As this Thankgiving Day draws to a close (and a very late “Happy Thanksgiving” to everyone), I was reminded this evening how fortunate iOS users, who use music apps, truly are. Perhaps I could pen that sentence in a better way, but I think I am going to leave it.
This afternoon, I purchased some ukulele Christmas tab books from The Ukulele Hunt. When we arrived at home, I wanted to put those PDFs on my iPad and started playing.
My usual PDF app is forScore. forScore recently issued an update, and I cannot get the app to install on my iPad. Therefore, it is sitting unusable on my device. I’m not mad about this, and it wouldn’t cause me to tell people to not buy forScore. Instead I fired up unrealBook, imported the PDF files from Dropbox, and was playing ukulele in no time at all.
Here is where iPad users are fortunate: we have devices that work VERY well for music reading, in a number of configurations, including a 12.9″ iPad. At the same time, we have a number of accessories that make interacting with the music easier (AirTurn pedals, AirTurn iPad mounts, Apple Pencil (for pro models), and Adonit Jot Dash and Adonit Snap styluses), and a bunch of great apps that other platforms can only dream about.
Beyond forScore and unrealBook, which I recommend the purchase of both to everyone, there are many more PDF music readers, such as NextPage and even the (generally free with IAPs) app, PiaScore. There is also another generation of music readers, such as Newzik, SuperScore, and Gustaf that combine the possibilities of MusicXML as well as PDF files. And in a pinch, many other PDF apps can work very well, where other platforms lack a single good app.
I don’t want to talk down other platforms, and iOS has its issues, too. But I am still amazed at my iOS devices and how they have seamlessly integrated into my daily life and my teaching–and I cannot imagine my life without these devices. They improve the quality of my life (and allow me to invest my time in the things that interest me) and they help me in my profession. The combination of ease of use and quality apps, along with core functionality (e.g. Core MIDI, BLE MIDI) make my iOS devices a essential element of my existence…and I am thankful for them today.
Again, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Check out my friend’s, Paul Shimmons, web page for a bunch of music apps that are on sale for Black Friday!