We’ll spare you the T-Pain reference (oops) and cut to the chase: Auto-Tune Phone lets you call your friends and sing, whoop, or holler at them with the magic of the actual Auto-Tune technology from Antares Audio Technologies. It runs on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
This is the same technique used by many pop stars to dance as they sing without going out of tune. It could also be a fun way to call people — especially because this is the first app ever to do this. Chances are, it will be the first time anyone has ever called the lucky recipient of your calls using an auto-tune plug-in. Granted, you only get one setting, whereas the stars can pay with the severity of the effect, but it could still be a hoot. And besides, an app like this doesn’t have to be rocket science.
As early commenters have noted, this app doesn’t come for free in more than one sense. You get 30 minutes of free call time after buying the app. Today, that costs $2. After that, you have to pay to make calls — $1 for 20 minutes or $5 for three hours. Your regular iPhone voice service does not suffice.
On the upside, calls take place over Wi-Fi (using a VOIP or voice-over-IP network) or a 3G wireless cellphone connection, with WiFi delivering better results. It also means the app can make calls from an iPad or iPod Touch (the models that have microphones, or with a mic accessory).
After the app verifies your iOS device, you can dial numbers or select someone to call from your phone book. A practice mode lets you see what your voice sounds like, and both your test recordings and calls get saved to a library so you can play them back later.
As the included tutorial suggests, this works best if you sing — and better if you switch slowly between notes that are far apart, to maximize the Auto-Tune effect.
It’s neat. Still, some users will never get past the fact that they can’t make calls with this thing for free forever. They should reconsider: If they like Auto-Tune Phone enough to use it for more than 30 minutes of auto-tuned singing and conversation, they probably like it enough to pay for more talk time.