We know that Disney Interactive is capable of producing quality apps that aren't based on classic Disney characters: Where's My Water--which features a cartoon alligator named Swampy who was created specifically for a mobile game--has had plenty of App Store success on its own, without a major movie or show.
But Disney Interactive announced a new iPhone app on Wednesday that's neither game nor animated. In fact, it's not pushing a Disney product or message at all. It's called Story, and it's designed to help you organize your digital media into a sharable storyline.
Scott Gerlach, Disney Interactive's Director of Engineering, said he and his development team wanted to make an app to help people get content off of their phones and out to a place that's more widely accessible, with an emphasis on parents.
"New parents collect more media on their mobile devices than anyone else, but they aren't doing anything with it," Gerlach said in an interview, "and they want to share it, but what's the best way?" Facebook is an obvious dumping ground for photos and videos, but sometimes you might prefer to share photos with a select group of friends, in which case Facebook isn't ideal. Or the people with whom you want to share these photos--namely, grandparents--haven't adopted Facebook just yet.
That's where Story comes in. Story connects to your Camera Roll and groups photos based on location and when they were taken. These photo collections, called moments, are suggested memories that you then can compile to complete your story. Pick which photos to work with, drag-and-drop them in the correct order, customize your template, and add captions to tell your story the way you want it to be told. Finally, share completed stories with friends and family through email or Facebook: stories are displayed as a book, with fluid page turning and animation.
I had a chance to get some hands-on time with Story before it launched. Overall, I found Story very intuitive to use with nice in-app editing features and a stunning final product.
Write your own Story
As mentioned above, when you launch Story and allow the app to have access to the contents of your Camera Roll, you'll see suggested moments of your photos and videos based on when and where they were taken. You can also view all of your completed Stories on the app's main landing page.
Moments can have up to 20 photos and two short videos (each a minute long); if you happened to go a bit trigger-happy and take more than 20 photos in a row, Story will pull a random sampling of what was shot and compile that into a moment. I found Story's algorithm for compiling moments to be very accurate. Moments cannot span a calendar day, cannot have any distance gaps, and cannot have less than three pieces of media; the app didn't stray from that formula. (However, if you turn location services off, this algorithm for compiling moments becomes less accurate.)
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