Tag Archive: gadgets


Listening limited to 40 hours per month via mobile devices

Pandora Begins Limiting Free Service

Pandora, the music streaming service, will begin to restrict its formerly unlimited free services, as The New York Times reports. Starting this week, users who use the free version of Pandora on mobile devices will now have access only to 40 hours of free music per month.

The changes come due to increasing royalty costs that Pandora is required to pay each time a song is streamed on the service, according to a blog post by Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren. Though only fractions of cents per play, those costs have risen 25% over the past three years and will increase an additional 16% over the next two years, according to Westergren.

But as The Times points out, also contributing to Pandora’s decision are advertising rates and revenues, which are lower for mobile apps than the desktop service, which will remain free and unlimited. Read more here: http://bit.ly/YDO2dh

If you hit the limit, you can either listen on the computer rather than your phone, pay 99 cents for unlimited listening for the rest of the month, or opt into Pandora’s paid service, which costs $36 per year for unlimited, ad-free music.

Apple - iPhone4S - 2

Lauren Maffeo from thenextweb.com suggest 30 apps for Android, iPhone and iPad to get your fingers moving. You may read here for complete reviews http://tnw.co/XdUF7m

Android

Audiotool Sketch

From drum machines to bass lines, this sound sequencing app emulates three various devices. Tempo changes and pattern switches aid the multi-touch ability to control each device’s output signal. And since Audiotool Sketch is built around the same audio engine as Audiotool, full power audio’s a given. ($3.99)

Sketch 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

AutoRap

Autorap 220x272 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceDoes your inner Hova need a hug? AutoRap corrects bad rapping by matching spoken syllables to any beat, using Smule’s “rappification” technology to let you create your own original raps or AutoRap from a Premium Songs Catalogue including Tupac and the Beastie Boys. Visualizations match the beat of your raps, and sharing capabilities via email, Facebook and Twitter let you share your glory with the world. (Free)

Beat Maker App Download

A programmable, customized drum machine, ability to create beats while playing with songs live and pattern based music composition let you set drum instrumentals to a rap, rock or hip hop beat. ($3.99)

unnamed 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Electric Drum Machine/Sampler

Real time playback and editing features erase the need to wait for sound prior to editing.  Ability to save and load custom drumkits also makes this beat composer ideal for live performances or solo samplers. ($3.99)

unnamed1 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Magic Piano

A catalogue of ivory ticklers-updated daily-guides you through the notes, rhythm and tempo of each piece while giving you ultimate control by touching beams of light. Sharing capabilities on platforms including Facebook and Google+ mean your personal rendition of “Ave Maria” or “Call me Maybe” could soon be the world’s to hear. (Free)

unnamed2 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Music Matrix

Inspired by Yamaha Tenori On, this integrated cloud-based sharing system offers 8 pages of 16×16 music sequencer matrix. Various lead instruments and flexible Scale & Key alterations let you merge notes with various instruments and percussions to design your very own music and ringtones. And if you want to sell the app with your name and company logo included, give them a ring! ($1.26)

unnamed3 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Poweramp Music Player

unnamed4 220x366 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceThis comprehensive music player supports files including MP3, WAV, WMA and more, while key features such as crossfade, lyrics/files support and mono mixing make it THE Android music player.

($3.99)

Ringtone Maker

unnamed6 220x366 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device“Drag-n-drop” editing controls, fine-tuning options and support by audio formats such as MP3 allow anyone to create a custom ringtone up to 40 seconds long. An upgrade to Ringtone Maker Pro costs $0.99 cents and removes adverts.

Facing facts, there are loads of these ringtone creation apps on Google Play. But Ringtone Maker is one of the old stalwarts on the block and it’s been tearing up the charts for ages. It has already crossed the 40 million install mark. Reviews say that it’s still one of the best out there, though a recent update appears to have removed the ability to fade out the end of a track.

(Free)

Songify

Life is like a song — at least with Songify.

Simply speaking into the app currently downloaded by 9 million worldwide users enables Smule-invented technology that turns speech into music. This official app of famed auto tuners the Gregory Brothers (known for auto-tuning already viral videos into such musical art as “Backin Up Song (feat. Diana)” and “Bed Intruder Song”) allows you to make your own kind of music-even if nobody else sings along. (Free)

