Have you ever wanted to send someone a talking postcard from a vacation? Are you a real estate agent who needs to explain a photo of a property to a client? A product development type with a cool new product to show the sales team?
There’s an iOS app for that: SpeakingPhoto. The app lets you record audio and add it to still images, which can be both fun and useful.
SpeakingPhoto Lite is available for iPhone and iPod touch for free. The $1 SpeakingPhoto app adds the ability to attach audio to existing images in your iDevice’s camera roll. And a $3 iPad app lets you take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen.
The first two apps were updated July 31. (As of this writing, the iPad app was last updated on November 20, 2012.) A newly streamlined user interface makes the app easy to use and intuitive: Shoot (a new picture); Speak (to add a recording); and Share (via email, Facebook, YouTube, a public SpeakingPhoto gallery or to your camera roll.) You can’t directly share images via iOS Message, however. You first need to save them to your camera roll, and then send the images via the Message app.
A new "storyboard" feature lets you select multiple photos with audio and combine them into one "movie." The app saves your movies as .MP4 files. And you can share images with Android and Windows Phone users.
Of course, you could just take a video with your iPhone and share that. But most people take a lot more photos than videos. And it's nice to be able add audio to pictures after the fact. The file sizes of SpeakingPhoto's images with audio are also much smaller than the equivalent videos I shot.
SpeakingPhoto isn’t the only app that lets you add audio to images. Audio Photos Free for Android offers similar functionality, but it hasn’t been updated since December 20, 2011. Voicepic for iOS (free) is also similar, but its average user rating is four stars, compared to SpeakingPhoto's five stars.
The beauty of SpeakingPhoto is that it's so simple. I suspect I’ll use this app a lot—before, during and long after my summer vacation.