Apple's latest iOS is released today, it offers various enhancements in the life/work area - maps, Siri, web browsing and photo panorama's all getting some love. But there's more going on under the hood which will enhance the iPad and iPhone's (and iPod Touch) in the area of audio and music.
But firstly, a word about compatibility: iOS6 is NOT compatible with the following devices:
Any iPhone model older than the 3GS.
iPod Touch older than 4th generation.
That last one is the kicker for me and pretty surprising actually - and of course, thats the one I have - so off to ebay with you I guess...
When Apple made the initial iOS 6 SDK announcement there were a few features that could make a world of difference to iOS musicians.
Audio and Video Sampling During Playback - with the power of the new devices, this could lead to a wealth of creative applications, perhaps even screen recording for us reviewers..
Inter App Audio - there's been a lot of excitement about this in the form of the 3rd party framework AudioBus. Its not clear if this has been enabled by iOS6 or is an alternative to Apple's own hooks for accessing this. But AudioBus has a lot of momentum, with a whole bunch of audio focussed developers reportedly on board. Expect to see a a lot of effects processors springing up.
Multi-route Audio - again, in our world this is something that allows for way more flexibility and options. When tied in with multi-channel audio interfaces, we've got all sorts of possibilities.
Users and Security Please
One thing that any father will know, is that while the iPad is a great device for keeping your kid(s) entertained, you do not want them to access certain stuff on there, applications that can restart your server perhaps, or given the nature of the way things are saved in GarageBand, to be able to open your current work in progress, go crazy, and before you know it, your composition is unrecognisable and more importantly overwritten. So, as a plea, how about some enhanced security or even multi-user support? Much as I'm sure Apple would like to sell us one for each member of the family...
That New Lightning Connector
Not really iOS 6 specific but the new interface is going to be a bit of a stumbling block. I've heard all the arguments that "it was time to make a better solution" and "this can be plugged in either way, making it less fiddly" and all that, but frankly, its massively inconvenient - MIDI interfaces, camera connection kits, docks etc will all require some kind of adapter - that Apple will sell us (exclusively from them I might add) bit even so, its not going to work for many devices. I do wonder just how much $$ Apple actually needs, it does seem rather cynical. Perhaps someone can defend this particular move in the comments? Added to that and the new connector actually does not have any analog audio output, so any new docking to audio adapters will have to have A/D convertors inside them.
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Richard Nichol was on hand to show of the new pieces in the Lifeforms range