Storehouse is a new iPad app from former Apple user experience evangelist Mark Kawano and his team at Storehouse media. The app is s a visual storyteller that allows you to document and share life's experiences by mixing photos, videos, and text.
Kawano's influence is evident as the UI is as good as it gets for simple, intuitive design. Buttons are the perfect size for tapping and their icons reflect their purpose. The app also relies heavily on gestures -- you swipe through a story, swipe between different stories and pinch to close a story. The UI, along with the heavy emphasis on graphics, makes using the app an enjoyable experience. It may not be the only story creator on the market, but Storehouse nails it with its accessible controls and its ability to create beautifully-designed stories.
Storehouse is first and foremost a content creation tool for you to create your own stories using only your iPad and your media. Storehouse supports up to 50 photos and videos (under 30 seconds) in each story. You also can add text, which allows you to tell your story in words as well as pictures. Getting content into Storehouse is easy -- you can import from your iOS Photo Library, Dropbox, Flickr or Instagram.
Once you import your media, you can start arranging it within the Storehouse app. Everything is touch-based: you tap an element to select it. Tap and hold allows you to move an element and it will snap into a spot. There are handles to resize images and videos as needed. You have three columns with which to work, but you can stretch images to fill two or three of the columns as needed.
The app automatically assigns an image to the cover page, but you can change it, crop it and add a title and subtitle. Directly underneath the cover is your profile name as the author. The rest of document is one big scrolling canvas that is dedicated to your story. You can add in text, photos, videos and change them within the confines of the app. For example, you can resize images so they lineup in two or three columns, but text is always fullsize on the screen. Sometimes it's hard to get the right look that you have pictured in your mind, but isn't working within the confines of your medium part of the creative challenge?
When you are done creating, you can hit the publish button and the document will be uploaded to Storehouse's servers in a jiffy. It's also accessible on your iPad for you to review and/or edit. Want others to see it? You can share your creation via email, Facebook or Twitter. The app sends off a link that is viewable in any web browser, including mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPad. There are no apparent privacy controls in Storehouse, so what you create is available to anyone who stumbles upon your link. You cannot embed the content in a web page.
Storehouse is available for free from the iOS App Store. There are no ads and no in-app purchases. It does require a login account to get started.