What’s New in the World of iPad/iPhone/iOS?

Occasionally, I am asked about what is new in the world of iPad, iPhone, and iOS in general.

There have been some new apps that have been released in the past months, but in reality, the entire iOS world is holding its breath right now.

We know, for a fact, that the next iPhone will be announced and be available for preorder on September 12th (Shipments to begin the week of the 20th).  We also expect Apple to introduce an iPad mini (to be released later in the year) and perhaps an update to all other iOS devices–if not just to allow for a smaller iOS connector.  And iOS 6 should be available on the 12th of September, or shortly thereafter.  Whatever else happens is anyone’s guess (New iPod Touch?  New iPod Nano?  New iMacs or Mac Pros?  We’ll see).

In terms of music education, I am waiting for the release of three apps.  Two are relatively imminent, the third is unknown.  The two apps I am waiting for are SMART Notebook for the iPad (which was originally due at the end of July) and Chromatik (scheduled to be released before school starts).  And then I’m waiting for MakeMusic to release a version of SmartMusic for the iPad (this has NOT been promised or discussed by MakeMusic, but I want to see this app).

Some companies, such as MGS Development (makers of forScore) have released updates to their apps, knowing that iOS 6 is right around the corner.  Most developers have experienced iOS upgrades in the past, and are fully aware (and testing beta versions of iOS6) to make sure their apps work with the updated operating system.  Watch for the next major series of updates as soon as Apple announces that developers should start uploading iOS 6 apps.

The biggest upcoming change is the “aging out” of the iPad 1.  It’s a little bit of a surprise, as the iPad 1 was released in 2010, but the iPad 2 was such an advancement over the iPad 1 (it’s actually amazing how much changed between the iPad 1 and iPad 2) that it makes sense that the iPad 1 would be outdated.  Many apps will continue to work on iOS 5 and the iPad 1, but developers will eventually begin writing apps just for iOS 6.  I feel bad for schools that adopted the iPad 1 in 1-to-1 settings, as I don’t think the iPad 2 will have the same limited life span for iOS updates (I expect the iPad 2 to get iOS 7 and perhaps even iOS 8).  If you own an iPad 1, it might be a good time to try to sell that device and upgrade.

Once again, the answer to the question, “What’s new?” is “Not much.”  But some big changes are coming in the next four weeks!

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