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Atlanta, GA

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Press Kit

In Short:

Creative play + high quality picture books for young readers. A free, iPad-only app with two bundled stories and others available as in-app purchases. Immersive engagement, free of distractions that detract from the reading experience. Beautiful, original content.

For questions, email

What is tapStory?

tapStory enhances picture books with creative play, creating a novel immersive experience for young readers. Kids animate characters and read the story out loud, and then play back their performances—each one a singular expression of their imagination. Characters and other objects can be moved, rotated, resized and flipped using simple gestures. Audio is recorded automatically as the reader narrates. Recordings can be played back while the story is open, and they can be saved to play later.

Kids can also create their own stories based on existing characters and scenery. All artwork from purchased stories is available for use in stories. Custom-created stories can be saved for reading just like the standard stories, so users can record themselves reading and animating their own creations.

Pricing and Availability

tapStory is available for iPad in the App Store worldwide and is a free download. It comes with two stories. Eight more stories are available as in-app purchases at prices ranging from $2.99 to $8.99.


  • Read stories while narrating aloud and animating characters

  • Play back the performance with audio and animations

  • Save performances to play back later

  • Create your own stories using illustrations from stories you own

  • Use your created stories for animation and playback

  • Teaches you how to use it, as you use it


  • Original stories

  • Beautiful, high quality illustration

  • Open-ended, kid-driven creative play

  • Interaction complements reading, instead of distracting from it

  • Kids infuse their personality into stories

Who Created tapStory?

Owen Mathews was an educator for 12 years and has been developing iOS software since 2009. He was inspired to create tapStory by the many wonderful reading experiences he had as a child.

What Does it Look Like?

tapStory has a clean, playful, kid-friendly interface with simple navigation. It keeps content front and center, and minimizes clutter. Click on an image to see the full size version, or download them all in a .zip file.


Product Shots



Reviews and Coverage

Review: tapStory lets parents and children bring stories to life.

June 27th, 2016

This is a fun little app that allows for multiple layers of creativity by kids as well as their parents[.]” - (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Former CNN Developer Animates Imagination with Storytelling App

July 14th, 2016

“Over the last four years, Mathews has worked tirelessly to create tapStory, an iPad app that allows children to create, animate, record, and playback their own stories – a technology that could positively impact a child’s ability to read, and ignite their imaginations through customized story creation.” -


Extra copy

The story editor is a separate, full-featured interface that allows creation of stories with custom text, up to 30 objects per scene, and an unlimited number of scenes. There are controls included for actions such as undo, locking elements in place, and moving them above and below each other.

tapStory also features a contextual prompting system to instruct users about its features. As a new user explores the app, onscreen animated hints will demonstrate how to perform common tasks. This intelligent system can pick up where the user left off last time, so they won't miss any features but won't have to follow through a tedious set of screens, and they won't be re-prompted about features they've already learned.

Effective uses of technology and media are active, hands-on, engaging, and empowering; give the child control; provide adaptive scaffolds to ease the accomplishment of tasks; and are used as one of many options to support children’s learning.


Interactions with technology and media should be playful and support creativity, exploration, pretend play, active play, and outdoor activities.
— a joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College