App review: Attenborough's Story of Life

Celebrating over six decades of documenting natural history...
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App review: Attenborough's Story of Life

Build your own Planet Earth documentary

Sir David Attenborough is one of the most celebrated naturalists and narrators of all time. In the wake of his highly acclaimed Planet Earth II documentary (which attracted more young viewers than X Factor, might we add), the BBC has released an app with over 1,000 clips from Zoo Quest, Blue Planet, Planet Earth and more.

Availability

iOS and Android (click to download)

What does it do?

The Story of Life app lets you search for and compile over 40 years of archive footage from the most comprehensive collection of Sir David’s work ever curated. And, you can easily create your own collections by searching species, behaviour or habitat.

If you’re looking for a specific animal, however, you just need to select the magnifying glass in the top corner and type in whatever you’re after.

What did we like?

If listening to Attenborough’s dulcet tones span the decades isn’t enough, you get rewarded for putting together your own little documentaries. Depending on which species you’ve angled your film around, you’ll receive a specifically recorded piece to camera from the man himself.

The overall design of the app is second to none, too. The beautiful photography Planet Earth has become renowned for is ever-present, and the interface works seamlessly through a series of simple drags and drops.

What could be better?

We wish you could search by decade. There’s something quite novel about watching a young Attenborough in the early days of Zoo Quest, but thankfully it’s not too difficult to stumble upon older footage by hunting through the options we mentioned above.

Verdict

What’s not to love? The Story of Life is a very well executed app, which will hopefully continue to grow young people’s interest in the development and conservation of the natural world.

On release of the app, Sir David commented: “I’ve had the great privilege of being allowed to travel and discover the infinite variety of life on our planet and to share these stories with audiences all over the world. To keep sharing those stories in a digital age means taking them online and I hope The Story of Life will reach and inspire a whole new generation.”

Image courtesy of BBC, Planet Earth II

Recent news suggests that the BBC is looking to create a follow-up series to Planet Earth II before its much-loved narrator turns 100. The show’s producer, Mike Gunton, considers Attenborough irreplaceable: "It's pointless trying. We love working with Sir David and I think he loves working with us, and we want that to last as long as possible.

"When he decides he doesn't want to do anymore, we will have to rethink how we make these programmes."

If you’ve got any questions, drop us a comment below. And don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of The Story of Life.

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