If, like me, you’re a big iPhone fan then you’ll probably get excited most weeks about new radio-related apps turning up in the App Store. Some of my favourites at the moment include iSaidWhat?! (see the waveform as you record audio, then edit multiple recordings together on the fly) and TuneIn Radio (stream worldwide radio over 3G/WiFi and record it too).
But the team here at Radio Today have a new favourite app. As soon as we heard about it being developed last month we knew it was going to be a killer app. And it doesn’t disappoint.
Ladies and Gentlemen… It’s time to introduce Britain’s nicest voice over man. Yes, it’s Peter Ruddy Dickson on your iPhone. You know you want it!
We probably know him best from the voices on Steve Wright’s Radio 1 shows in the 80s and 90s… but since he started taking off the late Patrick Allen, he’s become a household voice to millions through his work on popular tellybox things like The X Factor, The Paul O’Grady Show and of course the continuity and promos on E4. Now he’ll be heard in kitchens, offices, trains, buses and even bedrooms all over the world thanks to his groundbreaking new iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app!
Peter Dickson’s Pocket Announcer isn’t just a soundboard app. Nor is it just an app to answer your questions (‘Ask The Hoff’ style). It’s also got loads of pre-made ring tones and alarm tones that you can send yourself. There’s a ‘pranker’ section so you can make your own comedy wind-up phone calls. Oh, and the best bit is the small matter of a ‘sentence maker’ where you can find most words you’d ever need to make one of the country’s most famous voice artists say whatever you want him to. There are literally thousands of words to pick from – all categorised to make them slightly easier to find.
I’ve been Beta testing the app for developer quapps.co.uk for the last couple of weeks – and the final version coming soon to the App Store is much improved on the original version, following feedback from us testers. One of the most useful changes has been the re-ordering of some of the categories in the sentence maker. It still takes a lot of time to get the hang of where all the words you’re looking for are – and I’m still finding new words and phrases every day, so it doesn’t get stale.
There are a few obvious words missing – website, thanks, visiting were just a few I couldn’t locate when making one of the demo clips above – but you can always find a way round it by either picking a different way of saying the same thing, or using the handy wave editor to shorten other words or phrases after dropping them into your sentence.
You can also drag words around within the sentence – speeding up the time it takes to write things once you get the hang of it. If you know what you want to say, just add all the words then move them into the right order afterwards.
Unfortunately you also can’t export your sentences from the app – it’d be nice to be able to post them to Facebook or Twitter, or even to email them to yourself to use as ring tones or alarm tones. The explanation for this can perhaps be found in the app’s T&Cs of use – basically you’re only allowed to play out the clips on air if you’re doing it for the sole purpose of promoting the app. So putting a 3.5mm jack in the headphones socket and straight into your PC or mixer is against the law, folks. If you want Peter on your show – pay for a script read like the rest of us!
So if you’d like to be woken to the sound of Peter shouting ‘Beep beep, beep beep. It’s time to get out of your bed, it’s dole day. What the hell are you waiting for? You muppet!’ – or to giggle at comedy ring tones like ‘Attention attention! Your girlfriend is calling – better pretend you’re still at work’ – then this is the app for you.
It’s the best one pound ruddy nineteen you’ll ever spend!
Peter Dickson’s Pocket Announcer: Available soon for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for £1.19 off of the App Store.