Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Android App Spotlight: Tape-a-Talk Pro Voice Recorder, Android App Spotlight: Plume Twitter Client for Honeycomb Tablets

If you're anything like us, and we pray you are, then you're positively brimming with brilliant ideas that beg to be recorded before your megamind moves on to the next revelation. Or maybe you just think it's cute to record your cat's meow. Whatever your recording needs, chances are your Android device did not come stocked with a voice recorder. As we prowled the app-i-verse for a suitable remedy, we desired something with a little more panache than a the basic speak-and-save audio recorder. With features such as Dropbox archiving, basic editing and playback controls, Tape-a-Talk Pro Voice Recorder gave it to us.

Although it hits you with plenty of features, Tape-a-Talk doesn't sacrifice a simple and intuitive interface to implement them. Try out the free version, which lets you upload recorded audio to a variety of third-party apps, such as Dropbox, Evernote, AndFTP, Gmail and others. You can set the bit and sample rates for recording WAV or compressed 3GP files, pause and resume recording, record in the background (even with the display off), and set the audio clips as ringtones.

Once you step up to the ad-free Pro version for 3.99 euros ($5.77 today), you're granted dictation machine features like fast forward/rewind during recording, a home screen widget, default email settings for recipient and text, big buttons mode, and basic editing, where you can cut a file based on start and end points.

Our Samsung Galaxy Tab ran Tape-a-Talk Pro like a dream; we didn't experience any crashes or glitches. The audio quality was nice, and we really appreciated the editing and various export options. We do, however, wish for MP3 recording, instead of or in addition to 3GP. What do you think of Tape-a-Talk Voice Recorder?

Android App Spotlight: Plume Twitter Client for Honeycomb Tablets

For our money--not "make it rain" money, mind you, but we do all right--TweetDeck sets the gold standard for desktop Twitter software, but its Android app has not been tablet-optimized. So how to make the most of your generously-sized Honeycomb display when your ego is feeling generously sized enough to tweet? You've got a couple of great free-of-charge candidates, TweetComb (shown in our 100 Android Apps You Can't Live Without) and Plume.

With easy multiple-account management, a lot of dashboard configuation options, and interapp integration, Plume addresses the Twitter power user in a full-featured app designed for tablets in landscape, but not portrait view.

URLs even open inside of Plume in the CuiCui browser, which includes a button to open the link in the Honeycomb browser if you prefer. As part of the expansive selection of settings, you can turn off the internal browser.

Plume's settings also let you choose how and for what you receive notifications, the look and feel of your Dashboard, and much more, such as preferences for URL shortening and image hosting.

With Honeycomb sharing, you could be on a web page that you want to tweet, choose Plume from the Share Page menu, and Plume's tweet box pops up with the URL, where you can shorten the URL, edit the tweet, and send it without leaving the Browser app.

The main Dashboard of Plume contains columns for your Twitter feed (with support for Lists), Mentions of you, and your Favorite tweets. The top menu bar lets you start a new tweet, refresh your dashboard, search tweets or Twitter users, and see trending topics. You can also jump to new screens to send a direct message, edit Lists, open Settings, or view and edit your own profile.

You can add more Twitter accounts in Plume's settings, and then choose which account you see on the active Dashboard. You cannot set up multiple columns in your Dashboard for all your different accounts, the way you can with the desktop TweetDeck, but Plume's mult-account support is still excellent for a mobile app. One other feature we love in TweetDeck that's missing in Plume is timed tweets.

Tweet a link from Plume straight within the Honeycomb Browser.

You get two options for widgets with Plume, and if you're on Android Honeycomb 3.1, you can re-size the widgets.

The free version of Plume gives you all the features with ads, while Plume Premium costs two euros (about $2.84) and removes the ads.

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