Pictello

App review by
Vicki Windman, Common Sense Media
Pictello App Poster Image
Make storybooks sing with your own photos and text.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to create stories that are relevant to their lives with Pictello. For example, they can express their likes and dislikes, communicate with others, and learn routines. What's nice is that these stories are, by nature, very specific and tailored to kids' lives. If your child is having trouble transitioning back to school or greeting adults, for instance, Pictello can be useful. In addition to self-expression, kids can learn a bit about the art of storytelling. More built-in prompts and examples would really benefit kids. Pictello is an imaginative tool that can help kids find their unique voice.

Ease of Play

The story-building feature is surprisingly simple to use. You pull photos from your device's library, type in text, and pick a narration method. Newcomers can use the "Wizard" method that leads you through the process step by step, but veterans can use the quicker "Expert" method. The updated version now allows you to add videos to your stories. Additional features include different pronunciations, orientation support, different paper sizes, and the ability to add transitions and highlight text.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pictello provides an easy way to create "social stories" from the images and videos in your device's photo library. Simply decide on a story topic with your child and choose the "Wizard" or "Expert" to guide you through the process. Know that your photo books can be shared through iTunes, Dropbox, or Pictello's universal server. You'll need to provide an email to join Pictello, but other users can only download your photo books if you give them a code.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, 3, 5, and 8 year old Written byTaximom4four February 3, 2014

TO EXPENSIVE!

I was disappointed to see that the app did not offer more based on the price. It is pretty basic and I actually have other storybook apps that were cheaper and... Continue reading
Adult Written byBaffo February 3, 2012

Great idea, but not worth the $$$

Given how expensive (A$20) it is, the product was more rudimentary than I imagined (no editing of pictures, only photo illustrations, poor voicing) and the tech... Continue reading

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What's it about?

PICTELLO is an interactive storytelling app that allows kids and their parents to make virtual storybooks with their own titles, photos, and captions. It should have appeal for all kids and parents, but it also should be especially useful for kids who have difficulty understanding social cues, reading facial expressions, and interpreting body language. A simple step-by-step tutorial guides users through the process of creating stories on their own. Different options for how text and pictures are read or uploaded support different types of learners. For example, the voice quality, rate, and pronunciation can be modified; audio can be created using text-to-speech, recording one's own voice, or selecting a computerized voice; and text can be highlighted as it's read. A library of sample stories, although small, can help fuel the creative process. Note that stories within the library show kids who have learning difficulties and special needs as well as ones who don't.

Is it any good?

What better way for kids to feel empowered than by relating their own stories? Sure, the interface is a bit spare and the number of examples is thin. But the tutorial is clear, there are solid audio and visual supports, and it can be a fabulously fun way for parents and kids together to address the ups and downs of communication, friendship, and the daily grind. Pictello may be pricey, but it's a high-quality product that most families will make great use of. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • If your child is non-verbal, use your voice to record stories.

  • Take pictures and videos with your kid to help create relevant social stories of such things as daily routines.

  • Make stories to help kids with transitions such as going to the doctor or starting a new school.

App details

For kids who love being creative

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