The App: iTalk
The Device: iPhone 4
The Price: Free
The Basics: First of all, allow me to say that it is simply silly that the iPhone 4 isn’t automatically equipped with with an audio recorder. Back when I was an Android user, the pre-installed recording app (immediately accessible alongside other utilities like the calculator) was a constant blessing and one of my most used apps. Even though I own a digital recorder, always having a back-up on hand was vital. So, shame on Apple for not including just a basic function. Well, at least there’s the iTalk app, which handles most of what you’d need out of an audio recorder for the low, low price of Free.
The Review: iTalk claims to be an audio recorder and…it is. The fact that it’s a pretty darn good one is a plus.
iTalk’s greatest asset is how mind-bogglingly easy it is to use. A child could use this thing without any problems. It doesn’t have the level of depth you’d expect from a separate device, but this is a free app…ease of use is a blessing in something you didn’t pay for. Anyway, when you open the app, you are immediately greeted with a massive red “Record” button. Under that, you can title your recording and select recording quality (good, better or best). You can also click “Done” to access your library of recordings, where you can play them back or continue to record under one of your previous titles.
So it’s an app with three pages: the main page where you can set up your recording, the archive where you can view your finished recordings and the actual recording page, where the red button flashes and the time counts up until you hit stop. One of the nicest touches of iTalk is also here under the time display; as you record, the app keeps track of how large the file is getting, letting users with limited space know when they need to tap stop. This feature also allows you to see the above mentioned choice of recording quality in action. A recording with “Good” quality will sound passable and take up less space, but a recording with “Best” quality will sound crystal clear but will be a significantly larger file.
And while I’ll certainly complain about Apple lacking in a built-in recorder, I’ll be perfectly honet and admit that this free iOS recording app is better than the default Android recorder in ever possible way. The interface is cleaner and easier to navigate, the sound quality (especially on the two higher settings) is infinitely crisper and the ability to continue recording on the same file much later (something that I’m fairly certain my separate recording device can’t do) is the kind of thing that leaves me impressed with iTalk, not just pleased.
Here’s my advice for Apple: buy iTalk and have it pre-installed on every single phone you sell. Everyone will be happy.
The Final Grade: B+