Narrato (US$3.99) is a handy and feature-rich journal app for the iPhone. Not only can you use Narrato to record your thoughts, feelings and photos, but it also connects to many social media tools so you can populate the resulting "lifestream" with your comings-and-goings easily. In more of a passive mood? Find your best tweets or status updates and bring them into Narrato with a tap. Here's my look at Narrato.
I'll just say it. Narrato is kind of cutesy. There's a decorative fill at the base of your stream and individual posts are topped with an abstract image that can't be customized. There are little animations, too, like hopping icons here and there. None of this detracts from the experience, of course, but some might wish for a little less eye candy.
It's also extremely legible and will look great on iOS 7. The whisper-thin font looks great both as an entry heading and as body text. Now, let's talk about use.
The main screen is Day-By-Day entry. You'll find four buttons across the bottom: one for text entry, one for photographs, an emoticon option and location. Tap the speech bubble to create a text entry. The compose field appears with a keyboard. Here's what's pretty clever. You can alter an entry's date by tapping the keyboard icon at the top of the screen. It "flips" over and replaces the keyboard with a date selector. Tap it again to switch back. I like that. When you're done, hit the checkmark in the upper right-hand corner and your entry has been created.
Adding a photo is just as simple. Tap the camera button and snap away. Once you've accepted your shot, you can add a caption. Emoticons and location work much the same way. Tap their respective buttons and make your selection from the resulting edit screen. The smiley faces are, well, kind of cute and the app's location data is provided by Foursquare.
Narrato also provides journals. You can make as many as you like, which is nice. Create one that's unique to a certain trip or other experience. Here you can assign a unique image to represent each journal, which provides at-a-glance reference to what is where. Each journal has the same entry options: text, photo, emoticon and location.
The app's other marquee feature is the Lifestream. It lets you pull your Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare updates into Narrato. What's nice is that you can assign the current date to any item imported from your life stream, even if its creation date is different.
Narrato does its job well. Entries are easy to create and browse. The app works on a yearly subscription model, which will run you $3.99 every 12 months. If you like recording your adventures with an iPhone, give Narrato a spin.