What is a story?
Stories are the core of Folktells, enabling everyone to share the important things that are happening in their lives. They say a picture tells a thousand words, but pictures alone don’t add up to a story. Folktells allows you to turn photo albums into dynamic and informative stories that engage and entertain.
Short term memory loss can leave people wondering what’s going on in the lives of their friends and family. Social isolation and loneliness can be compounded by feeling disconnected. Now everyone can feel included in the lives of their loved ones, even when their loved ones aren't there to describe the photos and events in person.
Everyone has stories they want to share: a young child's excitement about getting their first pet; young people graduating from school and heading out to travel and conquer the world: and families & friends celebrating important events.
- First, create an album of pictures for the story. Albums can be created in the photos app on the local device or, if the device is connected to the internet, shared from Google photos or iCloud (iOS only). For Google Photos you must also be signed in with your Google account in Folktells. Albums shared through iCloud will automatically appear on iOS devices.
- Give the album a descriptive title, Folktells uses the album title as the title of the story. (Note, if the album title is changed on a shared album at a later date, the story will become orphaned and will no longer appear on the album.)
- Launch Folktells and go to the Story Selector by tapping the small album thumbnails to the right of the featured stories (or below them, on smaller devices).
- The Story Selection screen shows all of the albums available. Each album offers the Storyteller some controls and information about the album:
- Title: the title of the story is shown at the bottom of each story.
- Photo Count: the number of photos in the album is displayed to the right of the title.
- Story Content: if there is already some story content, there will be a story icon below the photo count.
- Favourite: the heart icon in the top right of each story indicates whether it is a favourite. Tapping the icon toggles it between favourite (a solid heart) and not.
- Edit: the edit (pencil) icon opens the story creation screen, more on that in a bit...
- (Tip: If you don't see the favourite and edit controls on each story, you'll need to switch to Storyteller mode in the settings.)
- To view a story, tap on the cover photo. This works the same for both storytellers and non. For non-storytellers, the Favourite and Edit icons are hidden. If there are albums that you don't want included in Folktells, or stories that aren't yet ready, don't mark them as favourites and they will be hidden from non-storytellers, and won't be suggested as features or appear in scheduled story prompts.
Creating a Story
- Tap the Edit icon to open the Story Editor
- Swipe through the filmstrip at the top of the Story Editor to see what photos are included in the story.
- Enter your story in the large text box below the filmstrip.
- Tap the Save button at the bottom of the screen to save your story. (Tip: It may be necessary to scroll the dialog up to see the button.)
- Tap the story cover photo in the Story Selector screen to see and hear your story.
Folktells text-to-speech feature reads the stories aloud, making it perfect for those whose vision may be failing or who struggle with reading. If you prefer not to have sound, tap the speaker icon that appears in the lower left of the screen while a story is playing. Folktells will no longer read the story until the sound is re-enabled.
Tips & Tricks
Don't like to type using the tablet keyboard?
- Create your story content on a computer and email it to the device so that you can simply copy & paste it in.
- Or, use the dictation feature of your device to transcribe your voice into text. The dictation capabilities of both iOS and Android are very good, requiring only a bit of editing once done. In both cases, dictation can be triggered from the soft keyboard by tapping the microphone icon. This is an especially fun way for young children to tell a story in their own words.
Want to format the story?
As with the whiteboard, the story editor uses Markdown. Markdown formats a story visually into various sizes of text (like headings) and effects how the text-to-speech feature reads the text. Putting in extra vertical space to create sections will cause a pause before reading the next section. There will also be a pause after a heading is read. You can use these features to create more even pacing of your stories as they are read aloud.
Don't like the voice used to read the stories?
Both iOS and Android have a variety of voices to choose from. The options will vary depending on the version of the OS on your device, and for Android, could also vary with the manufacturer.