Just wait a while, okay? Photo courtesy Apple.

Just wait a while, okay? Photo courtesy Apple.

We’ve been waiting for the moment at which a post-PC, mobile operating system has equaled a desktop OS for serious music making. Well, that moment has arrived —

— in that we get to release a dire warning about an OS update breaking music-making apps. Yes, now iOS 7 shares that dubious distinction of countless OS X and Windows upgrades over the years. (Sniff. They grow up so fast.)

It’s not a coincidence. Once you do start using a variety of music apps on a platform, you need to be more careful about OS updates – any OS updates. Music apps make use of a variety of low-level audio performance and networking functions that makes them unusually vulnerable to OS changes.

And with iOS 7, that means some apps will encounter problems with audio and functionality. (“Some” is a key word. You might find your apps are just fine. Then again, if 100% of your apps are working on iOS 6… you see why you might use caution.)

For many users, this may also simply mean updating the phone to iOS 7 and keeping the critical iPad on iOS 6. That also means the iPhone or iPod touch can be used to verify compatibility.

Issues we’ve been able to verify at least in some cases include:

  • Audio performance issues and glitches. (These are hard to track down, but it’s safe to say that for now it may be worth delaying, pending app updates or even a point-release OS update from Apple.)
  • Issues with inter-app audio, maybe. At the moment, Audiobus’ developers suggest users stick with iOS 6 (this even as they’ve worked on a number of iOS 7-specific resolutions). Details below. Note that Audiobus is considered itself compatible with iOS 7, and many apps may work just fine. But because of the number of apps out there, and some isolated but significant issues, you may find your selection of apps works better on iOS 6 than iOS 7. JACK for iOS also has not yet verified support.
  • Other specific bugs. Some apps that haven’t yet supported the latest AudioCopy SDK may need to be updated, and there may be other app-specific bugs as developers test the new OS. That means you may want to double-check that your favorite apps explicitly say “iOS 7 compatible.”

Cause for delay, not cause for alarm. Oh, we’ve been here before, you know, every year since operating system time immemorial. (Guess that’s some time in 1969, technically?) Here’s how it works: these are subtle issues that are likely to be resolved, if you wait. But waiting is smart, because it’s better to hold out on new OS features but keep audio applications running smoothly.

As a side note, it’s also worth considering the inter-app audio story on iOS 7:

You’ll recall that at WWDC 2012, we saw a slide that mentioned “inter-app audio.” That feature didn’t ship in iOS 6, and instead the powerful Audiobus took its place. (Later, so did the broader-reaching, if less widely-adopted, JACK.) These tools allow you to, for instance, process a synthesizer app with an effect app or record them into a DAW app. Even Apple’s own GarageBand supports Audiobus.

Then, in WWDC this year, inter-app audio reappeared. It’s shipping in iOS 7, and because iOS 7 is out today, there’s no longer an NDA. What I can tell you is that Apple’s inter-app audio implementation hasn’t been adopted by many major music making apps yet. Edit: again, “yet” is a key word. Someone in comments points to Yamaha’s TNR-i app, for starters. And it does less than what Audiobus and JACK do, meaning it isn’t yet a replacement for those tools.

Clarification: I should specify exactly what I mean by that, as I do think having built-in inter-app audio is a really good thing. Audiobus’ client app adds functionality that goes beyond just having a framework. It allows users to find other apps that support Audiobus, it provides a graphical interface for simple routing, and facilities for quick-and-easy recording and so on. JACK goes beyond either of these tools by providing sophisticated, modular-style point-to-point routings and network and MIDI synchronization features. Hopefully, in the long run, all three standards will interoperate. For now, because apps need to support the new iOS 7 stuff, it’s just too early for musicians to take advantage of inter-app audio – it’s more of interest to developers than end users. And it remains unproven in real-world performance, which leads to the same conclusion.

I can’t yet report whether the audio glitches app creators are encountering are related to inter-app audio or something else altogether, so it’s too soon to associate these two developments. However, in addition to recommending users stick with iOS 6 for now, it’s also worth saying that for the foreseeable future, JACK and Audiobus will continue to be the preferred inter-app audio solutions on the platform.

And Audiobus have gone as far as to encourage users to stick with iOS 6 to avoid compatibility issues with apps – even beyond Audiobus itself:

We’re on the cusp of iOS 7, and we’re here to urge caution: If you rely on music apps, please don’t update yet.

iOS 7 audio is not ready. There are a wide variety of bugs that are causing performance problems, crashes and other problems in a large number of music apps.