Ultimate Guitar Tabs

With a collection of 400,000 tabs to choose from-the world’s largest database-you can learn and practice your favorite songs on the go. Adding tabs to your Favorites makes them available for offline browsing, while various Top 100 Tabs lists help you organize by bass, chords and more. In-app bonus: Tab Note, an add-on, offers access to more than 150,000 interactive tabs. ($2.99; Tab Pro available in-app for $3.99)

iPhone

BeatMaker 2

If 128 trigger pads aren’t enough, the chop lab, “live” modes and mixer console may pique your interest. Version 2.4.2 includes added iTunes file sharing and has fixed the note repeat feature. ($19.99)

mzl.lferqgml.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

FingerPiano

No score? No worries. Scrolling guides across the screen offer 88 pieces of famous music to try, with songs designated for play either with one or both hands. ($1.99)

mzl.gdomehnt.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

GarageBand

GarageBand turns iOS collections into full recording studios, whether you’re a pro or have never played a note. The multi-touch keyboard, acoustic and electronic drum kits and instrument creation from the sounds made on your keyboard all let you play your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch like a literal instrument. A stroke of the finger on Smart Strings lets you conduct a string orchestra, and you can use your iOS device to play or record music live with up to three friends. ($1.29)

mzl.wcxjnmfe.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Gigbaby!

Screen Shot 2013 01 24 at 10.51.00 AM 220x313 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Even rehearsal’s gone digital. Whether karaoke or remixes fit your taste, Gigbaby! uses network sharing to exchange audio tracks with anyone-even if the tracks are incomplete. Each group member can record their own tracks, then swap them to compose a whole song.

It’s a bit of a play along how producers have shared partial tracks with each other for years. Whether they use something like AOL Instant Messenger, Skype or even Soundcloud, the collaboration methods have led to some of the greatest tracks in history.

($0.99)

MusiXmatch Lyrics

Missing a lyric? This database of lyrics for more than six million songs will keep you up to speed. You can also browse UK/US hits and watch their videos on YouTube. Bonus for Windows 8 lovers: MusiXmatch is offered on this system, as well as on Android. (Free)

mzl.imlzxxsv.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

NanoStudio

Virtual analogue synthesizer? Sample trigger pads? When musical genius strikes, these features and more make NanoStudio a gem to have on the go. Compose and arrange your music in real time, then share it on SoundCloud on or away from your desktop. A “16 Instrument” in-app purchase enhances the experience for newer devices, while highly optimized chorus and bitcrusher effects let you run several at once. ($14.99)

mzl.xvsgxcay.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Figure by Propellerhead 

Screen Shot 2013 01 24 at 11.06.55 AM 220x248 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

The morning commute livens when you can play drums with your fingers. Those drums, (powered by Reason’s Kong drum machine), plus bass and lead parts that use Reason’s Thor synthesizer, make music with ease on the iPhone4 or higher.

Propellerhead is a long-time name in the music industry. The included drum samples are second to none, and the ability to record your samples then mix them with other tracks when you get back home is a great selling point.

($0.99)

TableDrum

Augmented reality will be big in years to come. In the world of music apps, TableDrum leads the way now. Syncing the sound of any object offers a real time response of drum sounds, which then link to your choice of high quality drum sounds. For a bridge between digital/physical worlds, this one’s a winner. ($0.99)

mzl.ocfeqxjb.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Voice Jam

Many musical apps are renowned for instrumentals; this one makes your voice the instrument. A powerful audio looper records sounds while playing them back in a repeating loop. And since VoiceJam was designed as a live performance tool, you can harmonize, add rhythms with your voice and perform/record a whole song from scratch. ($6.99)

Yamaha TNR-i

mzl.jzjhwguw.320x480 75 220x330 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceAn app that combines rhythm melody on the grid, Yamaha TNR-1 musically and visually “places” sounds based on intuition. Users can also play 16 tones simultaneously, and six different performance modes per layer (including Push Mode to change tones while performing and Draw Mode to play songs in response to your fingers) leave options open.

TNR-i is based off of an older instrument from Yamaha called the TENORI-ON. But with a new, multi-screen interface,  you can do much more with the digital version than the hardware would ever have allowed.

($19.99)

iPad

bleep!BOX

Samples? Not on this app. A custom iPad interface generates every sound in realtime, and offers 50+ synthesizers, eight waveforms and live performance modes. Also available on iPhone, you can load patterns made on your mobile and upload them to desktop via bleep!BOX Plugin. ($5.99)

mzl.ezbtuawk.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

FL Studio Mobile HD

A virtual piano, 99 track sequencer and simultaneous 8 channel recording make this app ideal for creating and saving multi-track projects. Added bonus: ability to load FL Studio Mobile projects into the (sold separately) FL Studio Desktop PC version. ($19.99)

mzl.ebjbepvg.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Glitchamaphone

Feeling animated? Glitchamaphone lets you create and edit your own compositions using up to five animated characters playing various fun instruments. Various features, including animations and environmental effects, change in response to your musical style, while three varied settings/environments each offer their own sound. ($1.99, normally $2.99)

mzl.yxlkdhez.480x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

IK Multimedia DJ Rig for iPad 

Music Radar’s Si Truss calls it one of the best iOS DJ apps out there. For professionals, this can’t be beat; multiple deck modes and controls, three crossfader curves and professional pitch control for BPM adjustments make this one a must. ($19.99).

