You have to hand it to Apple – people do care about what they’re doing. Interest in how iOS 7 impacts audio performance is proving more dynamic than I imagined.

As an addendum to the story earlier today, it’s worth adding just two points for users – and highlighting some code for developers.

1. This stuff is likely to be fixed. Of course, that’s the best argument for chilling out and waiting. Let the developers (and eager testers) try stuff out, report what isn’t working, and allow third-party developers (and Apple, where relevant) make it work again. If you’re the sort of person who likes tinkering with a phone or iPad, then you should press on. If not, then you should heed our advice.

2. There is mainly one show-stopper bug. Upgrading will mean different experiences for different users – some of you have apps that work just fine, some of you might rely on just one app you really love that hasn’t yet been updated and has some problem.

Most of the issues are isolated, but one is more widespread, and it may be enough to make you want to postpone your upgrade. Through the course of the day, we’ve heard more about the “interrupting alert” problem. From comments, one developer tells CDM readers what’s going on in clear terms – and give you a workaround, if you are upgrading today:

After the phone call or alert is dismissed, audio apps cannot recover their audio session and will either hang indefinitely, crash, or present an error message depending on the app.

The bug typically only occurs when using headphones plugged into the iOS device, and does not seem to happen when using USB audio interfaces or the built in device speaker.

Normally, once the phone call or alert is finished and dismissed, audio apps will resume playback.

It appears this particular problem – and its eventual solution – are both on the OS side. With an iOS 7.0.1 update already released in the last few hours (the same day as release), a quick fix from Apple seems possible. (7.0.1 doesn’t impact anything we’re talking about here; it’s for iPhone 5S and 5C owners only.)

This is a bit ironic to me, in that one of the things I admire about iOS on the development side is its ability to handle the lifecycle of sound in an app without developer intervention. But… well, hopefully they fix it and I can go back to admiring that.

Any major updates, we’ll carry here; otherwise, keep an eye on Twitter accounts and support forums for the latest from your favorite developers.

For developers: Let’s talk about an advantage for sound in iOS 7. Having built-in inter-app audio should be a good thing, and should eventually complement specialized tools like Audiobua and JACK.

Zach Saul, founder of music developer Retronyms (maker of Tabletop and Akai apps), writes in CDM comments:

We think inter-app audio is going to be fantastic for iOS music apps. To help things along, we’ve put our basic AudioIO setup code up on our blog. This is an expanded version of the AURemoteIO code that should do all of the setup that you need to be an inter-app host or a node, and it also works with AudioBus! We’ve included it in a sample project that acts as a simple inter-app audio node that plays a 440hz sine wave. If you need a sample host, an inter-app update for Tabletop is coming soon… ;)

Grab it on their blog.

Thanks, Zach!

  • George Macklin

    What happens if the phone is set to Airplane Mode? It could work as another work around to dodge the audio session crashes. Hell, if I’m dorking out with music apps on my iPhone, the last thing I want to do is answer the phone or respond to a text.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      That’s actually probably the best workaround right there. And that’s good advice generally … though it knocks out some wifi applications. ;) I still wish Do Not Disturb worked the way it was described.

    • Peter

      Someone told me that airplane mode knocks out his irig midi interface, is that true?

    • Zach Saul

      I think you can turn wifi back on after you are in airplane mode, and it’ll work. Some airplanes have wifi these days…

    • derp

      it´s possible to use wifi in airplane mode!

    • Mark Triant

      peter, they’ve updated Do Not Disturb in this release so that you can choose (in Settings) for it to function all the time, not just when your device is locked. This seems like the best solution in cases where (for instance) you need to have wifi/bluetooth/cell data enabled.

  • HoldernessMedia

    Yes, Airplane Mode is a good idea if you can use it, it depends on your setup. It won’t prevent alarm clock alerts but of course those are much less likely to happen. I’ll update my posts to mention Airplane Mode as another workaround option. Thanks =)

  • lala

    so its basically about the phone and not iPads, lol

    • HoldernessMedia

      Not exactly, iPads can get FaceTime calls and other alerts, and the bug occasionally occurs when simply switching between apps. Obviously phone calls are the most likely interruption which will affect the iPhone more.

    • lala

      thx

  • Andy Cartridge

    its not just apps that process audio that have problems, ‘TOUCHABLE USERS : PLEASE DON’T UPGRADE TO IOS7 OR THE APP WILL CRASH AT STARTUP.’

    that facebook post links to the cdm article about not upgrading, and i’m sure the actual mention of touchable is in a comment posted by a user having problems…

    i was in the middle of downloading the ios7 when i saw it, and stopped the download by turning off the ipad, its come back on to ios6 no problem
    am trying not to feel abit annoyed that the touchable devs dont have this fixed with betas for ios7 being available for months…
    obviously they have all been working on version 2 which is due now they said! – but i shouldnt get annoyed with the delay to V2 as it is free after all..

    (but i did pay for v1 which is now broken if i upgrade my os..)

    ((omg i posted this on the wrong page, then deleted it and posted it here – but now its saying i’ve all ready posted it so am adding this sentence at the end so hopefully it will let me post))

  • alexandra.kwc

    Many people want mobile apps but think it is too hard to create them. Fortunately now there are quite a lot of useful online services which allow building apps without programming skills and in hours. I am using SnAPPii at the moment and really glad I can feel like a mobile app developer and make apps on my own.

    • Tosh

      Spammer

    • Waseem14

      Well trained spamer

  • Andy Cartridge

    touchable works fine by the way, if it does not work with ios7, delete it and download it again from the apple store..
    its what they said to do on their facebook page and it works fine so far :)

  • Petter Wiik

    Well, I am at this moment playing Samplr, Magellan and iElectribe at the same time on my iPad 2 without any problems in iOS 7. Kind of neat:). (Without AudioBus).

  • GaryInThailand

    This bug is exactly the reason I use every iOS device except iPhone. I don’t WANT to to get phone call from my synthesizer during a performance!

    • Rachel R Case

      So long as you’re not broadcasting wirelessly, you can put it on Airplane Mode (and make sure all your alarms are turned off!!). No data in or out.

  • thewu

    Good article. These issues are going to be fixed. Inter-app-audio in iOS 7 is a great tech and we hope to see more Apps use it. Here’s one new iOS 7 music Apps that can enhance playback quality of audio from other iOS 7 Apps that support inter-app-audio: http://audiophileapp.com/ – If you are aware of other iOS 7 Apps that support in-app-audio then please post them here.

  • Sagar

    My iPad 2 Audio has gone flat……….

  • jc

    Is there a master list anywhere of music apps which do/do not work at this point with iOS 7? That would be really helpful to decide whether to move forward or not.