also supporting each other, the team has used social media to publicize the times and themes of their games to get attendance of more Legend students. The season has many fun and exciting games to come.

“We are really excited for the Chap and Pondo games, but we have had a few injuries with some of our players already,” said Gibbs.

“I enjoy playing basketball because its a fun team sport, even though its mentally and physically challenging, the outcome of working with my team and winning is very rewarding,” said Lowe.

With plenty of potential and the drive to do great, Legend’s Girl’s Basketball has a variety of home and away games for students to attend and come to support.