irig 520x346 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

KORG iMS-20

A complete music production app, Korg MS-20 analog synth with patching capability works alongside a 16-step analog sequencer based on Korg’s SQ-10. iMS-20 offers dual Kaoss Pads that create music with one stroke, while a seven channel mixer creates 14 different master effects. ($29.99)

mzl.sbkepagp.480x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Morphwiz

The second app from Jordan Rudess has earned accolades from Keyboard Magazine and the Billboard Music App Awards-and it’s not hard to see why. Users can assign audio waveforms, round note pitches and control octave shifts, amongst other features. And its basis on the Haken Continuum Fingerboard will satisfy experienced users on platforms from iOS to Windows 8. ($9.99)

mzl.ivxnqilm.320x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

ReBirth for iPad

The Roland TB-303 bass synth, Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines all in one app? Three key devices in the dance and rap music spheres use FX sequences, fully featured pattern sequencers, a Tempo-synced digital delay and more to create tracks so good, the built in sharing features will be a must. ($9.99)

mzl.xpzpzdpg.480x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Scape

Bloom Creators Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers use Scape to make various sounds, processes and compositional rules react to one another, creating new music. 15 original scapes can be saved to a gallery, added to a playlist or shared by email. Call it the thinking man’s music maker. ($5.99)

mzl.ldadyclt.480x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Studio Track

This app does for en route musicians what DJ Rid does for on-the-go DJs. WiFi synching, file import/export capabilities via email, stereo output meters and more make song recording away from your desktop a dream. ($19.99 for a limited time)

mzl.onwgwith.480x480 75 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

touchABLE

Thinking about buying a controller for Live? Consider this app, where your finger navigates a live set and automaps tracks as well as parameters. No midi-mappings needed-toucABLE uses LiveOSC to communicate with the LiveAPI. And Dual-User-Mode lets you tweak the same set with two iPads. ($24.99)

Screen Shot 2013 01 24 at 11.30.17 AM 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link. While we only ever write about products we think deserve to be on the pages of our site, The Next Web may earn a small commission if you click through and buy the product in question. For more information, please see our Terms of Service.

_zombie

Games are perhaps the most important category of mobile apps. Good games sell smartphones and tablets, keep grownups entertained and small children quiet. Dominating the app-store charts, a good game can make mobile developers millions of dollars, or at least keep them in business to take a stab another stab at greatness.

Another positive factor for mobile games in 2012 is that most major independent and major game studios now release games on both iOS and Android – and sometimes other platforms as well. This means smartphone users can get the best games no matter which leading mobile platform they use.

Apple and Google have shared their leading iOS and Android games for 2012. ReadWrite’s Top 10 highlights some of those choices, along with a few picks of our own:

10. Angry Birds Star Wars

$0.99 – iOSAndroid

Angry Birds Star Wars is perhaps the best entry yet in the Angry Birds franchise. Especially if you like Star Wars. Rovio’s latest hit brings Luke, Leia, Han Solo, X-Wings, the Millenium Falcon and even the Death Star to Angry Birds in a fascinating mix of space-based physics and fun new features. Ever wanted to use a lightsaber to on one of those pesky piggies? Now is your chance.

9. Triple Town

Free – iOSAndroid

Mobile games have grown increasingly sophisticated, to the point where games that used to live only on consoles like the Xbox and Playstation are now rendered beautifully on your smartphone. But some of the best mobile games exist purely for smartphones, designed for the casual gamer looking to kill some time waiting for the train. The surprisingly addictive Triple Town is that kind of game. This puzzle game gives you a plot of land where you combine items like trees and bushes to create houses until you have built the best town possible before the angry bears clog up your map. Triple Town is deceptively simple and tons of fun.

8. Naught

$0.99 – iOSAndroid

Naught is one of the most artistic and dynamic games to hit mobile devices since Contre Jour captivated users in 2011. This shadowy game uses gravity to explore an underground world full of levels that twist and turn to the point where you can never quite figure out what is up and what is down. Naught also employs the gyroscope on your mobile device to allow you to control your character by manipulating your device to let gravity pull you further down the rabbit hole.

