One of the frustrating things that Apple did last year–in the midst of some wonderful things–was to make GarageBand for iOS free, but then to offer all the features of GarageBand via an In-App Purchase.
Schools were unable to purchase In-App Purchases as a bulk purchase (VPP), and one techinmusiced reader left a comment that Apple only allows five IAPs from a single credit card. As a result, schools were unable to unlock the full version of GarageBand on iOS for their students.
I watched every minute of the two Apple events this fall, and noted that some functionality was added back to GarageBand on iOS (and GarageBand on the Mac), but I missed the fact that GarageBand on iOS no longer has In-App Purchases.
I am in the habit of contacting Apple when I feel like there is a major problem, and had been interacting with some members of the Apple team last year about the GarageBand IAP issue. After our discussion, I knew they were aware of the issue. Just this past week, I contacted one of the members of the same Apple team to let them know about the new mi.1 wireless MIDI adapter (see my previous article), and they asked me what I thought about the removal of the IAPs. I knew nothing about it. If I didn’t know, perhaps you didn’t know, either.
Students with existing copies of GarageBand will need to “purchase” the IAPs, but upon checkout, they are free-and I think the iOS 8 version of GarageBand is fully functional.
This is great news for schools, and although GarageBand isn’t the same on iOS as it is on the Mac, and certainly not as fully-featured as other DAWs, you can teach a lot of electronic music/music technology concepts with GarageBand for iOS that are transferrable to other platforms (Mac, Apple, or beyond).
I would not have known that the IAPs were removed until May, when we begin our GarageBand units (my own version of GarageBand for iOS is fully functional, as I originally purchased it when it came out in 2011).
Go enjoy the full version of GarageBand on iOS with your students! Thank you for listening, Apple!