It's that time of the year again when Apple releases a new iOS, I warn people not to update production devices they rely on, and everyone ignores me or brands me a heretic. Last year's changes to IAA, and subsequently Audiobus, created a lot of unforeseen woes. To this day there are still many people plugging away on iOS 7 because they just don't want to deal with it. iOS 9 promises a lot of interesting new features though, including Split Screen multitasking, so the temptation to upgrade this time will be quite high!
Just Say No!
Let's get the warning out of the way. If you rely on your iOS devices for your music production you should not be updating willy-nilly. There has never been an OS update on any platform that didn't ruin someone's day. This is true across all platforms, I'm not just shitting on Apple here. I skipped Windows 8 entirely and will probably hold off on Windows 10 for at least 6-9 months so they have time to iron out the kinks. If you rely on a computing device: Do not frivolously update it.
Meth: Not Even Once
One of the most compelling iOS 9 features for musicians is the promise of split-screening two different apps side-by-side. Unfortunately you won't be doing any of that unless you are on an iPad Air 2 or an iPad Mini 4.
There is also "Slide Over" multitasking which is a smaller split screen providing some functions from apps specifically tailored to work with it. The Slide Over functionality is limited to iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, and iPad Mini 4.
So unless you're running on the bleeding edge hardware, or have apps updated to support Slide Over, you won't see any major benefit to updating today.
Crack is Whack
And it may take a while for you to see apps updated for iOS 9. As with every iOS update the reviewers at iTunes Connect are swamped, slowing down the approval process. Further gumming up the works this year, Apple didn't allow developers to submit apps built on the latest iOS 9 SDK until the 12th of this month. Developers have had less than a week to gain approval before iOS 9's release today!
Korg is among those developers affected, and has issued a statement warning of crashes on iOS 9 for Gadget, Module, and iM1.
Mary Jane Ruins The Brain
Audiobus' iOS 9 update is also awaiting approval from Apple. I spoke with developer Sebastian Dittmann and he assures me that although there may be some quirks, iOS 9 should not be fatal.
There will be some new nuisances, but these are a "feature" of iOS 9 and not Audiobus bugs. In response to abusive apps launching other apps without permission, Apple has had to implement a new system requiring user's consent. Launching other apps is a big part of what makes Audiobus' workflow so great, so Apple's new pop-up will become quickly tiresome.
This pop-up will occur once per-app to each app connection. For instance:
"Do you want to open Nave from Audiobus?"
You'll recall that a function of Audiobus's app launching is that after the app succesfully launches it takes you back to Audiobus... so you'll get a new pop-up:
"Do you want to open Audiobus from Nave?"
Perhaps you're playing around in Nave and decide you need more reverb:
"Do you want to open AUFX: Space from Audiobus?"
And then of course...
"Do you want to open Audiobus from AUFX: Space?"
I want to stress that the pop-up will only occur once per each app connection. Launching a previously approved app from a previously approved app launcher will not cause the pop-up. This still seems like it will be quite annoying.
Above the Influence
Over the last month I've been getting reports from readers that they are unable to play videos and click on some links here on the site. After a lot of research I concluded that this only happens on iOS 7, irregardless of the browser used. Unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out what is causing it. I hadn't made any changes to the site code when the problems were reported. Even if I totally remove all of my custom code the site is still wonky as fuck on iOS 7. I have always gone out of my way to make sure the site runs smooth on mobile, but I just can't figure out what's happening on iOS 7. I sincerely hope that iOS 9 will be a solid OS we can all update to without losing too many legacy apps.