Get the most out of America's largest July 4 fireworks shows with your iPhone

in iPhone edited July 2016
Some of the biggest Independence Day fireworks displays in the U.S. also sync with special iPhone apps, enhancing the spectacle with sounds and visuals on your smartphone to celebrate the Fourth of July. Here's how you can take advantage of these free apps, as well as some camera enhancement apps that will allow you to take better fireworks photos.

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

The largest fireworks show in America emanates from New York City's East River in Manhattan, and will be broadcast live on NBC. You can watch the special event on broadcast television, or stream it with proper credentials on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.

In addition, the New York City fireworks show will also sync with Makelight for iPhone, which will display its own digital fireworks. The app will present effects in tandem with the colors and tempo from the official Macy's fireworks display.

The Makelight app will allow viewers both live in New York as well as those watching on TV at home to have the display sync with the show.

The display will also be choreographed to a musical score, including performances from Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday and the United States Air Force Band. The live broadcast, hosted by Tamron Hall and Willie Geist, will also feature performances from Kenny Chesney, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pitbull, and DNCE.

This year's show starts at about 9:25 p.m. Eastern, and will be the largest fireworks display since 2000.

From Pearl Harbor to New Jersey, another option

If you're planning on watching a fireworks display elsewhere, you may be in luck --?some shows produced by Fireworks by Grucci can also be enhanced with a free iPhone app from the company. It plays a synchronized soundtrack along with the show for specially selected events.

Users can launch the app several minutes before the scheduled display time, choose "Available events" from the main menu, and select the event. If a download button is present, tap that.

Once the show begins, simply tap "Listen to live event." Grucci recommends users use headphones or earbuds for best results.

The following July 4th shows by Grucci are advertised to feature mobile music via the app:

  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham July 4th Celebration - Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Freedom and Fireworks at Liberty State Park -- Liberty State Park, Jersey City
  • Key Biscayne 4th of July Celebration -- Key Biscayne, Florida
  • Muncie's Fourth of July Celebration --?Muncie Central High School, Muncie, Indiana

Fireworks by Grucci produces shows year-round, so there are other upcoming events that will take advantage of the company's official app, including the Tropicana AC Fireworks show in Atlantic City on July 9, and Harborfest Fireworks in Oswego, New York, on July 30.

Apps for photographing fireworks

If you're looking to capture the moment, there are a few apps that make it easier to capture split-second fireworks explosions with your iPhone camera.

Slow Shutter Cam from Cogitap Software offers a variety of shutter speed effects on your iPhone, mimicking the capabilities offered by a high-end DSLR camera. The $1.99 download has been featured by Apple as an "App Store Essential" and has also been used in the "Shot on iPhone 6" advertising campaign.

Another option is ProCamera + HDR & LowLight by Cocologics, which allows users to set the shutter speed to their liking. The $4.99 app has been highlighted by The New York Times and National Geographic, and it includes a "Lowlight Plus" mode ideal for night shots as an in-app purchase.

Finally, another well-rated app is Slow Shutter! by Lucky Clan, priced at $1.99. It features a "Light Trail" mode specifically designed to capture photos of moving lights, including fireworks.


  • Reply 1 of 1
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    Put away your phone and just watch the show with family and friends.  Remember how to do that????  Seems everywhere you go people have their nose in their phone talking to everyone except the people right in front of them.  We are heading to a Wall-E world soon...
Sign In or Register to comment.