Last year I gave a brief history of music apps, and asked for your 2013 predictions. What I did not say was that I would be scoring them! Let's look back at your predictions and see how you did!
Piotr was expecting 2013 would be the year of Audiobus. This prediction may not seem surprising to us now with hundreds of apps supporting it, but at this time last year there were only 30 apps with Audiobus! Whether or not it would succeed was still up in the air. But even Apple's release of Inter-App Audio couldn't dethrone Audiobus as the biggest trend in music apps last year.
Matrix from MATRIXSYNTH posted with hopes of better integration between hardware synths and iPad apps. Although his main point of manufacturer apps integrating with hardware was largely unrealized, his desire for keyboards with iPad slots and interoperability was! This past year saw so many new keyboards and peripherals for iPads that at NAMM reporters were asking everyone, "Uh yea, that's nice and all, but can I plug any of this into an iPad directly?"
Rolf Wöhrmann predicted his synth with Waldorf, then called Nwave, would arrive in 2013. He lived up to that one!
Simon had a blanket prediction for more Audiobus, VirtualMIDI, and Copy/Paste everywhere. I'll give this one to him since he named all 3. Sure enough, we've seen these 3 technologies become an expectation for all music apps!
My favorite random meme of the year.
Will and Pioter were looking forward to MIDI tracks in Auria, but despite a productive year this was not added in 2013.
Qmish expected the long awaited Borderlands Granular update, but thus far it has gone 16 months without a single one.
Hoyas79's hopes of multiple app chains in Audiobus, and the ability to stream audio between devices, failed to materialize in 2013. Early 2014 should see the addition of discrete app buses within Audiobus, and I'm hoping audio between devices also makes it in this year!
Last year I didn't make any specific predictions in that post, but I was all over the place talking about what I foresaw coming with the release of the Audiobus SDK in 2013. In the first episode of the Touch Music Podcast, and my interview on Synthtopia, I was predicting the rise of a whole new class of apps. The effects slot in Audiobus opened up the possibility of apps designed specifically for that role. Prior to the release of Audiobus the only dedicated effect out there was Filtatron. This was because there were so few ways to get audio into an iPad; it just didn't make sense to make an app designed with that in mind. Now we've seen 3 AUFX apps from Kymatica, Holderness Media's Swoopster and Echo Pad, along with Sugar Byte's direct port of their amazing Turnado.
I'm going to count that as a successful prediction.
What's coming in 2014
I believe this year will see more innovation out of necessity.
I think we've hit a plateau on iPad penetration in the Western world. Usually with the release of any new iDevice there is a spike in new daily readers here, up to and including the launch of the iPhone 5S/C. However that spike was tiny from the release of the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina.
If my interpretation is correct, developers resting on their laurels will start to see their sales drying up. When people buying new iPads are just people who already own older iPads, those people will have already bought the majority of the apps they want. Without new customers buying old apps, developers will have to release new apps if they want to continue to see sales.
Here is where things get tricky. There are 777 results for a search of "synthesizer" in the music apps section on iTunes. If you're going to release any app in 2014 it better be pretty fucking new and interesting. Necessity is the mother of invention. It might be a cop-out, but my prediction for 2014 is apps we can't even begin to predict today.
Open Mic: Predictions for 2014
A whole new year stands before us! What do you expect to see? What do you hope to see?