Create & Manage Stories

Create & Manage Stories

Create & Manage Stories

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.

Manage stories in the Sharing Hub

Getting started

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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).
  4. 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…
    • Guided Story: for those with a Share Plan, Guided Remote Stories let you launch a slideshow on both your device and loved ones at the same time, letting you swipe through the photos and share the fun with someone else.
    • (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.)
  5. 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

There are 2 styles of story creation available – stories written about an album as a whole, and stories written about the individual photos in an album.

By Album
Create stories by album

Write story by album

  1. Tap the Edit icon to open the Story Editor
  2. Select write story by album
  3. Tap in the content entry box to expand it and write your story (or dictate it, or paste it from your clipboard…)
  4. Tip: Place an empty line between paragraphs to add a natural sounding pause when the story is read aloud.
  5. Put the photos in the desired order for the slideshow:
    • long-press an image thumbnail to select it
    • drag it on top of an image in the desired location
    • drop the image by removing your finger
    • the other photos will shift to fill the gap
  6. 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.)
  7. Tap the story cover photo in the Sharing Hub to see and hear your story as a slideshow.

When the slideshow plays, the story is read aloud as one continuous set of paragraphs. The slideshow will end when the content has all been read, or all the photo slides have been displayed, whichever is longer – depending on the length of the story content and the number of photos. Each slide will show for an equal amount of time. The story content can be viewed by expanding the story section at the top of the photos.

By Photo
Create stories by photo

Write story by photo

  1. Tap the Edit icon to open the Story Editor
  2. Select write story by photo
  3. Enter your story in the content entry box for each slide
  4. Put the slides in the desired order:
    • long-press the handle on the left of a slide to select it
    • drag it between the slides where you want it to appear
    • drop the slide by removing your finger
    • the other slides will shift to fill the gap
  5. There are some special actions:
    • add text only slides by tapping the + at the top of the screen
    • remove the content from a slide by swiping it to the side (Tip: text-only slides will be removed, photo slides will lose their content and be moved to the end of the slideshow. To remove a photo completely, edit the album in your photo app.)
    • you can undo add, remove, move actions by tapping the undo button at the top. (Tip: the label on the undo button shows the action that will be affected.)
  6. 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.)
  7. Tap the story cover photo in the Story Selector screen to see and hear your story.

When the slideshow plays, the story about each photo is read aloud as that photo slide is displayed. Each slide will show for as long as there is content being read about it, or for 8s, whichever is longer. The slideshow will end when all photo slides have been displayed. Text only slides show the content on screen in place of the photo. Photo slides show their story content in a expandable section at the top of the photo.

read aloud settings

Read aloud

Folktells text-to-speech feature reads the stories aloud so that you can focus on the photos while hearing the story. This also makes 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.
This option is also available in the personalization settings.

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 in the device settings. The options will vary depending on the version of the OS on your device, and for Android, could also vary with the manufacturer.

Is the font too small / too big?

We’ve designed Folktells with large, easy-to-read fonts, but if you’d like them larger or smaller that’s easy to do. Use the accessibility features on your iOS or Android device to customize the font to your liking. We’ve done our best to make it possible to use as large fonts as possible, but some text may be cut off or truncated due to limited screen space. Experiment with the settings on your device to find what works best for you and your loved one.

Prevent your loved one from accidentally closing Folktells

Sometimes a senior who isn’t tech-savvy can get lost on a mobile device by tapping or clicking buttons and being confused about the result, and not knowing how to reopen an app. Both Apple and Android devices have a ‘kiosk’ mode where the device can be locked into allowing the user to use only one application. By using this mode, you can be confident that a user who is easily confused won’t close Folktells and get lost by accident. For Apple devices, you can find instructions on how to enable ‘Guided Access’ on the Apple Support website. For Android devices, you can find instructions on how to enable ‘screen pinning’ on the Android Support website.

Learning Articles

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