On Tuesday, tech and photo sites were awash with the Google+ Stories story. Rather than having to sift through your own images and organise them into virtual albums to chart your travels, document your days out, and record your parties, Google+ can auto-algorithmically-awesomely collate them into Stories or Movies by simple virtue of uploading them there. You can then edit them if necessary, add captions when appropriate, share them if you want to, and generally enjoy. Stories and Movies capabilities are already working on the web and Android platforms and will be making their way to iOS shortly. If you're like me and you auto-upload your iPhone images to Google+, open the web interface and you'll find there are some stories ready and waiting for you.
But what if you don't want to upload your photos to Google+, for whatever reason, yet still rather like this idea of hands-free image curation? With the vast number of image storage and organisation apps and services out there, someone, somewhere, must be offering an alternative. There are plenty of apps that can organise your images and videos into a timeline, for example Dropbox's Carousel and Picturelife, but not that many which create narrative albums based on time, date, and location that are ready to go. There are, it seems, two apps that manage something along the line of Stories.
Flayvr is an Android- and iOS-compatible app that organises your images and videos into editable and shareable 'Flayvrs', or albums. That's pretty much what the Google+ Stories feature does. But unlike Google+, which collates all your photos and videos stored there, this works by collating the photos and videos stored on your device's camera roll, making it much more mobile-centric. If you're using Google+ to store all of your images, regardless of the device used to capture them, its capable of giving you a more complete story.
Still, it's swish and stylish, free to download, and I've had fun using it to collate some 'Flayvrs'.
I've not been able to download Keepsake for a trial spin because it seems to be a US-only iOS app at the moment. However, it does look to be slick and easy to use. It automatically sorts images into stories that you can edit them using the pinch-and-drag mechanism. When you have a complete story, you can share it with your contacts via text message.
It's also worth remembering that Google+ acts as a storage mechanism for your photos as well as organising them into sharable (or not) albums. Flayvr explicitly states that it isn't a data storage service. That's going to be a plus for some and a minus for others.
There aren't many options, but there are some, and I'm sure that Google's move will herald the insertion of automatically curated albums from other sites before long.