Audio Software on Android?

The trend has been obvious for the last couple years: Android platform adoption was overtaking iOS adoption. So does that mean Android will become the preferred platform for mobile music production?

Audio on android?The trend has been obvious for the last couple years: Android platform adoption was overtaking iOS adoption. So does that mean Android will become the preferred platform for mobile music production? Probably not. This pattern has played out in the past, and a similar one is likely to occur in the future.

Back in the mid 1980’s Apple seemed to be unstoppable. IBM introduced the PC, and shortly thereafter, other hardware manufacturers sprang up and clean-roomed IBM’s BIOS, which thrust a ton of cheap alternatives to the Macintosh onto the market. The trend was clear, and by the mid-90’s Apple’s overall market share had dropped to something like 10%. But if you looked at the market share for audio production, the Macintosh still had 50% of the total. This was largely the result of Apple’s focus on desktop publishing and presenting the simplest user interface possible.

Today, there is another factor that might keep the iOS on top: piracy. Android devices are relatively easy to hack, with little of the sandboxing that is the hallmark of iOS apps. Sure, you can jailbreak an iPad, but that takes a lot more effort that running a rogue piece of software and that makes a big difference. For this reason the big audio software developers are unlikely to put out any significant software on the android platform unless there is another revenue stream they can tap besides app sales.

Over the longer term, Apple’s tradition of higher than average investment in R & D is likely to keep the iOS the environment highly desirable for musicians. After all, the less distracted by the user interface you are, the more time you can spend being a musician and making great music.

So while it is likely that there will be some great audio apps on the Android platform, the hip place to be will be iOS for the foreseeable future. Adoption rates alone will not drive development in favor of the Android.

 

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