Steller (Free) by Mombo Labs LLC is an addition to the thousands of mobile social networks in the App Store, but with a focus on telling stories. Remember Storehouse for iPad? Well, if a more portable version of the Storehouse experience is what you've been waiting for, then wait no longer, and join me as I dive deeper into the immersive experience of Steller.
The purpose of Steller is to turn anyone into a storyteller through custom virtual storybooks. Creating and viewing beautiful storybooks on your iPhone has never been easier, and the fact that creations made in Steller can be viewed almost anywhere in their original format on the Web is a large bonus. To get them out of the app, just use the built-in iOS share sheet.
After launching the app, the Home feed will display stories made or reposted by users you follow. If you're new, the default Steller account will start you off with a few reposts of some powerful stories to enjoy and be inspired by. By tapping the “hamburger” button at the top left, you can also jump to the Discover area to find new stories, as well as areas to view Notifications, your Profile, and Drafts.
Content is displayed on virtual pages that can be swiped through like a book, including the ability to display any combination of text, photos, and videos — all with beautiful 3-D parallax effects. The fact that Steller's creation tools, which essentially allow you to pick from simple templates for displaying the different types of media, make this so simple is what makes the app very empowering.
So far, I have seen some impressive stories in Steller, like this one that American Olympic snowboarder Alex Deibold wrote about his experience winning a bronze metal in Sochi, or this one about why looking up may be the reason why you're missing things. Heck, some of them have even made me laugh, like this one showcasing a guy who enjoys replacing his face with other people's using an iPad.
While Steller's user interface is pretty stellar, I found that, in the end, it did a great job of fading and showcasing the importance of the content. Steller's team of curators have done a fantastic job so far of picking out the best stories, and as the app continues to grow, I can't wait to keep reading more stories. Above all, it's the users that create the experience.
To learn about the stories of others in a beautiful way, download Stellar on your iPhone. It's available in the App Store for free.