Apart from the text we copied yesterday, audio developers can’t say anything about the contents of audio APIs in Apple’s new iOS 7. It’s all under NDA. So, instead, since Apple is all about feelings this week, let me convey the emotion I’m hearing about audio in the iOS update, in the form of a Facebook sticker:


It was only recently that I had to explain that two solutions to getting sound between apps are better than one (now JACK and Audiobus – support for each continues to grow). Now, it seems, we’re wrapping our heads around the feature being baked into the operating system and in external tools.

But just as JACK and Audiobus are beginning to work together to make inter-app functionality more powerful, the Apple technologies under the hood should pack more power into all of these tools. The Audiobus crew have made an official statement, saying they have “big plans”:

Weโ€™d just like to say this: Weโ€™re excited about the great work the Core Audio team have done on the new functionality, which has some terrific features that only a team at Apple with system-level access could achieve

… we believe Audiobus is going to continue to be a valuable member of the community, bringing music apps and devices together.

Emphasis mine. The ability to have system-level features is important, because that isn’t stuff that a third party can always do. And there is still room for additional functionality in user interface, in bringing together all these apps, and … well, note the discussion of multiple devices. (The JACK side also shows some potential to working across devices.)

On Inter-App Audio in iOS 7 [Audiobus Tumblr]

Remember, both JACK and Audiobus already rely on APIs that are built into the operating system. The magic they do is all because of what Core Audio makes available. They’re not hacks, and the support you add in an app is in turn based on supporting core APIs in the OS. It makes sense that progress between the third parties and the OS will – and should – proceed in tandem. This is how OS audio should work on any platform.

I think it could be an exciting time. And it does show the passion from the Core Audio team for doing this stuff. I expect some of them are reading, so, hello, folks, and keep up the good work.

  • http://alexbuga.is/ Alex Buga

    Well, Apple has already implemented a inter-device audio stream in Garage Band. I now expect to see that in the public SDK also.

    It would be awesome to connect the iPad (MIDI & Audio) to the Mac via WIFI and no lag ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Robin Renwick

    Personally, i am interested to know whether Jacktrip (https://ccrma.stanford.edu/groups/soundwire/software/jacktrip/) has the potential to be implemented onto iOS seeing as the backend, JACK, is now in place. UDP packeted audio communication across devices using internet infrastructure would be very interesting indeed.

  • Gwydion

    Hi Peter, seen the hour-long video on inter-app audio in the WWDC video sessions?

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I’ve downloaded the SDK. Unfortunately, we can’t comment on WWDC sessions or videos or the SDK or developer documentation on CDM; they’re covered by an NDA.

    • Gwydion

      Yeah, just checking if you’d seen the video that may or may not exist… :-) No further comment :-)

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      If such a video were to exist, I can confirm that I would be likely to watch it, along with reading any developer documentation on the APIs Apple has confirmed exist but the details of which may or may not. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • PaulDavisTheFirst

    The question to ask yourself, if you’re a developer, is: do I plan to use an Apple-specific API for achieving inter-app audio or do I leave all the dirty work to the maintainers of JACK, and rely on its cross-platform-ness to ensure that I don’t have to do this work over and over again?

    Of course, there are a bunch of developers who can’t even imagine developing for anything except an Apple platform. Those folks might want to ask themselves about whether they want to provide inter-app functionality to their potential customers who are stuck (for now) with earlier versions of Apple operating systems, where JACK will work and Apple’s new stuff will not exist.

    Do you feel lucky?

  • thewu

    Check out Audiophile for iPad, the first iOS 7 App with inter-app-audio support – now available in the App Store. http://audiophileapp.com