iOS11 delivery day – more ‘stick or twist’ decisions for iOS musicians?

As I’m sure every iOS musician is aware, iOS11 is due to be released later today and, around 6pm UK time (adjust accordingly for your own time zone) it ought to be available to download for any of the iOS hardware that will support the new version. That pretty much means iPhone 5S, iPad Air, or iPod Touch 6th gen. or newer.

For general use – whether that’s on your iPhone or iPad – there is little reason not to update as iOS11 has some cool new features. The new drag and drop features for moving data between apps look like they could be very useful if audio app developers bring support file the new file-sharing option could also bring some useful efficiencies (again, providing app developers can embrace the new technology). And, while I have no technical insider knowledge to go on here, it would be surprising if, somewhere in the iOS11 life-cycle, Apple didn’t fine-tune what AU has to offer also.

However, if you are using your iOS hardware for more than a bit of web browsing, email and media consumption – and perhaps running some rather more specialised apps as a consequence – a more cautious approach is always going to be sensible when Apple rolls out a new iOS version. So, stick or twist?

iOS11 – stick or twist for iOS music makers?

Personally, I think those working with iOS music apps most definitely fall into the ‘please be patient’ category and, if you have been a fully paid up member of the iOS music making community for any length of time, then you will have lived through the occasional bumpy road that has resulted from some previous update cycles (iOS7 to iOS8 for example). And, while the iOS9/iOS10 transition was ‘mostly harmless’, caution is most certainly called for….

This is particularly the case if you happen to own and love some ‘classic’ iOS apps that, because they have not yet been updated to offer 64-bit support, will become ‘legacy’ software with iOS11 which is a 64-bit-only environment. This could quite easily be the point where we say goodbye to a few old favourites that have not been updated for some time…..  Take a good long scroll through the older apps within your collection and check their 64-bit support status before doing anything too rash….

Of course, in running the Music App Blog, it would be remiss (and somewhat cowardly) of me not to take a punt on your behalf so, as soon as the update becomes available, I will close my eyes, cross my fingers, and hit ‘update’….  although, admittedly, I’m going to start with my iPhone 6S and iPad Air 1 before risking iOS11 on my main working hardware which is my iPad Pro.

….  and if you really can’t resist, and would like to share your own updating experiences for the benefit of other iOS music makers, then please feel free to leave a comment or two below. I’m sure the more cautious will be more than grateful for your adventurous spirt :-)

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    1. May as well twist, as my iPad Pro 10.5 is STILL faulty, despite Apple choosing to ‘fix’ it after 2 months, rather than do the right thing and replace it. So I really have nothing to lose by seeing if a major OS upgrade will do what Apple techs couldn’t.

      • Mark Walker says:

        That sucks. Do you mind if I ask what is wrong with it? I have one too and have had no issues (yet). They should’ve replaced yours.

    2. I have given up on Apple iOS for music making. My iPad is just a web browser again now. I will come back in another year and see if Apple wake the fuck up and realise they are killing their own brand with stupid decisions.

    3. ” if you happen to own and love some ‘classic’ iOS apps that, because they have not yet been updated to offer 64-bit support, will become ‘legacy’ software with iOS11 which is a 64-bit-only environment. ”

      Just to clarify in case some readers don’t understand what “legacy” means – it means broken, as in “your old 32 bit apps wont load on the new 64 bit iOS”. Dead, Kaput. Fin. Say goodbye to old apps that have not been upgraded to 64 bit.

      I understand Apple has to move to 64 bit, fair enough. But users need to be aware some old just won’t work on the iOS 11.

      I won’t be updating for a few weeks or months – let others find the unknown bugs and security traps.

      • Hi Simon…. yep, thanks for that…. Essentially, if you want to retain access to those older apps, then stay with a version of iOS that allows them to run…. As Bram discussed in his post at the end of last week, one of the key problems here is the annual update/upgrade cycle. While I’m sure a relatively young technology such as iOS has the potential to change rapidly until it reaches something approaching maturity, rapid change/development also has plenty of pretty obvious downsides….. Best wishes, John

        • With Apple that will never be. They update the OS so you have to purchase more powerful hardware and indeed vice versa to fully utilize the OS. Well known strategy.

    4. I seem to be on the verge of losing far more games than music apps at this point from what I can tell, so that’s a slight bit of good news…

    5. If you would, reply through my email?

    6. I’m just curious if developers don’t make an update to a 64 bit app before iOS 11 drops and is installed, will the then later updated app still show up as having an update available in the App Store? It seems there should be a back door for the late developers, and maybe a reason to keeping some legacy apps resident on the device, if they aren’t wiped away by default by iOS 11.

    7. … and, pretty much on time, iOS11 is now available for download. Good luck to all those who decide to ‘twist’ :-) best wishes, John

    8. Very easy decision, i will not be updating to 11 for a very long time.

    9. Mark Walker says:

      I have most music apps on the app store (addict), but the only three apps currently on my iPad not compatible are Flux:FX, Patch Morpher and Caustic Volca Editor. I would only be miffed about the first two. Both were pricey and I happen to be fond of both. Luckily there is a killer new Prophet 12 editor app called Oracle, but Patch Morpher still does some unique stuff it does not (and vice-versa). Flux:FX posted in April 2017 they were aware and working on a update, but to date nothing else. I contacted the Patch Morpher guy and he seemed uninterested in updating. I will still await a few reports before I take the plunge, but I am excited about many of the usability updates for the iPad since I use it for more than music.

    10. The Verge: “Some apps won’t work on iOS 11 — here’s how to check which ones”

    11. Been Beta testing it since the end of June and have a good clutch of all the major synth apps (barring the Moog stuff), and AUM, Cubasis, AB3, BM3… you get the drift. Anyway, other than a few icon recognition problems in AUM, a coupld of glitches with AB3 and Korg Gadget between beta 8 and beta 9 (all now fixed), I have had no problems with actual apps. My only problem is I can’t get a fast charge on my iPad Pro anymore – it works with generic leads that lose power while I’m using the iPad, but with the genuine 29amp Apple charger and USB-C to lightning lead, I cannae get a flicker, and I’ve had it tested at the Apple store and everything. This is an absolutely pish situation as i essentially get little or no charge whilst using so if I am using Cubasis, Gadget or whatever, or even just watching YouTube, I am just watching my charge go down and down and disappear after about six or seven hours.

    12. Updated my iPad Pro 12.9 immediately and loving it. I had to remove about 23 music apps out of total of 248, but most of them haven’t seen an update since 2015 and I’ve hardly used them anyway.
      No regrets so far.

      • Graison Swaan says:

        Yeah, I’m the same way. Developers have had 3 years or so of warning about going 64 bit and it’s time to move on.

    13. Brett Roberts says:

      Agreed, developers have had enough time for this. I updated my iPad 2017 and it’s excellent! Love the dock!

    14. I guess I’m poked. I never updated to iOS10, so I can’t even check compatibility.

      I’ve been a Mac consultant/integrator/support fool for almost 30 years – which has taught me not to be an Apple fanboy. I learned decades ago not to suck up every Apple upgrade the day it appears. I’ve rarely seen a compelling reason for either me or my publishing/design customers to be on the latest and greatest unless forced. One version back is usually safe and fully functional – and I’m ok with two or three back.

      I don’t RELY on my iPad for anything. I have a more valuable relationship with it than reliance. I cherish it for the endless hours of exploration, satisfaction, discovery, and something like pure joy the music apps have afforded me. I’m still staggered at the value for the dollar, giddy at the range and variety of the synths, in something like awe of the creativity, vision, diligence and effort that’s gone into so many of them.

      I don’t want to lose a single one. I feel like I’ve gotten inside the fertile and inventive minds of many of the developers – particularly of the quirkier, more distinctive apps with their unique sonic architectures – and losing their work would be losing a friend and his unique point of view.

      I can’t get upset with developers who haven’t updated apps for some time. Of course I appreciate the ones who have – but I recognize what a brutal marketplace the App Store must be for many, with its meager return on their investment in time, effort, and inspiration. Unless their app hit a common chord with masses of users and became a blockbuster, they may not have earned near enough to repay that investment.

      Of course many have put in the effort out of love or the pure satisfaction of finally being able to explore and express their ideas for singular ways of harnessing technology for music. (Just like musicians in general, huh?) And if THOSE guys’ apps haven’t sold well enough for them to keep at it and update every time Apple feels the need to push (and break) an envelope that’s holding all our potential perfectly well, they must feel doubly abandoned: not only did they not make a buck, but their labor of love has seemingly been rejected.

      Well, I don’t want to lose those gems they carved out of Apple’s raw silicon. I guess we’ve always known the magic kingdom of iOS music apps was too good to last. (And yes, I know that we need more consistent standards, and there are benefits to all when a technology matures, and that market consolidation always has its casualties – read “the big get bigger and the little guy is chewed up and spit out.”) Still, Apple has created this artificial 32-64bit winnowing. Both platforms could coexist.

      It’s one thing for Apple to plan the obsolescence of their own hardware and OS, and force us to come along. It’s another for Apple to force the obsolescence of talented developers’ vision and hard work – and to potentially take from satisfied users tools (or digital recreational vehicles) they enjoy.

      I live in dread of losing software I love. Comparing to the desktop world, I could care less about Adobe’s crap, or Microsoft’s – those are, for me, utilitarian tools. (Though I can understand an artist loving Photoshop or Illustrator – and I well remember the grieving and gnashing of teeth when Adobe bought and then killed PageMaker and FreeHand.) But these music apps are different. They get into your head (or you into theirs). They’re extensions of your own creativity. You love the sonsabitches. You visit them for inspiration and comfort.

      I’ve feared the day it stops working – yep, forced by a combination of obsolete and failing hardware Apple has abandoned, and software that couldn’t be updated to work with the new. We’ve already lost nearly all the electromechanical keyboards and synths of the last 60 years to mechanical or electronic failure. They were physical products with a lifespan. How ironic – and maddening – that we now have a virtual environment where their virtual simulacrums could be preserved for literally as long as human technology lasts, and are in danger of eventually losing them again because the company who builds the environment doesn’t care enough to keep it hospitable.

      I mean, ya know what I mean? How could any of us EVER have imagined owning a grand piano, Rhodeses and Wurlizers, B3s and Farfisas, minis and modulars, Mellotrons, an iSEM, a Prophet, DX7, VCS3, Poly6, MonoPoly, M1 with all the cards and disks, Wavestation, Synclavier, etc – not to mention stuff like VirtualANS, all the desktop ports (Thor, Nave, Z3TA) and especially the iOS-only gems like Sunrizer, NLog, all the Virsyn stuff, the IceGear stuff, Yonac’s Magellan and KASPAR, the inimitable Animoog, Jordan Rudess’s touch-interface apps, ThumbJam, and truly incomparable bits of singular brilliance like Layr, Grain Science, Mitosynth, TC-11, ApeSoft’s deep & mysterious apps, Igor Vasiliev’s quirky & wonderful scapers…

      If this doesn’t qualify as a golden age, I don’t know what does. I could spend several lifetimes exploring and understanding these apps, being inspired by sounds I could never have imagined to make music I never dreamed of – transcending my habitual musical ruts.

      How can I preserve just the capability we have now? Well, I could stockpile iPads running iOS9 or iOS10, make sure my apps are backed up, keep them all loaded (how many devices can I have the apps on?) and the devices somehow charged (since Apple doesn’t want us to replace the batteries) – and hope for the best. In fact, I’ll probably buy an new iPad sooner than I otherwise would have, just to keep the current one as a safety, with all the apps intact.

      Or Apple could just maintain a 32-bit shell in succeeding iOSes. I don’t want to hear that’s difficult. Developing an iPhone or iPad and their OS isn’t difficult in the first place?

      But enough of the impassioned rant. I have practical questions.

      Now that I’ve missed the window to update to iOS10 (not that I need it, having been doing OK without it) – since only 11 is available in AppleLand – is there any way to get it?

      And more to the point, since I may have been crying before I’m hurt, is there a way to find out which of my cherished apps haven’t done the 64-bit boogie – since I don’t have 10 on here with the menu item to find that information?

      • Thanks Man, this is the iOS rock’n roll spirit I love here!

      • Hi Tim…. thanks a bundle for sharing all that :-) I’m with you on almost all of this. For all the irritations that technology can throw at us when it doesn’t do what we expect and for the constant turnover, it is still amazing what can be done with such compact devices and (compared to what counted as ‘music technology 20 years ago) at such modest price. Thanks for sharing…. and very best wishes, John

    15. Updated successfully – original iPad 12.9
      sad thing to leave iOS 10, but 11 works flawlessly

      but APPSTORE SUCKS. It’s messy, and my wish list is gone….
      I already actually hate it.

      • I’ve done the update to iOS11 fine on my older iPad Air and that also went fine. I’ve only run a few music apps so far but no problems as yet. Not really found my way around the App Store yet (other than to do some updates)…. but I really do want a desktop-based way to access the App Store and manage my various apps…. :-( Best wishes, John

    16. Apple rocks. Come on luddites. Get a move on. I’m gonna update tomorrow morning. 4K video files compressed to half their size! My 256 gab gonna make lots of luma fusion movies with iOS music apps. Go apple.

    17. Michael Scourfield says:

      I updated my iPad air 2. No problems. As an app addict i had lots of incompatible apps. I had already deleted the ones I didn’t care about. You don’t have to delete the incompatible apps. If you click on one it says incompatible and wait for an update.

      Ive been waiting for the screen recorder. Now I can record my jams and remember exactly what I did.
      So easy to activate and use and I am already composing much more music as a result of this feature.

      Yes the wish list has been exterminated so that’s more money in my pocket and less in Apple’s (what a moronic decision). Lucky I also keep my wishlist’s on app shopper.

    18. Updated. So far so good.

    19. The new AppStore have a really bad aprouch to their costumer base to be honest.
      What i see is, whishlist is gone and now i cant keep up with apps i wish to have and wait for a sale (and they have become rarer in 2017). But worst than that is the bundles system, they dont credit apps that i already bought anymore, so now if i want to buy a bundle which contains some app i already have they ask me to buy that same app again, at least for now.

      Is that the same for you?

    20. John my comment is awaiting moderation

    21. Dear John,
      I have been a subscriber of your music app blog for over five years now. Love the way you review ios music apps, I must say, its indeed really analytical and inspirational . It inspires me to make good music. I’m really more into the African genre of music making because I’m from that part of the world. The reggae, congo and mali music even Egypt too. I have a small studio setup in a small room, I make music with ableton or fl studio then I’ve got an iPad 2, a refurbished one, one keyboard and mic setup. I’m writing this to you asking for your help to support my music making. I’ll like to expand my studio to something a little bigger than the present one, buy a new desktop that can handle my music making task, the one I currently have is really really slow, buy better keyboards and more mics and also a music console. I on hope you’re moved by my plea and that you will agree to help me financially. I really desire to get music made for commercial purpose, Truthfully I’m not a spammer.

      Best wishes

    22. Please if you wish, contact me through my other email address

    23. I originally updated my Air 2 to 11; but I got issues with an Garageband not starting anymore, and Cubasis suddenly having CPU overload issues. Decided to go back while it was still possible.

      It would be interesting to know what went wrong with Cubasis, though. I haven’t heard from other people having problems with the CPU usage, but one got to be the first. I complained on the Cubasis forum already.

    24. Unfortunately Apogee Jam 96k doesn’t work with iOS 11 and beta 11.1 by the lightning cable, but by Lightning to USB adapter is working well depends on firmware apogee’s version.

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