7. SHADOWGUN: Deadzone

Free – iOSAndroid

Some of the best games of the personal computer era were first-person shooters. Games like Doom featured original point-of-view of the action and extreme violence. In the mobile era, first-person shooters are becoming more sophisticated, easier to control, employ better graphics and… remain incredibly violent. SHADOWGUN: Deadzone is one of the best in this category for 2012. It is interesting and fun, a little cheesy and in your face. Put it all together and it’s one of the best free games you will find on a mobile device.

6. Waking Mars

$1.99 – iOSAndroid

Apple chose Waking Mars as its runner up for Game of the Year in 2012. It might have won best game from Apple if it was exclusive to iOS, but this dynamic game can also be found on Android. Life has been discovered in caves on the planet Mars: Your job is to help bring the sleeping planet back to life, spelunking around Martian caves on Mars on your jetpack, trying to survive and help the Red Planet realize its potential to support life.

5. Walking Dead: The Game

Free – iOS

Choose you own adventure meets the world of comic books meets zombies meets your iPad. Walking Dead: The Game is based on Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comics and is not your classic shoot-the-zombie-hordes type of video game. Walking Dead is a psychological mindtwist told in comic book form where you attempt to save a woman named Clementine from the zombie apocalypse in five gripping episodes. The app itself is free to download, but you have to buy new episodes through in-app purchases. (Note, game trailer contains adult language. )

4. The Bard’s Tale

$1.99 – iOSAndroid

Wenches, ale and gold… but this is not your classic hero-based role playing game. The anti-hero Bard takes the easy route in this irreverent RPG on iOS and Android. Lyrical and witty, The Bard’s Tale is the best game of its category in 2012. Save the world? Or search for coin and cleavage? You can probably guess what the Bard is going to choose.

3. Horn

$6.99 – iOSAndroid

Only Zynga would have the audacity to charge $6.99 for a mobile game on iOS and Android. Yet Zynga pulled off something very cool in Horn, a third-person point-of-view adventure game where you are a blacksmith’s apprentice who wakes to find his village full of monsters. Turns out, those monsters are the blacksmith’s fellow townspeople, transformed by some weird curse. Battle your way through with your decidedly odd sidekick in a game that is both an epic adventure and role-playing-game (RPG), all in one.

2. Ingress

Free (Invite Only) – Android

One of the most intriguing games to hit any mobile devices this year, Ingress is still only in invite-only mode but. When reviewing Ingress, I thought that the game, from Google’s Niantic Labs, had the potential to truly define what a mobile game could be. It employs augmented/alternate reality, location and social features through a unique massive-multiplayer setting: the real world. Hack portals, control Exotic Matter, battle for the Enlightenment or the Resistance. Ingress can be mildly addictive (and somewhat dangerous) once you get your hands on an invite.

1. The Room

$1.99 – iOS
Apple’s App Store editors crowned The Room as Game of the Year for 2012. And deservedly so. The Room is beautiful, simple, easy to control and complex, all at the same time. This puzzle game deserves to top any best apps of the year list. The Room is one of those apps that will long be imitated by aspiring game developers.
— all article written by dan rowinski for readwrite.com
_iwish-apple-iphone-sony-psp.thumbnail
Whether you’re running Android or iOS, 2012 was a great year for the advancement of apps. With the return of some old favorites on iOS (Google Maps: distance indeed made the heart grow fonder…) and some amazing newcomers like my new personal favorite, Paper, we’ve taken the time to rank our 10 favorite. List yours in the comment box below.

10. Simplenote
simplenote.jpeg
This is a cloud-based note-taking app that’s elegant in its simplicity. It syncs with a number of different desktop/laptop note-taking apps (I sync mine with the minimalist Notational Velocity), and ensures that whatever notes you take on the road will be there for you when you return to your home computer, and vice versa.—George Howard

9. Phraseology
mzl.uxhzohbi.480x480-75.jpeg
A tablet would never be my first choice for writing or editing, but when I’m in a pickle Phraseology makes it work. It’s a smartly designed word processor app that lets me shuttle words, sentences and paragraphs around with ease. It also lists more stats than a baseball card, running down my word count, my total characters, my average number of words per sentences, and more. It’s still awkward typing on a virtual keyboard, but even without a keyboard attachment Phraseology is a useful little writing app.—Garrett Martin

8. Viggle
mzl.avtanahm.320x480-75.jpeg
If you love getting punch cards at restaurants and coffee shops, you’ll love Viggle. Viggle is a television loyalty-rewards app that “checks-in” users to shows. Once Viggle magically confirms that you are indeed watching a show on your television, you’ll immediately begin to rack up Viggle points that you can eventually spend on rewards like gift cards and even a free month of Hulu Plus. It seems a bit hokey at first, but in the era of television streaming, Viggle is a noble attempt to get people back in front of their TVs and watching their shows together in community. Plus, who else has ever offered you free stuff just for watching TV?—Luke Larsen