This may change in the future, but until we see a few point releases for the OS, we strongly urge you to stick with iOS 6.

That sounds like good advice to us. Those new icons can wait.

Better news for late adopters. In better news for end users, I think, you can now download older versions of an app when a new version requires an OS later than the one you have. So if an app requires iOS 6 but your device is on iOS 5 (or stuck there), you can still use it. For musicians trying to make use of stable handhelds and tablets, this seems positive.

As reported on Synthtopia:
Apple’s App Store Now Lets You Download ‘Last Compatible Version’ Of Apps For Older Devices

Not all developers are happy, though. Here’s a blog entry from one who is disturbed Apple didn’t include devs in the discussion:

Ghost from the Past [Kyle Richter]

  • pizzafuck

    gonna wait for the jailbreak 😉

  • subshell001

    Inter-app audio is pretty fantastic (Apple gave a great demo of it at WWDC), but yeah if you depend on 3rd party music apps to do your job or gig, definitely wait for those devs to update their apps with iOS 7 support.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      It’s pretty fantastic *if it works*. I haven’t yet found a developer who has successfully implemented it in a creation app, as I said, and found a few who were struggling. Now, we’re past NDA, so if someone works it out and posts some code, and if we determine it is performing well in the real world, I’m all ears. But both Audiobus and JACK do some things that aren’t included in that implementation, too.

      I don’t think this is a reason to hold back from iOS 7 (unlike the other issues, at least pending updates). But it may mean calibrating expectations for now – whatever they showed in the demo. 😉

    • chompy

      I made it work in an example app with code from the demo session and my own tweaks.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yes, and I am now stumbling across more apps – I mean, like I said, I’m just awaiting real-world practice. I can see this becoming very useful in time. Good to hear you had a good experience. If you want to share code tweaks, too, of course, now we can, now that it’s public software.

    • Zach Saul (Retronyms Founder)

      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 from http://atastypixel.com/blog/using-remoteio-audio-unit/ 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… 😉


  • Michael McDermott

    Yeah I’ve had iOS 7 Beta on my iPad for a bit. Self contained apps like Samplr and Animoog seemed fine. Apps that communicated with other Apps like Audiobus or even Apps that used wifi like Lemur and Touchable crash right away. Gonna rollback to iOS 6 for a while.

  • http://www.qbical.net/ Qbical

    Used the beta’s on my iPad mini with the lemur app and some other midi over wifi apps, no problems at all!

  • Andy Cartridge

    bloody hell. i wanted the new os – but i cant download it for my ipad anyway, its saying an error has occured and stopped. – i WANT it for my iphone though, but its a 3gig download and i dont have any free memory on my 16gig phone … FFS

    • Manu

      Clear memory make sure u have abt 8 gig free and then try to update..

    • Andy Cartridge

      gonna give it another go on my phone once i’ve got the 4 gig of pics and video off :/

  • Andy Cartridge

    i wasnt so bothered hearing about it maybe making some audio apps glitch on my ipad… but if it kills touchable – when there is the big 2.0 update due.. thats going to hold me back from getting ios7…. how long till 7.0.1 ? months i imagine :/

    • suraj

      they’ll release ios 7.0.1 just a few weeks from now .. wait 24 hrs and u’ll already start reading problems with most of the apps

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      I don’t think it’s that bad. I do think you’ll see some updates that are straggling. Keep in mind, too, that because of the App Store process, a developer can’t just push an update the same day as the OS release as they would on desktop. So it’s possible some fixes are still in the pipeline awaiting approval. (Whether you want to blame that on the App Store on the developer is up to you.)

    • Sylvain / touchAble team

      Our tests indicate that v1 actually does run with iOS7. So if you ran
      into trouble – please try and delete the app and download it again from
      the app store!

  • chompy

    i’ve been using Figure, Traktor DJ and iMaschine on my iPhone 5 running 7 for about 2 months without any issues.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, absolutely; I don’t want to give the impression that everything breaks. But there are so many apps out there, and some known problems, that for people who *aren’t* early adopters as you were, it may make sense to wait a bit.

    • heinrichz

      ok great to hear, it’s a go for me then

  • Scott Maphilisto

    anybody down load on 4s iphone is it bugged?

    • Ania


    • Michal Borowski

      I got iOS 7 on my iPhone 4S since first beta, so I had time to take a closer look at this new OS. Since beta 3, overall performance of my phone is A LOT better than on iOS 6. App switching, web browsing, UI responsiveness…I had feeling that I got new phone 😉

      I use final/golden master version for last few days, and so far it works great. Apps that used to glitch, hang or refuse to run during beta period, now function correctly and doesn’t have performance hick-ups. Finally I can use Audiobus :)

    • Rich

      It runs perfectly smooth on my 4S. No issues at all so far.

    • Scott Maphilisto

      ya it works i downloaded thanks it works I like it better

  • man


  • heinrichz

    Thanks for the heads up ! inter-app by is good news, i hope it will not just be useable for Apple audio apps but more of an open utility also for 3rd party stuff.

  • burberry19

    I’ve been using iOS 7 on the GM version for a few days now on an iPhone 5. Have not encountered any apps that don’t work and have not ran into any audio issues yet.

  • Mike

    Yamaha TNR-1 app is updated to support iOS 7 inter-app audio.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Great; good to hear. I’ll be interested to watch who else is out there, too.

    • Zylice

      Would the music-enhancing app called “LouderLogic {mcdsp}” work fine on iOS7?!

  • angel

    i cant access some sites by wi fi that i always use but it will let me by 3g

  • Sam

    Why isn’t there any ios 7 update for the iPad

    • D@rth T@ter

      there is

    • Akash Pradeep

      but it shows error when downloading

  • HoldernessMedia

    Hello, Echo Pad dev here. I’m seeing a little bit of paranoia and uneducated comments all over the web about iOS 7 (not here so much), so I wanted to post what I shared on other sites here.

    For those updating to iOS 7, be aware there is currently a bug that affects all apps that record/process live audio input, including my own app Echo Pad, Audiobus, and many others. Thankfully it happens much less frequently on the iPad, and it is pretty easy to workaround when the bug occurs. The steps to fix the problem when it happens are listed below.

    The bug occurs when receiving a phone call or an alarm clock alert that temporarily shuts down audio.
    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.

    This is a bug with iOS 7.0 and there is currently no solution that audio app developers could have implemented to fix it, Apple has been made aware of the bug and we are waiting for them to correct this in an update.

    Bottom line – If you perform live and/or need rock solid stability with your iOS device and audio apps, you should probably hold off for a little while until you are sure that all your critical apps are compatible AND stable with iOS 7. This is pretty standard for any platform when a major OS update is released. Considering Apple has already released 7.0.1 with bugfixes for the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, I don’t think we’ll have to wait very long until they address the audio related bugs. I could be wrong of course, so don’t quote me on that, haha.

    I’d like to note that I’ve been using iOS 7 for weeks on my iPad 2 and iPhone 5, and although this bug is a bit of a pain in the ass, it hasn’t been a show stopper for me.

    I know this may sound polarizing as I just warned about this big bug with iOS 7, but I always get really excited about new OS updates, I update my devices way before it’s considered “safe”, and just deal with the rough edges for a few days/weeks. I actually really like iOS 7 and am very excited about the progress of the iOS platform for audio. Once these few audio related bugs are ironed out in the next couple of updates from Apple, I would definitely recommend updating.

    Now, for the more adventurous who have already updated to iOS 7 (myself included as I’m not performing live at the moment), here is how to correct the bug when it occurs.

    Solution to get audio apps working again if/when the bug occurs:

    1. Once the interruption happens and your app(s) are no longer responsive, don’t panic, and don’t waste time complaining online. It’s easy to get things working again.

    2. Quit any audio apps you were running COMPLETELY by removing them from the multi-task bar. Simply closing and re-opening the app without removing it from the multi-task bar is not enough, and will not recover the audio. Removing apps from the multi-task bar is a little different on iOS 7 than it is on previous versions of iOS. See step 3.

    3. To remove an app from the multi-task bar in iOS 7, double tap the home button or use the 4-finger swipe up gesture to display multi-tasking.

    4. With one finger, swipe up on the app’s window to remove it from the multi-task bar. The app’s window will slide upwards out of view.

    5. Once all audio apps have been removed from the multi-task bar, you can now relaunch them and audio will work correctly as before.

    • HoldernessMedia

      Another temporary workaround is to enable Airplane mode to prevent incoming calls, though this might not be an option if you depend on Wifi for your setup.

  • Kristina Daye

    Not sure what’s going on, but I’ve tried thrice now to download the update, and thrice have been denied. Apparently it’s not available..this after taking forever to download and then verify.

