Dave Keene had colon cancer and wouldn’t be sure until after surgery whether it would kill him. What he did know for sure was if it did, his young son would eventually forget the sound of his voice.
Keene, a veteran engineer in the gaming industry, used his time before surgery to develop an iOS app that would change that. He created everyStory, a kind of digital photo album that includes audio attached to each photo.
Keene’s surgery was successful and he is cancer-free, but that only accelerated his determination to bring the cloud-based service to the public.
“You don’t know your survivability until after surgery so there was about a 30-day period where I lived in abject fear,” Keene told Cult of Mac. “I wanted to find something I knew would stick around. I wanted him to know how beautiful I thought his mother looked on our wedding day while he looked at that photo.”
Human beings are on pace to make close to 1 trillion photos this year and apps are springing up all of the time on how best to manage our memories, preserve the pictures and, of course, share and pass them onto future generations. Because these pictures largely remain digital, gone will be the old shoeboxes full of pictures that get passed on in families.
Keene said he was always a “picture guy” but wanted to know more about the people in his own family’s treasure trove of photos. Unless a note was scribbled on the back or a family member with knowledge was present, the meaning of the photo was lost.
everyStory is cloud-based. When you use the app to import the photo from your computer or camera roll, you can record your voice to give a photo life. The audio file remains embedded with the photo and once shared with loved ones, they too can record a message to go with the photo. The app also has a feature so that you can use your iPhone to scan analog photos.
everyStory, available today in the iTunes Store, will store unlimited audio and up to 500 photos for free. Sign up before the end of September and users can get free space for an additional 1,000 photos. everyStory plans to introduce premium options early next year to give users the capacity to store more audio and photos.
Keene, the father of two, has been obsessive in using everStory during beta testing. He has used the app to make multiple albums, the largest one with more than 470 photos and sound files that total more than an hour’s worth of audio.
“I like to take pictures of the kids at play during the day and then at night, we will look at them together and I will record them talking about the pictures,” said Keene, who is CTO of everyStory. “What I realize is I am getting an archive of how my sons’ voices are changing.”
MacPhun, which creates photo-editing software for Mac users, has partnered with everyStory to give users free access to two of its apps, LostPhotos and Snapselect. LostPhotos allows you to quickly find photos that are buried in emails. Users who get a premium membership with everyStory will also receive one of MacPhun’s desktop photo editing apps.
everyStory is also developing an app for Android users.