What Musicians Should Know about Recording and Playing Music with iOS 8

By Ryan C. Williams, Mike Levine

iOS 8 brings a lot of new features to the table, but a few music-related changes stand out. These changes might not attract the attention of the general public, but they make the lives of musicians much, much easier.

Inter-App Audio

iOS 8 introduced the new version of Inter-App Audio, but this feature existed before iOS 8 entered the public view. Basically, Inter-App Audio lets you send sound from one source or node (such as the Animoog synth app) to a host app (such as GarageBand). Think of it as running a cable from one app to another (without having to use an actual cables).

The new version of Inter-App Audio allows quicker switching between these connected apps so you can move from one app to another quickly.

Native Bluetooth MIDI Support

Before iOS 8, you had to use a series of interfaces and cables to communicate MIDI data from one source to another. Now, with iOS 8, you can establish a Bluetooth connection between your iPhone or iPad and a controller like a MIDI keyboard or other device. You can use this feature both in the studio (imagine using your iPhone and iPad as a separate control surface for synths) and in performance (to connect your foot controller to change effects in guitar apps, for instance).

Not all of this functionality will appear instantaneously in your favorite apps. Developers may need to add additional code to their apps to get these features to work, so don’t expect miracles in the early days of any iOS update. Check in with developers via social media for more information.

Upgrading the operating system of your device can cause problems for existing apps. Make sure you know exactly how your existing apps (if any) will respond to using the new iOS before upgrading or updating your apps and devices. Check with manufacturers and users before causing yourself any heartbreak.