Attention iPhone owners! You know how you can never seem to find a great music streaming service for iOS? Well, Google has released their Google Play Music app on iOS, which features their All Access service with library of 18+ million songs. At long last, I can ditch the gigs of music on my iPhone and tap into this cloud music business I’ve heard so much about.
Okay, so that was probably an unnecessarily snarky opening, but please forgive me if I don’t get excited about yet another streaming music service that’s incredibly late to the party. Especially when the last service to land on iOS ended up being rather lackluster (I’m referring to Xbox Music for those that didn’t wish to click the link). I can only speak for myself, but as a member of the Rdio faithful, Google’s music service has a lot to prove for me to even entertain the notion of jumping ship. Let’s find out if it can do just that. (more…)
If you’ve ever taken a trip on the London Underground (or any subway service for that matter) then you’ll no doubt notice that each train is littered with small ads, providing both an effective means of marketing whilst giving us commuters something to read when we’ve accidentally left our headphones at home.
Sandwiched between the various online dating sites (apparently everyone in London is lonely) and cosmetic surgery boutiques was an ad for a new online music service called Bloom.fm. The ad, promising features such as 22 million tracks, offline playback and a radio service similar to that of Spotify and Rdio, was enough to pique my interest. After spending a few days with the iPhone app and service, I can honestly say it is making me think twice about continuing my Spotify Premium subscription.
Spotify have been allowing developers to build upon their platform for some time now, giving developers the ability to build their own music discovery apps and services that go beyond anything Spotify alone could do.
One such service that has been made available recently is Moodsnap, a music discovery app for iOS users with a Spotify Premium subscription. Moodsnap finds music based upon your mood by choosing from a number of pre-selected pictures to best represent how you feel. While it’s an interesting idea, the app is far too buggy and its lack of variety and often confusing images makes it hard to understand why it’s a better alternative to any other music discovery app, including Spotify Radio.
Let me get this out of the way: iOS 7 is great. I love it. But it’s not perfect. There’s a million fantastic improvements, but there’s also a few things that Apple still hasn’t gotten around to improving. I’m not talking about design problems (although there are a couple of those), but rather about some of the little quirks that still drive me crazy.
With that in mind, this is my attempt to keep a small log of the things that really bother me. Consider this is a wish list of tiny things I wish Apple would get around to in iOS 7.1.
Last December I wrote an opinion piece about Microsoft’s (and Google’s) place in the iOS ecosystem. In the article, I stated that Microsoft had finally learned that restricting their popular services for the Windows Phone 8 operating system doesn’t necessarily translate to more sales of hardware devices running said OS. This transition of philosophy was evidenced by the release of Microsoft’s popular services like SkyDrive, Xbox SmartGlass and OneNote on iOS.
Since then, Microsoft has even released Office, though the app is restricted to those subscribing to Office 365. Another popular service that finally made its debut on the iPhone just a few weeks prior is Xbox Music. I won’t deny that I was anxiously waiting to see that Microsoft had in store, as I’ve long admired their music service. Join me after the jump as I determine whether or not my wait was in vain. (more…)
Like a DJ in your pocket, Splyce is a beautiful music player that lets you select songs and order the playlist before mixing the beats, displaying visual effects, creating a light show and more. All it takes is just some basic instruction from you, and Splyce will get the party started.
Use the app as an everyday music player, at get-togethers with friends, or while you’re at the gym. The app displays the beats per minute for every song, so you can take that into consideration when crafting your playlist. Hit the jump and I’ll show you how it works. (more…)
Guitar!, a new mobile music game from accomplished iOS app powerhouse Smule offers the musically inclined mobile gamer a new twist on the virtual virtuoso theme. Playing along with popular hits using the iPhone (or iPad and iPod Touch — Guitar! is a universal app) touchscreen isn’t revolutionary.
Many past apps, including some of Smule’s own (Ocarina, anyone?) have been built around this functionality. But Guitar! stands out from the crowd, because it offers another layer of interactivity. Let’s dig into it after the jump. (more…)
The standard Music app on my iPhone has always been one of my favourite iPhone apps. It does what it does really well. Let’s be honest, for many of us, it was likely the reason we got an iPhone or iPod Touch to begin with in the early days. Over the years though, there have been a lot of changes to the app. With iOS 6, Apple gave the Music app a huge visual overhaul with a lot of chrome (which, for the record, looks terrible on anything smaller than the iPhone 5′s taller display). But there’s not a lot of new functionality to go with it.
iTunes for Mac, on the other hand, got a ton of new functionality last year. There’s absolutely no comparison. For all of its flaws, iTunes is still the best music player I know of for OS X. It’s a powerful jukebox. One of my favourite features from last year’s massive update was Up Next, a feature that lets you add any song and play it next before returning to your current playlist. I can’t tell you how handy this feature has been at my house parties. The iOS Music app still doesn’t have this feature (or many others). Party Monster aims to fix that. (more…)