Android and Music Education Apps

This post is a request for those of you who own Android devices.  I’ve been working on a new release of my book “Practical Technology for Music Education” which features “key” app lists for a number of devices, including Android.

I’m having a very hard time finding quality apps to recommend for Android.

My list, so far, includes:

  • Mobile Sheets
  • EZ PDF
  • iReal b
  • Cleartune
  • Remind 101
  • Class Dojo
  • Music Theory Lessons Pro

If I can be blunt, I’m looking for the great must-have apps, not just apps that have some component of music education in them.  The sort of apps that say, “Buy an Android tablet just because of this app.”

Yes, I’m an iPad owner and apologist; and no, I’m not asking that question in jest.  There might actually be apps on the Android platform that are unique, special, and powerful when on an Android device (note that a lot of my list includes apps that were iOS first).  I’ve been looking on the two app stores and scouring the web to find apps.  It isn’t easy.  Please, PLEASE e-mail me if you have suggestions.

I’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been an Android version of GarageBand from another developer.  The answer: latency seems to be an issue on Android devices.  Latency appears to be anywhere between 20 times (at best) and 60 times (on average) worse on Android than iOS.

Think I’m lying because I’m pro-Apple?  Don’t take my word for it:

I didn’t realize this until I was surfing the web for my book.  I just thought that the device and OS fragmentation of Android devices–not to mention where the money in app development lies (iOS)–kept developers away from Android.

I think I had read somewhere that Miselu, the creators of the upcoming C.24 keyboard, were originally trying to design products for Android.  Now I know why they chose to abandon that effort and to move to iOS.

I can’t fathom why Apple would have put a focus on low latency, and why Android would let their devices have high latency.  I don’t see Apple touting iOS as being better for musicians (they certainly could); low latency is almost an afterthought on their part…something that occurred just because they did other things right.

So…if you are an Android owner/fan, and you are a musician…it looks like you won’t be getting any “serious” music apps (note: music playback and music playing are two different things) any time soon. I’m not picking on you; I’m just rather shocked to learn about this.


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