Certain categories in the App Store stand out not only for their functionality but for the beautiful design trends that you tend to see within them. Custom ringtone apps are definitely just such a category and several of these apps have absolutely gorgeous interfaces.
Though there are tons and tons of ringtone makers available, today we’re focusing only on the top tier of attractively-designed applications. Each of these apps comes in at less than a buck and all offer their own spin on giving you the ability to build custom ringtones from the music on your phone or even audio that you record yourself.
How Do They Work?
Though they offer different creation methods, each of these apps is forced to follow the same system for installing the ringtones. Since developers don’t have direct access to the iPhone ringtone directory, these apps place saved ringtones in the iTunes file-sharing tab that appears when your phone is connected via USB.
From here you simply save out the ringtone file to somewhere on your computer, then drag it back into the Ringtones section of iTunes. After this you can sync your phone to see the ringtones appear.
This multi-step process is definitely a hassle, and some developers try to make it simpler with email and Dropbox integration, but there’s really no way currently to create an app that can do it all in a single step.
If you prefer making ringtones on your Mac, our friends at Mac.AppStorm recently published an article comparing 4 great ringtone apps for Mac.
“You can change the playback speed and sound pitch to make funny ringtones! Convert a male artist’s sound into female or vice versa! Turn country music into club dance by accelerating the speed!”
As you can see, Ringtone Maker Pro gives you a ton of freedom to really customize your ringtones in a number of unique ways. The interface is a nice dark texture with blue glowing highlights and realistic sliders.
“Simply select a song you’d like to use as a ringtone, swipe the audio wave to select a short clip, and create your ringtone. It’s that easy!”
Ringtone Designer Pro has one of my favorite interfaces on the list. If you’re creating a ringtone from your music library, you simply drag the sliders on the waveform to easily select the portion you want. Alternatively, if you’re recording your own, there’s only a big record button and a speaker. Ringtone apps are usually quite cluttered but this one is a great mix of useful and simple controls.
“Based on technology from our award-winning web service, you’ll choose from both popular edits generated by users online and options to drag’n’drop fine-tuned editing controls for making your own ringtones in just seconds!”
If you’re not a fan of the dark blues and blacks of the previous two apps, this one breaks the trend with a much lighter interface. It’s as simple as dragging the slider to set the start time and choosing your duration. The awesome and unique feature here is the ability to see what start times others have chosen for the same song!
“Are you tired of hearing the same ringtones over and over again? With Create Ringtones! you can create unlimited amount of custom ringtones with ease! Use your iPod music or Record your own!”
If you liked the Ringtone Designer Pro interface but want some more advanced controls, check out Create Ringtones. In fact, this may be the best app on the list. The design is beautiful, the feature set is powerful and best of all, it’s free! You can bet that this one has a permanent spot on my iPhone.
“In addition to converting songs from your iPod library into ringtones, Ringtone HD features in-App Voice Recording which lets you convert live audio into ringtones. This feature lets you create and assign individual voices as ringtones to the calling number of the person calling you in your contact list!”
Wavelengths are pretty and make a lot of sense to audiophiles, but many people might find a simple timeline a lot more useful. Ringtone HD allows you to quickly set the beginning and end time so you can grab just the right snippet of the song that you want.
“The most dedicated and professional ringtone maker. Maintain the original quality of music during conversion, without any compression or attenuation.”
The built-in UI controls are awesome on this app and as a bonus you can set your own background images to really personalize the experience. You also have full control over both the speed and the fade of every ringtone you create.
“Dring offers a gorgeous handcrafted interface to customize and create your own ringtones directly on your iPhone. You can of course select the song of your choice or use the microphone feature to create your own recordings. But what about adding some extra fun to the whole process? Well, thanks to Dring, you can now enjoy our exclusive Remix feature to literally mix both of them in a single ringtone!”
If you’re a designer, you simply can’t help but appreciate the beauty that is the Dring interface. The pixel-perfect art nails that sweet spot between realistic and cartoony. It’s also one of the only apps out there that lets you combine a music track with recorded audio.
“Extreme precision: trim your songs with 0.1 second accuracy to create perfect ringtones! Customize ringtone duration from 6 to 40 seconds and ringtone volume from 50% to 200%! Boost the volume of songs to make sure you will hear your phone ringing in any environment.”
This one is eerily similar Ringtone Maker Pro in just about every way possible. I’m not sure which came first but this one looks a little more professional as it doesn’t have the cartoon characters near the bottom.
“You can make ringtones based on your favorite songs from your iPod library or record sounds using the built-in microphone. Maximum length of ringtone 40 seconds. Fade-In, Fade-Out sound effects included.”
Another free app that uses the popular waveform control scheme. This one implements a brighter, more intense color palette that’s really eye catching.
“You’ve got the best phone – why settle for the same boring ringtones? Now you can use your favorite music tracks to make free ringtones and calendar alert tones in seconds – Ringtone Remix makes personal ringtone creation more fun and, with our unique Dropbox support, easier than ever before!”
Though the waveform is dark and high-contrast, the rest of the UI is nice and light with subtle gradients and realistic shadows. The awesome Dropbox support feature allows you to wirelessly transfer finished ringtones to your computer.
Which Is Your Favorite?
All of the apps above were designed by extremely talented developers and Photoshop wizards. Collectively they represent the most functional and attractive group of ringtone apps you’ll find just about anywhere.
Leave a comment below and let us know which was your favorite. I personally love the value of the free “Create Ringtones!” app and the unbeatable design of “Dring”.