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Apple made no small amount of changes to its mobile platform with iOS 7, and among those was the possible removal of its native voice recording app â a development that surprised both users and voice memo app developers alike.
With the first-party voice memo app apparently gone, at least in iOS 7 beta, users upgrading to Apple's next-generation mobile OS may find themselves short of a much needed resource. Fortunately, an array of different options are available throughout the iTunes App Store, some with capabilities well beyond those of the existing iOS 6 app.
Among those alternatives is Dictonic, a voice recording tool with a social sharing core. Dictonic allows users to share their recordings directly to Facebook and Twitter, and the app features a number of voice changing effects. It also supports photographic and text notes.
The app's listing highlight's its usefulness in pranking one's friends, but Dictonic actually has a number of features that make it a useful productivity tool. It features one-tap recording and the ability to skip silent portions of recorded content thanks to built-in voice detection. Perhaps above all, it allows for cloud storage of voice memo content, with the ability to export to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Dictonic is available as a free download on the iTunes App Store. The 28MB download requires an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.3 or later.
Another option for iOS users in need of a recording solution is Audio Memos. This simply named app has already been featured on Apple's "What's hot" section, and comes in two flavors. The first is an ad-supported version that has limits on recording length, while the paid version ($0.99) removes both ads and time restrictions.
Audio Memos has loud playback, the ability to record while the app is in the background, and iCloud compatibility, meaning memos are accessible across iPhones and iPads. The app also allows users to email their recordings, grab them via USB, append existing recordings, and pause recordings automatically with an incoming call.
The app does feature a sizable number of in-app purchases which expand its functionality. To purchase all of these extensions in one go would cost $10, bringing the total price of the fully-functional app to $11.
Audio Memos is available as a paid download in the iTunes App Store, but also as a free download that can be upgraded in-app. The 8.6MB download is compatible with iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads running iOS 4.3 or later.
Voice Record Pro bills itself as a "professional voice recorder," allowing users to record voice memos and on-site sounds at unlimited length. The app records in AAC/MP4/M4A format, and all can be converted to MP3.
The app allows users to export to a wide range of cloud storage services, including Google Drive, DropBox, SkyDrive, and SoundCloud. Users can also share with other devices by Bluetooth or download directly to a PC using a built-in web server with WiFi connection. Voice Record Pro also shares clips to Photo Albums as movie clips, exports to Facebook, and exports to other apps that can handle an audio file.
Voice Record Pro is available as a free download. The 16.3MB app requires an iPhone 3GS or above, third-generation iPod touch or above, or iPad running iOS 5.0 and up.
One of the overall best reviewed voice recording apps in the App Store is Clear Sky Apps' Super Note: Recorder, Notes, Memos. Super Note color codes notes to make it easier to find them, and its interface allows for swiping back and forth between notes and categories on the fly. It also allows users to set alert reminders for specific notes.
Since the audio recording function is built directly into the notes-taking tool, users can quickly attach voice recordings to specific entries. It doesn't have as many sharing features as some of the other apps listed in this piece, but its categorization features and note-taking integration help put it on a comparable level.
Super Note is available both in a free version and in a $2 paid version. The free version holds only up to four notes. The 17.0MB download is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and up, third-generation iPod touch and up, and iPad, so long a s a device is running iOS 5.0 or higher.
It should be noted that the release notes accompanying Apple's iOS 7 beta seed are vague concerning Voice Memos, as they state the app was not included in the test software but don't specify whether it will be part of the OS upon launch this fall. A closer look at the Settings menu in the latest beta reveals a placeholder for a Voice Memos app, but it is unclear when the feature will be activated.