Price: $0.99 (Special Introductory Price)
Version Reviewed: 1.0 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound [rating:4/5]
iPhone Integration [rating:3/5]
User Interface [rating:4.5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4.5/5]
Voice morphing is becoming increasingly popular on the iPhone and iPod touch. With the built in microphone of the iPhone, IPhone 3G and 3GS, and now the iPod touch supporting mic input, developers are realizing there's actually a market for mic-based applications. Yesterday, iPhone development studio Taptivate showed their hand with Voices. It wasn't the normal app launch though, no, no. Far from it. The studio had partnered with both TapTapTap as their publisher, and MacHeist. Through something coined as a 'tweet blast,' Taptivate managed to create a huge buzz around Voices, and it's currently sitting at number 14 in the iTunes Top Paid Apps chart after just 24 hours.
Following on from their award-winning conversion app, Convert .. TapTapTap add another string to their bow. This time though, it has nothing to do with mathematics. Ever wanted to morph your voice into different characters of varying hilarity? Voices takes your ordinary every-day voice and "tranforms" it into weird and wonderful one. Out of the box, the app comes bundled with 17 different voices for you to choose from. These include: Cyborg, Chipmunk, Exorcism, Dark Side, Vocoder, Cave, Guitar, Fun House, Vinyl, Helium, Reverse, Vintage, Megaphone, Canyon, Fan, Witness and Turtle. The app works just like a recorder, so you won't find 'Auto-Tuning' technology here (I Am T-Pain for example), although one part of me kinda wished it did auto-tune.
Opening the app and you'll be presented with that trademark sleek user interface we've all come accustomed to, from the likes of TapTapTap. Set out to a backdrop of a stage and red curtain, each of the voices included are displayed, with 9 on the first screen, and a further 9 on the next. To reach the other 9 voices you just swipe left to right - and visa-versa. To activate a voice just tap it. You'll then see the stage is overcome by this old-type looking mic, ready for voice input. The only thing I didn't like here was that recording starts immediately. As soon as the mic is extended to it's fullest, the recording starts. I'd rather them of given an optional 'start on tap' setting. Moving on ..
Once you've recorded your voice clip, and after conversion, Voices will play your clip back to you using this 'tape-esque' UI (it's so nice!) so you can hear it in all its glory .. or in my case, not. From here you'll have the option to play, rewind and fast forward the recording, as well save or delete your creation. Saving your recording will place it in .. your recordings panel. To open this panel, from the main voices screen, tap the little 'tape' icon labeled 'Recordings'. Here's were it gets interesting though. You can also share your clips with the world, either via Twitter, Facebook or Mail. To do this just tap 'Share' beside the recording you wish to share, and enter the required info. In the case of a tweet, the app will allow you to customize the tweet to your liking, before publishing - which I found crazy-great! Sometimes with these type of apps which allow tweets, they have these pre-defined non-editable tweets, and having the ability to edit these, really was welcomed.
Summing up, as Voices is both gorgeously designed and offers a wide variety of voices, not to mention it's very low introduction price of $0.99, it does seem to have struck a chord with the App Store crowd. Recording quality isn't the best it could be, but considering the iPhone isn't that good at recording anyway, it's satisfactory. But it's probably not the audio quality which will keep you coming back for more, if anything, it's going to be Voices' very beautiful and thought-out-to-the-last-detail UI.