iPhones and iPads have opened up whole new opportunities to record events in our lives and share them with other people. Social networks and groups facilitate this but they aren’t perfect. We can create an album with our photos, or a collections of videos and maybe have a title for it but it’s not quite the same as old photo albums that would share an event and a story with it.
Steller is an app that takes a different approach, it aims to help you share a story via your photos and videos. It might sounds the same as sharing an album but when you see the experience you’ll see the difference. Check out the promo video
What I Like
Steller provides you with some really simple options that balance your photos and videos well. It is easy to add photos or videos and the text options provide a variety of different designs to suit different situations without overwhelming you with choice. Of course, you can edit pictures outside the app if you wish to have different font options on your images.
The discover features is a great ideas and adds a nice social aspect to the app. It’s not just for creating photo logs that you keep to yourself, these are stories to be viewed. Within the discover mode there are the editors pics (though I wonder how curated they are and how much they are based off the number of shares and likes). There are also featured artists who you can explore and do the standard social media action of following if you wish.
Speaking of sharing stories, these stories can be shared across social networks and viewed on a webpage. This is a vital touch that opens up the app to non iPhone users which Steller is currently limited to. It’s better in the iPhone app but that’s hardly surprising. You can see my first try here.
The integration of both video and photos is a really nice touch and I suspect that this will encourage me to take more videos to compliment the more regular habit I have of taking photos.
What I Don’t Like
The first thing to bring up is the way you create stories. Just look at the promo video again. you have to press the top right corner (hard with one hand) and then select another options. You can’t open the app and quickly start creating a story collection straight away. This is a huge oversight and should be corrected in a redesign. If you want people to share stories, make it as easy as possible to create them.
It’s also difficult, at first, to move text around on the screen. I kept entering the text editor as I tried to move the text. The mistake I made was not to hold before trying to drag the text. I either opened up the text editor or moved the image in the background around. Providing guidelines or a visual clue to move the text would help or switching the functions so that you long press to edit the text would help a lot here.
Steller is a great way to share special events or create an artistic collection of photos and videos. It is a vast improvement on simple photo albums from many sites and adds a great element of narrative which many people ignore with their photos. Sure the app could be refined further but that doesn’t take away from it’s positive points.
I highly recommend you download this free app if you love taking photos or pictures and want to share them in a more narrative way.