Every once in a while, I run across an app that makes it on my “must have” list. Sometimes they are big apps, but usually they are really simple apps that really help to make my life easier and more productive. I ran across an app last week that has made it on that list.
When is the last time you were in a meeting or situation where you wanted to discretely record audio for later playback, but the setting was such that grabbing your iPhone, locating a recording app and placing the device on a table was just enough of a pain to convince you not to bother? I don’t find myself in that situation every day, but it does happen occasionally. This app is the perfect solution.
First, a little history. When the Apple Watch was initially released, Apple didn’t allow developers to write apps that could use the built-in microphone on the Apple Watch. That changed recently, and when it did, the good developers at Open Planet Software took action and developed a very simple, single-purpose audio recording app called “Just Press Record” (fitting name, as you will see).
How does it work? First, you need to download and install the app (link here) from the iOS App Store ($2.99 US). This will install an iOS version of the app on your iPhone.
Once the iOS app has been installed, the watchOS version will be automatically installed on your paired Apple Watch.
Now, it’s time to use it, but there is one word of caution… before using Just Press Record on your Apple Watch, you MUST use it on your iPhone first. Doing this will allow both versions of the app (iOS and watchOS) to use the built-in microphones. Using the watchOS version first will cause you problems that are relatively complicated to resolve.
To begin a new recording on your iPhone, simply press the red microphone button and let it run. When you’re ready to end the recording, press the red microphone button again.
After the recording has finished, you will be presented with an option to rename the recording to something more meaningful to you.
Once a recording is done, something simply magical happens. That recording is automatically saved to your iCloud Drive folder and synced with the cloud. Why is the so awesome? Within a few seconds or minutes (depending on the length of the recording), that saved audio file magically appears in your iCloud Drive on your Mac.
Creating a new recording on the watchOS version is even easier. Simply navigate to the Home screen and tap on the Just Press Record icon.
Next, press the red microphone button to begin recording.
When you’re ready to finish the recording, press the red stop button located at the bottom.
After the recording has finished, the audio file will automatically be transferred to your iPhone, then proceed to sync with your iCloud Drive, just like the iOS version of the app (ultimately showing up on your Mac via iCloud syncing).
If your Apple Watch isn't near your iPhone at the time of recording, no worries. The app will keep a copy of the recording on the watch until they are connected again, at which point the recording will automatically sync to the iPhone.
If you’re looking for an even quicker way to record audio on your Apple Watch, you can adjust some (but not all) of the complications to include the Just Press Record button right on the watch face itself!
Simply tap the icon and it will automatically start recording.
How much storage do audio files consume? Recordings on your Apple Watch will take about 390 KB per minute of recording (give or take). Recordings on iPhone turn out to be a bit larger because of the increased quality… about 530 KB per minute of recording.
This is a great app for anyone looking to take ad-hoc audio recordings in every day situations, especially in meetings, addressing large groups of people and so many other situations. They also have a full-blown Mac app (link here) available in the Mac App Store ($4.99 US).