Great Big Story iOS App Review

Great Big Story delivers beautiful, interesting stories to you daily.

Let’s start by explaining what Great Big Story is, exactly, as its description in the app store isn’t the most helpful thing. Upon opening the application, you see a screen with the date. Swipe up, and you’re taken to the day’s playlist of short videos (they average around two minutes) about interesting stories from around the world. Some of my favorites so far have included “Building Robot Symphonies With Wine Glasses And Wheels” and “An Astronaut’s Cosmic Visions.” Keep swiping, and you run into different playlists, like Staff Picks, Swimming in Nostalgia, and Into the Outdoors. As you browse and view, you can save stories to your favorites (which uses a heart icon, which I still don’t appreciate, TWITTER). Then you reach the end. As I write this, there are five playlists (one of which includes your favorites) and twenty-six videos. I found that mildly disappointing, though understandable, seeing as the application (and its affiliate website) was launched just over two weeks ago.

The videos themselves are generally well done. They fall into four categories: New Frontiers, The Human Condition, Flavors, and Planet Earth. Only a few of the videos I’ve watched (read: all of the ones available) were meh. Ultimately, using Great Big Story reminds me of following UberFacts on Twitter: the content is fascinating, but I have no idea what to do with this information. Did you know that the guy who wrote the Chili’s Baby Back Ribs jingle hates it? Now you do.

I think that this application has potential. But there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out. A few things I would like to see changed: adding a search function because things might get messy in the future if they continue to add new videos every day and don’t take down older stories. There is no option at the moment to have subtitles turned on. They are either off or on auto. The last thing is the video play. 1. You have to exit full screen to get out of the video, otherwise your phone screen just stays red with the rocket ship icon. 2. You have to exit the video to access the menu. I also had trouble with random videos playing as I was swiping through trying to find other videos, but that may just be me.

It will be interesting to see how Great Big Story progresses. In the meantime, it’s free and amusing

For more information, visit Find Great Big Story on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at on November 6, 2015.

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