iOS 7 Features Inter-App Audio – What Does This mean?

As it becomes clear that iOS 7 features inter-app audio, we take a look at what this might mean for musicians and DJs

Inter app audio in iOS is a feature that has been talked about for months and months. Well, since it was first mooted ahead of the launch iOS 6, in fact- but it sadly never made it to that operating system revision.

Now, however, it appears that iOS 7 will see this feature finally implemented. Though it wasn’t mentioned in the keynote speech, a glance at Apple’s developer page reveals that it has now been added to the list of new features.

Exciting times for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users, it would seem. But what does inter app audio do, and what does this actually mean for musicians and DJs?

iOS 7 Features Inter-App Audio - Moog Animoog

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It’s fair to say that iOS has been embraced by music software and hardware developers already. IK Multimedia had a solid gold hit on its hands with the iRig, Focusrite seems to be making its interfaces iOS compatible as a matter of course now, and just this week, Native instruments revealed the new Z1 DJ controller.

iOS 7 Features Inter-App Audio - Native Instruments Z1

This is now being taken serious as a music platform. However, there are major drawbacks preventing it from offering the same sort of flexibility as a traditional computer based set-up.

IOS apps have been unable to stream audio channels between each other. So, if there’s a synth app you love, you wouldn’t be able to stream the audio into a recording app (unless you used a third party app like Audiobus).

iOS 7 Features Inter-App Audio - Focusrite iTrack

Until now.

Inter-app audio builds this functionality into iOS 7 as standard. In a sense, the technology is much like Rewire, allowing the apps to ‘tap’ audio streams. One would imagine that, as it’s an integral part of the OS, it wouldn’t be hampered by the ‘host’ ‘slave’ relationship.

The potential to integrate to integrate existing instrument apps into recording apps is huge. Plus, for the DJ, doing things like, say, synchronising a drum machine to a DJ app (perhaps Maschine to Traktor DJ, for instance) suddenly becomes a possibility.

With dedicated functionality, and so many compatible apps and hardware available, to possibilities are endless…

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