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The future of iOS music

June 3, 2014 9:35 AM

WWDC, Apple's annual developer confererence always gives me a jolt of excitement and a rush of new ideas.  Of course, this initial buzz is often followed by a terrifying realization about the work that needs to be done!  Much has already been written, in the last 24 hours, about iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and even Apple's surprise new programming language, Swift.  But was anything announced that will truly have an impact on iOS musicians?  

For me, most of the exciting announcements were back-end improvements that may take a while to really propogate through the eco-system.  Two really stand out to me. 

iCloud Drive.  One of the most frustrating things for iOS musicians, especially non-techie ones, is "how do I get this audio recording onto/off of my iPad?!"  And it wasn't impossible.  But it did require either a trip to the almost hidden iTunes File Sharing section of iTunes or integration with a third party app such as DropBox or AudioShare.  iCloud Drive will likely make this problem trivial as apps will be able to easily move files on and off of iCloud.  

Extensions.  This is another back-end improvement that may be under-appreciated until everyone realizes how often they are using it.  App Extensions allow apps to interact with each other directly in a way that was simply not possible before.  This includes sharing data but also (from what I gathered from the video) allows apps to share user interface elements.  Imagine inter-app audio effects that can be launched and configured within the "host" app.  No more app switching.  Just a seamless effect plug-in scenario much like what has existed on desktop computers for ages.  To me, this feels like it could be a real game-changer for iOS musicians.  

-Ben