iPhone App Directory

Will iOS 9 bring us joy or pain

When some of the finer points of iOS 9 became known a lot of people got quite excited about where mobile music could go with the next iteration of the iOS OS. But I've been wondering if this is actually a good thing or not. You'd expect that right?

Although you might in some ways think that it's a strange thing to ponder on, so I'll explain my thinking here. 

Sure, iOS9 brings the potential for getting audio units (sort of) that work across the desktop and mobile and my expectation is that there will be a lot of new effects that appear after the launch of iOS9. But my question is, will that be a good thing? I'm not so sure.

My worry is that we'll end up with the same situation that desktop music has. We'll have loads of nice little audio units that can be fun but a swamped market and almost too much choice and little room for innovation or for new models to spring up. 

iOS9 offers the possibility of bringing the desktop and mobile worlds even closer but that's not necessarily a good thing, it might be an easy thing. It might even be an expedient thing, and possibly for developers it could be a good commercial thing. But, once again, is it a good thing for making music?

Mobile music is a different paradigm from desktop (in my opinion, and you may disagree with that of cours) and as such it requires a different mind set to the tools that you might use, and that work well in a desktop context. That's where I think that in some ways the mobile world has taken the easy route. It's simple to go straight to the desktop model and bend that to a mobile context. That's really in many ways where we are and where we're going to an increasing degree in my view.

You can see how this has happened just by looking at the design of a handful of ipad synth apps. The Ui design is broadly the same. Whilst that not necessarily a bad thing it makes me wonder where the next innovation will come from. Will we see it in iOS9? I'd really like to hope that's true but at the moment I can't see it. All I can see is replication of the desktop model and bringing the two closer together, and I'm not sure it's good.

It remains to be seen whether this will all work out and I'll be very happy to be proved wrong here. I can assure you of that.

So, what do you think?


Nick said...

i hope it will be a good thing, but i agree that much of the success hinges on the different user experience of the touchscreen vs the desktop. In my opinion, the touchscreen UI/UX should take the lead, as it is the more critical one in terms of difficulty [ie. tapping tiny buttons or dropdown menus is much harder on touchscreen than using a mouse]. So, direct porting from AU desktop effects will happen, but will probably not be a great user experience... while on the other hand modifying iOS effects to AU [such as we plan to do with FLUX:FX] has the potential to work well. Lets wait and see :)

Anonymous said...

to be honest, I'm still not really feeling ipad as a portable music making device in general, what with its crippled file system that makes moving files around a boring and unecessary chore...having to use itunes is lame. Also its not comfortable to use when you are outside and need a truly portable device. holdng it in one hand and fiddling around with the other hand gets uncomfortable really quickly. I really hope some developer will realize that the two handed grasp with gamepad style controls is still MUCH better and more comfortable for music making. PSP vita seems perfect size and shape with both gamepad style controls for navigation and editing plus touchscreen controls for recording automation/ slider movements. maybe even something like wikipad, but honestly tired of ipad, basically a not really portable, almost desktop but crippled file system expensive crap. F**K IPAD MAYNE!!!