7. Pocket (Formerly Read It Later)
mzl.awarfcem.320x480-75.jpeg
Pocket is a complete revamp of the now-familiar Read It Later service, complete with a name change and a new interface that allows video and photos to be saved for later. And we’re not talking about simply aggregating a list of virtual bookmarks; Pocket caches all your content (outside of video) so it’s all available offline. This handy service works across Android and iOS devices, as well as computers. It’s easy to use and it’s got an interface that makes Instapaper feel a little dated. But Pocket isn’t interested in competing with Instapaper; one is for text and one is for multimedia. Pocket is great at what it does, and comes highly recommended.—Luke Larsen

6. The Magazine
marco-arment-instapaper-magazine.jpeg
The Magazine, developed by Marco Arment (who also created Instapaper and kicked off the read-it-later trend), finally gave me a good reason to use the Newsstand feature of iOS. It’s an entirely digital magazine, covering topics from achieving the perfect wet shave to the Tour de France, with an issue every two weeks. Originally written for geeks by geeks, The Magazine continues broadening its scope and embracing more and more variety as it grows. Subscribing costs $1.99/month, and each issue comes with four to six articles for your perusal. The user interface is beautifully intuitive; it’s so easy to use that many people have suggested the app is re-inventing what a digital magazine should look like. 8-ball says that might be true!—Nathan Snelgrove

5. Clear
mzl.oaopigbn.320x480-75.jpeg
Clear is nothing more than a to-do list. You can make tasks, rename them, reorder them, and delete them. That’s it. However, the success of Clear speaks to the real purpose behind these things we call “apps”—especially the things we call “productivity apps”. Clear doesn’t just make tasks fun—it has actually made me more productive. In the most intuitive and beautiful way possible, this app does exactly what it promises: cuts out all the extra baggage that most productivity apps pile on and leaves you with a clear view of your tasks at hand.—Luke Larsen

4. Flipboard
Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 10.39.38 AM.png
Flipboard didn’t debut in 2012, but it did expand its wings this year to devices beyond its iPad and iPhone origins and embrace Android devices. Flipboard has been the killer app for news aggregation on the go for two years ago, and that claim has only solidified this year. Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and yourRSS Feeds make it the perfect way to get news. Beyond that, though, the Flipboard team started experimenting with in-app advertising. At this point, you’ve probably noticed the full-page glossy-style advertising that seems like it’s been ripped straight from a real magazine. But beyond that, Levi’s was the first to take advantage of a Flipboard catalogue in September, a first for a mobile app. Flipboard’s approach to advertising may be in-your-face compared to some of their competitors, but it’s working for them and users seem to actually enjoy it. And those pageflips!—Nathan Snelgrove

3. Paper
mzl.cbrtcacn.480x480-75.jpeg
It’s always the apps that are built from the ground-up with a specific device in mind that feel the most intuitive. In that way, Paper for the iPad seems like a no-brainer. Paper is the simplest painting app imaginable. No menu of tools and brushes — just a single brush and the blank white canvas to start off with. Paper’s limited tools will definitely force you to use your imagination but in a world dominated by software like Photoshop and Microsoft Word, the limitations are a breathe of fresh air. With Paper, less is definitely more — and we couldn’t be happier about it.—Luke Larsen

2. Figure
FIGURE_APP.png
Media consumption dominates so much of what smartphone and tablets users do on their devices. That’s why when an app as beautiful and fun to play with as Figure comes around, we should all pay attention. And who better to make a miniature synth sequencer than Propellerhead, the creators of the industry standard MIDI sequencing software Reason? But Figure is more than just a bite-sized Reason. It is simplified, but it’s also an incredibly satisfying new way to create beats and loops. Hit record and you might just be a few swipes away from your next big single.—Luke Larsen

1. Google Maps
google-maps-ios.jpeg
Under the direction of Tim Cook and Scott Forstall, 2012 was going to be the year that Apple would finally release itself from Google’s hold on map and GPS services on their devices. Instead, Apple ended up making of their biggest software blunders in recent memory and left iPhone users wondering if Android users really were better off. Fortunately, Google released Google Maps—the best iOS app they’ve ever made. It features a superb UI, turn-by-turn voice navigation, and some very snappy new vector-based maps. If you still need proof that Google knows UI just as well as it knows algorithms, look no further. Most importantly though, iPhone users will no longer be driving around completely lost screaming into their phones.—Luke Larsen

 

— articles by tyler kane for pastemagazine.com

%d bloggers like this: