Otter Voice Notes

App review by
Keri Wilmot, Common Sense Media
Otter Voice Notes App Poster Image
Record, transcribe, and share audio recordings with peers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

By recording audio conversations in Otter Voice Notes, teens can repeatedly listen to information and read the transcription notes to aid learning, studying, and note-taking.

Ease of Play

Setup and login will initially require a valid email account. It could take some time to configure the settings to add contacts to a conversation, but it's not necessary to use the app. It's simple to record audio and access the recording and transcription. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Otter Voice Notes is a productivity app for the iPhone and iPad that records audio conversations and stores them for later. It's more useful for older students who would benefit from recording class discussions, lectures, and group conversations to supplement note-taking and studying. Audio recordings are transcribed into English text and assigned keyword phrases that can be used as search terms to find similar content. It includes a free plan, which records up to 600 minutes per month, but upgrades to a monthly or yearly premium subscription for 6,000 minutes are available. An email account is required to initially sign up and log in. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

With OTTER VOICE NOTES, teens speak into the app on the device to record their voices. The audio content is transcribed into typed text, which can be listened to over and over again in their voice. Once they sign up via email, teens can share via email, message, note, or social media. To share conversations with a designated group or team, you can use your contact list.  Once the words are transcribed, the document is assigned keywords, which allows users to search for specific terms and also keep content organized. Documents include relevant information, such as the date and time of day the recording was created. To enhance the audio information captured, you can add photos from the camera roll. Once text is created, you can change the reading speed. Also, text is highlighted at the same time the words are read out loud. The free plan includes 600 minutes, and there are subscription options for users who need more recording time.

Is it any good?

This helpful app provides users -- especially those with reading and learning disabilities -- with a strategy to improve their ability to learn new content and note-taking skills by recording the audio from conversations and lectures. Kids can access content repeatedly so they can listen to it as many times as they need. The information is transcribed into text, and users can not only hear the content but see it, which can benefit many different learning styles. The content can be enhanced by including a photo, such as a page in a book, or information that's written or shared on the board by a teacher and is easily shared with others through messages and emails. Otter Voice Notes may be most beneficial for high school and college students who worry about missing important details in lectures and who need a way to organize their notes. Initially the audio content recorded into text was not 100 percent accurate, as it was missing punctuation and capital letters and inserted incorrect words. However, the text improves after the content has been given a little time to be effectively transcribed. Transcriptions also require some editing for punctuation, capital letters, grammar, and spelling. Overall, it's a great option for kids who need a tool to capture and review information, and because the app is free, teens can see if it works for them before signing up for a subscription.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the use of Otter Voice Notes as a studying and note-taking strategy, especially for those who feel anxious or stressed when they do not have enough time to write down or type all the important details a teacher shares.

  • Talk about the use of audio recording, especially in a classroom where it will document conversations. Even if the kid is allowed access to a device at school, it's good to talk to the teacher before recording. Is the student sitting in a good location of the classroom to accurately capture the audio of the person speaking?

  • Participating in group projects can be difficult when everyone has a different learning style and there are many details to consider. Would recording the group chats be a way for all members to see and hear what was shared, to work efficiently as a team?

App details

For kids who love note-taking and homework help apps

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