Apps

Buy Me a Coffee’s founder has built an AI-powered voice note app

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Image Credits: Voicenotes

AI-powered tools like OpenAI’s Whisper have enabled many apps to make transcription an integral part of their feature set for personal note-taking, and the space has quickly flourished as a result. Apps like AudioPen, Cleft Notes and TalkNotes have proliferated across app stores and the internet, but most offer a pretty limited feature set: They let you record notes and transcribe them, with some offering summarization features, but there’s a lot of ground to cover in terms of the features offered.

The latest app in the space is Voicenotes. Built by creator-tipping platform Buy Me a Coffee‘s founder Jijo Sunny and his wife Aleesha, Voicenotes aims to set itself apart by including an AI assistant that lets you ask questions of your past notes, in addition to providing various features like summaries and different formatting options.

The developers said in a video that after they suffered a miscarriage, to distract themselves, they started building a voice-note tool along with Jijo’s brother, and Buy Me a Coffee co-founder, Joseph Sunny. When the couple was consulting medical professionals, they took a lot of voice notes to capture all the things nurses and doctors were saying so they could recall the information later. That also fueled the idea of having a transcription tool handy so they didn’t need to replay notes repeatedly to remember details.

Jijo and Aleesha shipped the first version of the app in March to select testers, and they made the web app public in April.

The app itself

Voicenotes’ webapp doesn’t require you to log in — you can directly hit record and start talking and the app will transcribe.

You can only record voice notes up to one minute long you pay for the tool. Once you stop recording, you can tag the notes, edit them and regenerate titles using AI. It also lets you use AI to reformat the note — turn it into a blog post, a tweet, a to-do list or an email — and the app will also generate a summary of the note and list the main points.

There is also an “Ask my AI” feature, which lets you verbally search through your notes using the AI assistant — if you want to remember what brand of dishwashing liquid you added to your grocery list two months ago, for example.

Voicenotes.com ask your AI
Image Credits: Voicenotes.com

The company has now released both iOS and Android apps. This is a big advantage, given Cleft Notes only works on Mac and iOS (still in beta). While AudioPen is accessible as a web app from anywhere, it can’t do background recording on iOS — if your smartphone screen gets locked or if you switch to another app, it’ll stop recording.

Voicenotes also uses AI to nudge you with prompts that you can answer and record some notes.

Voicenotes.com creates summary of voice notes
Image Credits: Voicenotes.com

Competition and roadmap

Voicenotes brings some useful features, but as we mentioned, it’s entering a space that’s growing crowded quickly. It also has to contend with competitors who bring better features. Cleft Notes, for example, allows for on-device transcription (an important point because it keeps your notes private instead of sending it to a server for transcription), has better Apple integration and allows you to record notes up to 10 minutes long in the free tier. AudioPen gives you a ton more options for formatting your notes, which some may find useful.

Apart from competition with other AI-powered voice-note apps, Voicenotes also has to compete with native apps such as Google Recorder on Pixel and Samsung’s Transcribe Assist — both are available only on select models, but they could trickle down to other models as the technology advances.

Image Credits: Voicenotes.com

The biggest risk for all these apps would be Apple adding transcription to its voice memo apps, since that would essentially make third-party apps redundant on iOS devices. Still, there might be value in offering cross-platform compatibility, better formatting options and additional features.

You can try Voicenotes for free or pay $10 a month to unlock access to better models like GPT-4 Turbo and Claude Opus, as well as remove the note length restrictions. For a limited amount of time, you can also pay $50 for a “believer” plan and get access to the app for life (read: as long as the developer keeps supporting it). The company said it has already gained $100,000 in revenue from subscriptions.

Jijo told TechCrunch over email that the app’s differentiation will be its “simple but elegant design,” its use of the best AI models, and the “Ask My AI” feature.

He added that Voicenotes will soon be available on smartwatches, too, as he wants to extend its functionality across platforms as a real-time assistant. Additionally, it is also working on turning voice notes into to-do lists with reminders.

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