App of the Week: Qwiki for iPhone
App Name: Qwiki
Available Platforms: iPhone
What does this app do? "After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world," said author Philip Pullman. Whether gathered around a campfire with friends, recounting your day with a loved one, or crafting the next award-winning novel or film, storytelling is fundamental to the human experience.
And that's where Qwiki comes in. Dubbed a One Tap Storytelling, Qwiki, released this past Thursday, allows users to create short, multimedia stories from their iPhone or iPod Touch. With one tap, Qwiki will automatically create a brief movie complete with simple transitions and captions. In the past, Qwiki offered a web-based solution for media companies and journalists. (Here at ABC News we even used it in a few stories.)
The new iPhone app aims to take social sharing applications to the next step with its ability to automatically curate, create and share rich media content, according to Qwiki founder and CEO Doug Imbruce.
"We're not the 10 th photo sharing app, we're the first story telling app," says Imbruce.
The app accomplishes this by drawing on customized technology to analyze media from a user's camera roll based on time, date and place in order to identify an event. It then groups images and videos together, selects a song from your itunes library or from the app's own cache of songs, and puts it all together into short "moments," or movies. From there, users can embed a "Qwiki" and share it through Facebook, Twitter or email.
Qwiki's layout is straightforward. A central feed on the main page displays recent Qwiki posts from others, and users can search featured moments by hashtag. Tap "Create" and let the app automatically put together a Qwiki, or press "custom" and manually create your own story. Apply effects to images, such as Greyscale or Sepia; control the order of how images appear in the Qwiki by dragging and dropping; and adjust the pacing, too, by tapping on the speedometer icon and adjusting from there.
Apps such as Digisocial and Twitter's recently released Vine app have made strides as go-to multimedia sharing apps too. However, Digisocial is limited to photos and audio, and Vine creates only six seconds of video. Qwiki will create movies up to a minute long.
"We're trying to invent our own category," says Imbruce, "and that's storytelling."
Is it easy to set up? Downloading Qwiki takes little to no time. Simply login through Facebook or create an account through email. You have to have an iPhone though, at least for now; it's coming to Android in the next three to six months.
Should I try it? We ran this app through a few rounds of Qwiki movie-making to see how well it discerned photos and videos related to a specific event (see one of our "test" Qwiki's here), and the app didn't miss a beat. The app's effect palette is light, however, so don't expect to become the next Scorsese of home moviemaking just yet. Still, Qwiki turns out a nice , eye-catching product you'll be pleased to share with loved ones.