Available in the App Store only on iOS 13 and up, the Smart Voice Recorder – Offline by Ronan Stark is exactly as the name suggests, a smart voice recorder. It can transcribe your speech as you record. This means while recording, everything being said shows up on your screen in the form of text.
It also allows you to search through your recordings by looking for keywords. Type a word or phrase and it will show you all the recordings which include that word or phrase, and take you to the exact timestamp in a tap.
Furthermore, the app does it all offline, so everything is saved in the safety of your device. And recordings can be exported or shared in text and audio format.
Similar to Google’s Pixel 4 Recorder
It shares many of its features with Google’s Recorder app which released with Pixel 4 device. Earlier this year, Google announced the introduction of Live Transcribe to help the deaf and hard of hearing people in communicating.
While Live Transcribe worked online, using Google’s AI and speech recognition, its manifestation, Recorder, works offline like Smart Voice Recorder. They share the ability to transcribe live speech as well as search the saved recordings. Both are able to understand context and try to rephrase the sentences to make sense in case individual words are misunderstood.
How to use Smart Voice Recorder
First, install the Smart Voice Recorder app from the App Store link below on your iPhone or iPad.
When you first open the app, you will see this screen describing the functions that can be performed using it. Click on ‘Get Started’ at the bottom of the screen.
Once you get started, you will be taken to the main screen of the app. This is where you will be able to start recording and see the live transcribing taking place.
To start recording, press the blue microphone button at the bottom of the screen. Now, any words said will appear in the space above, in real time.
The accuracy of the transcription is not always completely accurate though. It depends on many factors like the type of device, distance of your device from the source, the surrounding noise, and even the speaker. The app is most suited for US English and it is a little sensitive to accents and enunciation.
When you want to stop recording, simply press ‘Done’. As you can see, the blue microphone button has now turned into a red “pause” button. The pause functionality is only available in the Pro version of the app.
Once you select ‘Done’, you can save your recording if you want to by tapping on the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen. Before doing so, you can enter a title for the recording in the section ‘Add Your Title Here’. Pick a suitable name that will help you identify the recording because this cannot be edited later. If you don’t enter a name, the title will be the date and time that the recording was made.
Search in your recordings
To find all your saved recordings, click on the list icon next to the microphone button at the bottom of the screen.
Here, you can see all your recordings arranged by most recent. To play a recording, simply tap on it.
To search for specific parts of recordings, enter the word or phrase you are looking for into the search bar at the top of the screen, then press the search button on your keypad.
The result of this will be all the occurrences of the word or phrase you have searched for, from all the saved recordings. For example, if you search for the word “Test”, the result will contain each time “test” was present in any the recordings. This search is not case sensitive, and will also return results for words that contain the word “test” in them, like “attest”.
If you choose a recording, it will play from the exact moment when the word or phrase was said, which is indicated by the end of the orange bar.
You can also search for words or phrases within a single recording. To do this, open the recording you wish to search within, and type the words you want to look for in the search bar at the bottom of the screen.
You can also toggle through the occurrences of the words by tapping on the up or down indicators on the right of the play/pause button. By tapping the “up” button, you will be taken to the previous occurrence of the word, if any, and by tapping the “down” button, you will be taken to the next occurrence of the word, if any.
Though the app is free, there is a Pro version available for subscription in the app. While the free version has limitations, the paid version, called Smart Voice Pro, has none.
The Pro version offers no time limit on the recordings, as opposed to the four minute limit in the free version. It offers unlimited number of recordings and the ability record in the background with the app closed, both of which are not offered in the free version. On the free version, if you go off the app while recording, the recording is stopped immediately.
While exporting recordings is possible in the free version, importing is possible only on the Pro version. It is possible to transcribe and save audio recordings from other compatible audio and video apps. To see if an app is compatible with Smart Voice Recorder, open the other app, select an audio recording and choose to share it. Go the end of the list and select ‘More’ to see the whole list of compatible apps. If Smart Voice Recorder is present, the apps are compatible and importing is possible.