Earlier this morning, Storify announced that they were releasing a free iPad app. I’ve downloaded it, and these are my first impressions.
The app works in landscape mode only. Getting to the login screen means typing in your username and password – slightly confusing for me because I’ve always logged in via twitter since the beta version. Having tried all the possible iterations of my twitter password I then had to do a password reset to my email in order to get in – this might just be me being forgetful, but those of you who’ve associated your twitter account with Storify may also hit this problem.
Anyway once you’re in you get access to all your Storify stories in a nice gallery view. You can edit them all from here, but I thought I’d create a short story just for this review.
The page for composing your story is similar enough, with the familiar tabs of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and browser links available for you to run searches in.
The only difference between the desktop version is that there isn’t a tab for Google content, which normally pulls out web searches, news and images. I never use that tab, but worth bearing in mind.
Once you tap on any of these, it’s very much like the desktop version. You can filter tweets by user, search and images, and the drag and drop interface makes it really easy to quickly create the story. Interestingly the iPad app also has one feature that the desktop version doesn’t – the ability to tweet from your own account while inside the app.
Pulling content from Flickr and YouTube is similarly pain-free, once you’ve run a search just pick up a piece of content by tapping and holding and then moving it over to the desired area on your story.
I can see the iPad app being incredibly useful for a couple of reasons.
The first obvious one is conference use. iPads are already ubiquitous at conferences – they’re better for tweeting and note taking than a smartphone without being as cumbersome as a laptop.
But because the iPad app’s drag and drop interface is so intuitive, you’d easily be able to collect together content in the break between a conference session. I’ve already written a few blog posts entirely in Storify, and I think this will only increase that trend.
The second obvious use is news coverage combined with mobile journalism. If you’re out and about covering an event with your smartphone – taking photos, video, livetweeting, it’s now really easy to just sling an iPad in your bag for some post-event curation in a nearby coffee shop. Again, getting rid of that laptop.
Once you’ve finished your story, you’re presented with the publish screen which thankfully has all the functionality of the desktop app – publishing to Facebook and Twitter, and the ability to @ reply anyone who’s been quoted in your story.
Maybe the announcement wasn’t as big as some people were expecting. It wasn’t an acquisition like some were predicting, but the Storify iPad app stands on its own two feet.
It has a few bugs (it crashed several times when swiping between stories) but that’s to be expected from an app that’s just been released.
In the long run this’ll mean only good things for Storify – capturing a particularly savvy audience of content creators while they’re on the move and giving people yet another reason to ditch their laptops in favour of an iPad when they’re covering events.
Here’s my finished story that I made on my iPad in about 5 minutes: