Against all odds, we managed to make it through 2017 without an armed nuclear conflict! Hurray for us!
At this rate might might just see the other side of 2018. We need to start planning for the future, but before we do let's take a look back at our predictions for 2017.
Heretik7, stub, DulceVida, and RedSkyLullaby predicted that BeatMaker 3 would arrive in 2017. Heretik7 went an extra-step and divined that NanoStudio 2 would not.
RedSkyLullaby predicted we'd see desktop AUs ported to iOS and Audio Damage obliged with a whole suite of them!
Rob Fenn, DulceVida, and Blaaaarghonaut predicted a new app from Korg and iMono/Poly made that a reality with its release in August!
DulceVida gets extra points with his further prediction of, "and nothing useful for the Apple Watch."
RedSkyLullaby and Heretik7 were hoping for an update to Samplr, but it remains un-updated since 2014.
Erik reasonably expected Cubasis and Korg's classic apps to get Ableton Link, but was disappointed in both cases.
In a similar vein, Rob Fenn predicted we see an iElectribe gadget for Gadget. This is a great idea, but it didn't happen for 2017.
My 2017 Prediction: I fucking nailed it!
Last year I predicted a lot of new YouTubers would start doing app related content, in what turns out to be my most accurate prediction ever. In 2017 we got a lot of great app demos from Electronisounds, Pants of Death, TheAudioDabbler, Expanding Sound, RedSkyLullaby, and many others. And we got all of that in addition to the continued support from Jakob Haq, thesoundtestroom, and myself. Even iPad Loops and Apps4iDevices started doing videos again! 2017 was the best year yet for new original app videos!
What's coming in 2018?
My prediction this year is more of a statement of intent. In years past we've expected larger corporations to get on-board with music apps, and we've been mostly disappointed. From private conversations I've gathered that the driving factor that keeps them out is simple economics. From what I hear, all of the large corporations that are currently involved in iOS apps are doing so out of marketing and good will; rather than reaping any profits from their efforts. We can't change that.
The app economy is insane. We expect apps to be around $5-10, and we all benefit from those prices. I haven't bought a VST since I got my first iPad. I'd rather spend $200 on 20 apps than $200 on 1 VST, and for the many amateur musicians here that makes sense. I'm sure there are thousands of people reading this who have never bought a full-priced VST. And why would they? They're not making music to make a profit, so how could they justify spending so much on a VST?
Unfortunately these prices don't make any amount of sense for large companies. Instead of hoping to see more from Moog, or for Roland to suddenly decide to get serious about apps, we need to focus our effort and support behind the independent developers who are already bringing us amazing apps. These individual developers can make apps that are financially viable for themselves, and we need to embrace them as the pillars of this hobby that they are.
I don't think we do enough of that, and as a community I hope we can change that in 2018. Coding is hard. Coding something original is even harder. Music app developers aren't doing it to get rich, or they'd be spending all of their time and effort on making games. Flappy Birds made more in an hour than most music app devs will make from their apps in 10 years. They keep coming back with new apps because they want to provide this community with new music making tools. But we pester the hell out of them for support and feature demands. I can't even count the number of devs who have confessed to a waning interest because they don't want to deal with the inane support emails they get. Or worse yet, the entitled whining for features on forums and Facebook. "I paid $5 for this app back in 2014, why doesn't it have this new technology that was released after it?" Devs have to be polite in their responses because they don't want 1 Star reviews on iTunes. I don't, so I'm going to come out and say it: You're an entitled ass if you think $5 bought you 24/7 support and free updates for life. Revisiting old projects to add features is boring. They'd much rather be working on new apps and new ideas. If we want developers to continue to bring us great new apps, we need to shift our culture away from being entitled and needy. I'm going to try to do my part, and I hope you will too.
Open Mic: New Year's Predictions for 2018!
I want to end on a lighter note so I'll include a new video from another new YouTuber. Bill Jobs intends to be the Bob Ross of synth apps and he's off to a solid start in his first episode!
In the comments here please share your predictions for what we'll see in 2018!