Skip to main content

‘Heard’ App Review: Capture 5 minutes of audio before you even press ‘record’

heard app review iphone
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Thanks to the versatility of mobile devices and the always-thinking app inventors that create a digitalized version of everything imaginable, there are plenty of downloadable tools to turn your phone or tablet into a capable audio recorder that will capture everything you tell it to record. But sometimes there are moments where you hear something you wish you could have recorded and just couldn’t open your app fast enough. Those occasions are usually gone, left for your memory to recreate them. Heard allows you to capture them after the fact, making it possible to travel back in time to grab that juicy bit of audio you would have otherwise missed.

Heard1The name of this app, Heard, is an apt one as it allows you to record words that have already been said or sounds that have already come and gone. The initial free download of the app allows for a 12 second buffer that, once you hit record, the app will grab everything that was said in the last 12 seconds. For an additional $2 in-app purchase, you can increase your max buffer time to a full five minutes and unlock the incremental steps in between (thirty seconds or one minute). You can choose the duration of your buffer in the app’s settings, then watch as it loads up on the main menu. 

Using Heard’s record feature is pretty much as easy as it gets. Since what you’ll be recording is already captured on the device – it’s always recording, just waiting for you to determine you missed something important – all you have to do is tab the big red button to take the past five minutes the app has spent listening and turn it into a captured audio record. Once saved, you can do some minimalistic editing to the file information, like rename it or add tags to it for organizational purposes. While there is in-app playback, you can’t edit the actual audio in, which is kind of a bummer. Heard does allow you to send off your recordings via Facebook or email so you can manipulate the file in your audio editor of choice on your computer, but it saves as a core audio file rather than something more iTunes friendly, so you can’t immediately listen to them without a program to handle the file type.

You might imagine that Heard’s constant recording would eventually become a strain on the life of your iOS device, but from what we experienced there wasn’t any issue. The app runs silently and, it’d seem, efficiently in the background, holding onto everything it hears. If there is one annoyance about how Heard confirms that it’s working, it’s the fact that it turns the banner bar on the top of iOS an alarming red, which makes it stand out way too much.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

For those who need an audio recorder with them, be it for a class or for interviews or just because you run your life like you’re an NSA agent and feel the need to record everything potentially worthwhile, Heard is a nice option for snagging moments that you thought already passed you by. It’s not going to serve as a replacement to a standard audio recorder, because it doesn’t function in that way. Instead, it’s just for those otherwise missed audible occurrences. Despite some minor inconveniences like the lack of an in-app editor and turning your banner bar into a glaring red strip, Heard offers a service that no other app can bring you: Reclaiming happenings you thought were gone.

Heard is available for free for iOS from the iTunes App Store.

Editors' Recommendations

AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
Our 5 favorite iPhone and Android apps by Black developers
An iPhone with apps from Black developers downloaded on it.

As we wrap up the celebration of 2023's Black History Month, it remains important to recognize and appreciate the contributions that Black people have made in various fields, including technology and the smartphone apps we use every day. From social media platforms to productivity tools, Black developers and other people of color have worked hard to create innovative, useful, and just plain fun apps.

Here, we're focusing on five helpful apps developed by Black people that you should check out. These iPhone and Android apps range from ones that help you discover and support Black-owned businesses to ones that provide legal assistance in case of an emergency to ones that curate and highlight sources of news and entertainment by Black creators.
We Read Too

Read more
SMS 2FA is insecure and bad — use these 5 great authenticator apps instead
Twilio Authy 2FA app running on an iPhone.

You probably have what seems like a million accounts across the internet these days, right? At least, that’s what it feels like for me — with all these social media, email, and banking accounts, plus digital storefronts, and more. Regardless of where I access these from, whether it’s my iPhone 14 Pro or my Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, or even my Mac, the first step is to make sure that I have a strong and secure (preferably randomly generated) password. But for extra peace of mind, everyone needs to look into two-factor authentication (2FA) to really keep people out.

Recently, Twitter has made the news yet again because it’s forcing everyone who uses SMS 2FA to either remove it from their account or subscribe to Twitter Blue to keep it. SMS 2FA is when you get a code sent as an SMS to your phone, and while it's convenient, this is the least secure 2FA method available. SMS 2FA is susceptible to numerous vulnerabilities, including SIM swapping (where someone takes over a mobile phone number by convincing a carrier to link that number with the SIM card), SIM duplication attacks, and more.

Read more
I review phones for a living — here are the 10 apps I can’t live without
iPhone 14 Pro with custom home screen on Mickey Mouse phone holder next to flowers

For most of my life, I think I’ve had a pretty unique career path among my family and friends. Ever since I got the original iPhone, I’ve turned my love for writing into writing about technology, specifically mobile phones. Though I’ve pretty much been iPhone-only for most of my career, since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been opening up to the world of Android.

Now that I’m checking out both iPhone and Android phones, the world of apps for me has expanded quite a bit. But regardless of what device I’m using, there are some apps that I need before anything else. Here are the first apps that I install when I get a new phone.
1Password (iOS and Android)

Read more