Big news from Apple: iOS 7 is here! A “whole number” operating system update is always an important event, and there is always a mixture of excitement to check out the new features and a small amount of concern over what might have been left behind, made incompatible, or changed. This time, I threw caution to the wind – I usually wait a bit before an operating system update – and installed iOS 7 on my iPad and my iPhone as soon as it was released. I’m happy to report that the update process was painless and trouble free, and I’ve encountered no significant issues with any of my hardware accessories or apps.
I’m enjoying the new iOS. I like the new look; the changes and new features make sense and enhance the iOS experience. I don’t feel like anything was sacrificed or left behind in this version. In other words, I’m very happy with iOS 7, and I’m comfortable recommending it for my friends who use iOS to make music.
In addition to iOS 7, a number of new products have also crossed my desk recently (most of them have been featured in recent iOS Update videos – check them out on our YouTube channel). I really like IK Multimedia’s iRig PRO. With MIDI, guitar/line, and mic inputs, it serves as an all-in-one input for iOS devices, and the sound quality is outstanding.
I’m also enjoying the new downsized “Launch” products from Novation: the Launchkey Mini, Launchpad Mini, and the Launch Control. They’re the perfect size for iOS use: compact enough to throw in a bag but powerful enough to give you hands-on control. Plus, they’re quite affordable! There’s also the new Xkey from CME, a super-compact keyboard that offers tons of real-time control. Couple that with one of the new-generation synth apps (I recommend Propellerhead Software Thor or Waldorf Nave for unique sounds), and you’ve got endless music-making power.
The year 2013 was great for making music with iOS, and 2014 promises to be even better!