TechTool review – Blrt – talk, point, draw, and collaborate on iOS
The app looks good and is nice to play around with. It has an eye-catching colour scheme and is mainly intuitive to use. There are, however, a few teething problems and the app did crash on me multiple times.
I had a problem signing up initially, as I didn’t seem to receive an email to verify my account. Eventually I found it in my junk mail (but this is not an easy folder for me to access). I also failed to connect the app to Facebook, I’m not sure why.
The first thing in creating your Blrt is choosing what it is you want to share. There are a wide range of options:
- Images – take one with your mobile, or use iCloud, Dropbox, or just enter an image url
- A website
- A pdf
- Or you can simply use a template to draw your own sketch e.g. grid paper or notepad paper
Once you’ve chosen the images/websites you want to share (and you can add several different images to one Blrt), you then start annotating:
- The app records your voice talking while drawing on the images you chose previously
- You can write free text, or add shapes
- You can change the colour of your text
- You can zoom in and out, and also move around the image
Once you are happy with it, you can share your Blrt online or via email/link and your colleagues can add comments to your video. You can also embed it on your website.
How much does it cost?
- However, there is also a premium version that allows more people to comment, larger documents to be uploaded, and more conversation controls.
- There are two subscription options – Blrt Plus ($4.99/month) and Blrt Premium ($9.99/month).
Room for Improvement
- Resolve the issue with verification email going to junk mail – I sign up for many different types of accounts and never have a problem receiving verification emails so this is something that the developers could address
- Resolve this issues with connecting with external sites (e.g. Facebook)
- I couldn’t use the Camera Roll on my iPhone as a source of images, which was disappointing
- When I tried to add multiple webpages, the app crashed repeatedly
- It would be nice to be able to reorder the pages once you’ve added them to your Blrt
- At the moment it is only available on iOS but it looks like they are in the process of developing an Android app
- I really liked using this app. It could come in handy for posting teaching videos online – particularly looking at x-rays or ECGs. It is also useful if you’re developing your own website as your team can feedback on any changes they want.
- So it has bags of potential…But at the moment, it need a bit of bug-testing as constantly crashing apps are very annoying to use.
- If the developers can implement the changes I mentioned, it could be a great resource for the FOAM community