When Apple first announced its fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini, I’m sure many journalists out there were extremely excited for the opportunity to get their hands on these new gadgets. I know I was. But for all the functional uses the iPad provides us, I wonder how many journalists have truly incorporated it into an everyday work tool? I know I haven’t.
In terms of incorporating into an everyday work tool, I’m not referring to using it as a device for reading content, sending emails, or communicating through social media channels. I’m talking about using it in the field – whether that’s shooting video, taking photos, writing pieces on the go or using the technology for interviews. This last point is something that I’ve never used the iPad for because I often use a voice recorder or take hand notes.
So I did some digging, and asked for some suggestions, and these are five apps (listed in alphabetical order) that I think are great for handling interviews.
1. Dragon Dictation
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the accuracy and speed of Dragon Dictation, which transcribes voice recordings into text. According to a description of the app, “it’s up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard,” and I can note that it is pretty accurate in picking up my voice and translating that to copy. This information can then be sent via text message, email, social media platforms, and much more. The only downside of this app is that you need a Wi-Fi connection in order to do any transcribing. On the positive side, this app is free to download.
2. QuickVoice Recorder
At times when I’m doing an interview, I like to be able to multitask—whether that’s by checking my email, responding to a Tweet or looking up information for a follow-up question. What I really like about QuickVoice Recorder is that it enables multi-taskers to be able to jump from one app to another without interrupting an interview recording. So, for example, if you like to take notes in Evernote while you’re recording in QuickVoice, you should have no problems. This app is free to download.
I’m sure many of you know about SoundCloud and all the social capabilities that it provides. What I love about SoundCloud is that it’s very effective for when you have a longer interview—it will stick with you whether the interview lasts 10 minutes or 30 minutes or longer. It has some basic features that are helpful, such as being able to pause and resume a session, and you can also edit the interview if you just want to post it for public consumption. This free app is also optimized for social sharing, so go ahead and pass an interview along to your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr audience.
Have you ever had a long interview where you have a great quote written in your notes and then it takes forever to find the spot in the audio recording to confirm the wording? Well SoundNote is an audio recorder that also timestamps any notes that you take during an interview. So when you’re looking to confirm that great quote you wrote down, all you have to do is tap a word and SoundNote will jump to that specific point in the audio. This app is $4.99 to download, but when news is breaking, that price seems pretty reasonable.
This app does not come with a voice recorder or fancy social optimization. WriteRoom is simply a place for journalists to write up notes in a clean format, with no distractions that technology can burden us with. After an interview, sometimes all a journalist wants to do is write up some notes, outline a story, or completely piece together an article. This app gives you that opportunity, minus all the noise, to get that done. WriteRoom, currently $1.99, offers the ability to sync with Dropbox, too, so content can easily be sent to the newsroom if you’re on the go.
What iPad apps are you using during interviews that have made your job as a journalist easier? Share your suggestions with us below.
- What NYT Now Means For the Times and Mobile Journalism
- Newsdeck Helps Companies Share News
- 'Post-Mobile' Is Inevitable: Why Journalists Shouldn't Dismiss Google Glass
- Facebook's 'Paper' App: What You Should Know