Tellagami Turns You Into A Cartoon Storyteller [Review]

This is how you tell a gami

This is how you tell a gami

If you’ve been around on the internet for any length of time, you’ll have probably heard about a site called Xtranormal, which converts text you enter into a simple little video starring cute animal characters. (If you haven’t heard of it, go and have a play there now, it’s fun.)

Tellagami is a new free iOS app that does something similar. I say “similar”, but the two are not in the same league. Tellagami is very simple, and its features limited. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, though.

The thing you create with Tellagami is called a “gami”. Yeah. You’re “telling” a “gami”, right? Geddit? Hmm.

Open it up and hit Create, and you’ll find yourself looking at a cartoon character in a room.

She's angry because the vending machine won't vend

She’s angry because the vending machine won’t vend

You can edit various aspects of everything you see. The animated character can be male or female, their hair and clothes come in a small variety of styles and colors, and the expression on their face is adjustable (although to me, all the expressions other than “neutral” look weird).

Your character stands in an environment, and there’s a selection of these to choose from too. Or you can take a photo and use that – here’s the Tellagami guy standing in my kitchen.

Tell gamis from wherever you are

Tell gamis from wherever you are

OK, once you’ve got everything looking the way you want it to, you can get to work on bringing it to life. You have two options: type some text for the character to speak, or record some audio. Either way, the idea is that your animated character’s mouth will move as your words are spoken out loud, using either an electronic voice or your own.

Be warned: there are crashes here. I tried many times to get the audio recording function to work, but the app kept crashing after each attempt, usually as I was trying to preview what I’d recorded. I had better luck with typing my own text.

After you’ve previewed your gami, you can share it straight to your social networks, email or SMS it to someone, or save it as a video to your Camera Roll for further sharing elsewhere. The sharing has been nicely done – just a tap and off you go. If you share via SMS, your gami is uploaded to tellagami.com and you’re given a URL to send, like this one. It’s also nice to see no account sign-up requirement for Tellagami: open the app, start creating, and share your stuff. No need to hand over your email address or Facebook login details to anyone.

Despite the crashes, I’m going to give Tellagami a tentative thumbs-up. It’s not entirely my cup of tea, but then I’m a grumpy middle-aged Englishman and it really isn’t aimed at people like me. It’s aimed at my kids, at teenagers, at the millions of people who like to play with fun free apps on their phones. I don’t think I’ll have much use for it, but I suspect lots of other people will.

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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