‘Bold’ your voice with Boice

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By Pete Davison Comment

Boice is a new iOS app from a team of Iranian developers led by¬†Pooya Khaloo. The app was developed in just 54 hours over the course of this year’s¬†Startup Weekend Tehran, and is available now as a free download from the App Store.

Boice is a simple voice memo app at its core, allowing users to simply and immediately start, stop and pause recording. Recording files can then be organized and shared by renaming and emailing them as standard .m4a-format files — alternatively, the app also supports iTunes file sharing.

The twist on the usual formula, however, is the feature from which the app takes its name — “Boiceing.” The term “Boice” is a compound word used to mean “bold voice” and it is quite simply a facility for marking sections of audio as “important” or “bold” — much as you would mark written notes with a highlighter pen, or typed notes with bold print.

A large, prominent Boice button is available both during recording and playback. Tapping this button once starts marking a section as “bold” and tapping it again stops marking. The user does not have to be overly-accurate, as tapping the Boice button automatically captures a couple of previous seconds to ensure nothing gets cut off by tapping too late. Once a section has been Boiced, it is then available in a list attached to the source audio file and can be listened to in isolation. It may also be renamed, allowing the user to quickly and easily organize a longer recording into “edited highlights.”

Unfortunately, individual Boices may not be shared via email — only the full, unedited recordings. This arguably removes some of the usefulness of the app, though for those who are happy to use it purely as a portable voice recording device will find plenty to like, as the basic functionality is solid. It’s possible to “scrub” through the recording (or an individual Boice) using a slider bar, and also to jump forward and backward in 15-second intervals. It’s even possible to Boice something again while listening to an existing Boice, allowing for multiple Boices to cover the same material.

Khaloo and his team are keen to solicit feedback on their app, as they have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. There’s also a feedback button within the app that automatically composes an email to the developers saying “I know the Boice is awesome, but it will be better if:” — thereby encouraging users to send suggestions and feedback directly rather than relying on the App Store review system.

Boice is certainly a decent quality app that performs its stated functions well. With a little polish and a couple of updates, it will be a very useful, simple but effective tool for those who regularly record conferences, interviews or lectures. As a priority, the team should particularly look into the ability to export Boiced sections of a longer recording as individual files, as this would be especially useful to those who prefer to transcribe audio files from their computer rather than their phone.

Boice is available now from the App Store and is listed in the “New” section of the Productivity category. It does not yet appear to be ranked on the App Store leaderboards, but check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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