in Free App Friday, iPad

Did your parents ever tell you bedtime stories? My dad did. Every night after I had got changed, brushed my teeth and gone through all the other pre sleeping rituals my dad would enter our room and pull out a book to read from. These were precious moments but the absolute best were the stories that he made up as he went along. The ones where he we had no idea where his composition was going or who the characters would be. Sometimes they bore striking resemblance to people we knew in real life and other times they were unique.
These memories still stay with me and remind me just how powerful stories can be in our lives and the lives of others.

I love helping people share stories and so I try to keep an eye out for apps which aim to help people share their stories as well. Perhaps these are simple bedtime stories like my fathers, or perhaps they tell the “why” of a company which can be so important in marketing.

Adobe voice is a new offering which seeks to aid you to tell better stories using, that’s right, your voice. However, although the name of this new app reveals the use of audio, it doesn’t tell you about the complete nature of this app. It is in fact highly visual and will enable you to produce high quality videos that utilise audio and picture content from either your own collection or the stock items provided from Adobe.

What I Like

Voice-Icons-232x300One of my common gripes with most of these creative apps is that you enter to a social network every time. I don’t know about you but I have enough social networks in my life and would rather be able to share to the few which I am active on than have to sign up for another. Thankfully adobe voice has a soft social element in the app. Although you do see examples from other users when you first log in, these a limited and not a “feed” for you to scroll through. This means you see examples of how to use the app and of others creative work. Very handy for first time users.

The app has a very familiar feel to it as soon as you start using it as it adheres to some common design standards with the settings icon and the clear method to start creating a new story. The tutorial for starting also provides clear guidelines and the app really makes the most of the iPad’s screen size. The obvious icons and large text entry fields will insure you don’t press something by mistake!

The App also provides a great range of stock icons for you to use in your stories (I suspect they come from the noun project) and these insure that as long as you have an internet connection, you can make a decent video in no time whatsoever. The themes and music collections are also extremely easy to use and provide a range of options.

Although I didn’t manage to achieve the 8 minutes which the demo presentation boast, I did finish mine in a very short space of time (excluding brainstorming the script). Basically, it’s really easy to make a video from your first time and will no doubt get easier as you use it more. I really loved the touch that of giving you “inspiration” when you are entering a title by suggestion different projects along different themes. [See my example below]

What I Don’t Like

The most glaring grip is that you can’t create a story in landscape mode, you have to create the story in portrait and then you can previews and view it in landscape. I assume this is so that the controls are always on the screen and there is enough space to preview the other pages, theme and other options however, other apps manage to have horizontal editing modes and I would prefer to see the presentation as it will appear.

You also can’t add your own choice of music, you only have the stock options which Adobe has provided. These songs are good and don’t distract from the rest of the presentation, but there is a limit and you can’t find add a recording from the event or story you are telling as background sound. Further to that point, it would also be great to add in video content as well. After all, you can add pictures and your own voice. Why not finish the job and include the missing media of video?

Finally, you can’t setup your own custom themes, instead you are limited to few options that are provided by Adobe. I am hoping that these missing features could come in a pro version which doesn’t cost to much and you could achieve similar results by creating a screencast or other video products. However, it feels like a missed opportunity to win more people over to the simplicity of the apps design and use.

Buy/Don’t Buy

Adobe voice is a really fun app to quickly record a visual presentation or story which you can share. It has some great in built samples which mean that you can create a good presentation or story with very quickly with just an iPad and internet connection. Sure, there are missing features which some users may desire but it succeeds in create a simple and quick to use app to create and share stories.

Adobe Spark Video
Adobe Spark Video
Developer: Adobe
Price: Free+

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