  • jon lindsey

    I’m usually one to wait before updating anything ( after learning the hard way 1 too many times) but this time I crossed my fingers and went for the update on my ipad2.
    So far everything works except korg ims20. I didn’t get far enough in it to find out if any apps glitches or anything but everything else seems to work fine so far.
    App list.
    Multitrack DAW
    Jamup pro
    Epic synth
    Nlog pro

    • Zylice

      Will the music-enhancing app called “LouderLogic {mcdsp}” work fine on iOS7?!

    • JamesGavriel

      Not with the AmpliTube and the GarageBand.. as I said, its making noise or Hums, using there old iRig, it was fine during the iOS6, noise gate on Garageband can control but not with this iOS7, have you tried lowering the noise gate on the garageband? and it squeeks or makes noise, thats what is is now even you increase the Noise gate in Full.

  • Marg

    After i install iOS7, the touch screen wouldn’t work. I can’t slide to unlock my phone. Can somebody please help or atleast tell me what can i do to fix it?

    • jason

      Hey I have it too, may I know what was the last action you did? I googled and did not find much about this error.

    • Sammi

      Mine done this. I simply let the battery go dead and when i turned it back on. It worked

  • anjan

    is anyone having problem with ringer volume going low than usual volume???

    • dave

      yeah i am to so quiet

    • ramratan

      yes, down by 30-40%, loudness is not same as IOS6, for same phone and same ringtone.

    • NYChaos

      Same here!!!

  • Alex Sanders

    In the AppStore, in new iOS 7, I see all my old apps which need to be updated (the notification service tells me I got 11 of them), but the problem is I don’t know how to update an app at all, can you imagine? I mean, yeah, you may be laughing, however, when iOS 7 asked me if I wanted the auto-update, I said ‘Yes, OK’.
    Looked at my home-screen two hours later after the update, it turned out I got bunch of apps still old, so where’s the auto-update I’ve been told about?
    Tried to update them manually, but it’s still pretty much nothing: all I can get in there is just a small circle next the app’s name, and this is it (of course, got knows what the circle means).
    So, totally confused about that.
    Anybody got an idea how to deal with it?
    Thank you.

  • p4cm4n

    Can’t wait to control ableton live with touchable while sending midi over wifi to apps and take that audio back at live through audiobus…. 😀

  • Andy Cartridge
  • Zylice

    I was wondering, Does anyone know if the music-enhancing app “LouderLogic” by develepor “McDSP” works OK on iOS7?!



  • KiLLeRz

    Can someone help me i just installed ios 7 on my ipad mini and since i installed it there was no sudi tried playing music, a video and even the sound on games but there is still no sound can someone tell me how i can fix it…..

  • yendo herrera

    Who regulates this market, for to be a very expensive product, has many errors.(http://www.officegraphicdesign.com/ecommerce-Store-Design- prestashop-Miami/ ) when what they promise the time of purchase of this device is quality and this is precisely what it lacks.

  • Jaspreet

    I’m not been able to record videos on my ipad mini after “ios7”, is this problem to everyone .

    • Tim

      Instead of tapping the screen, u need to slide ur finger down or up to select. Problem solved. It took me a few seconds to figure it out.

  • wirkkala

    Do you think this might include Apple’s own music player? I upgraded last week and this weekend I realized every time I unlock the phone, the music skips, it happens with every track, even with the music I bought straight from the iTunes store so I don’t think it’s a file problem. It’s very annoying!!

  • Gurpreet Anand

    my ringer volume just got slowed down aftr i updated os7

  • MikeS85

    The music player on the iPhone is so mucked up I don’t even begin to know where to start complaining. Entire albums have disappeared; crap that I never added to my phone is there, and I tried to download a new album yesterday and it simply won’t add to my phone. iPod and iPad fine, but not the phone. Wish I’d waited…

  • JamesGavriel

    Wahh! im screwed! Now I have to Wait for some update and Fix. GarageBand and Amplitube are Making so much Squeeks and Hums or Noise! it was working on iOS6 not with this iOS7.. damn!

  • Rick Hunter

    I recently updated to iOS7 prior to seeing your article and purchased a Focusrite iTrack Solo interface for recording to Garageband on an iPad 3, after reading many glowing reviews of the iTrack product. I never could get it to work correctly (distorted audio in the multitrack screen) and even sent the first box back and got a replacement that gave me the same problem. Funny enough, my Apogee Jam guitar interface and iRig Pre mic interface both work perfectly fine with iOS7 & GB. Now, that Apple has upgraded GarageBand, I don’t know if that would have made the Focusrite work as it should but I’ll wait a while longer before I consider ordering another.