The mobile boom brought forth a world of opportunities to creative individuals – especially musicians. Gone are the days when these artists were bound to full studio equipment (which costs fortunes) in order to get anything done. Professional music makers still need those, but our smartphones and tablets are more than capable of taking a quantifiable load of work.
What really makes us grind our teeth here at Android Authority is the fact that Apple has had a foothold on the music industry for a long time (in terms of mobile music making, at least). This is changing, as there is a plethora of Android developers making great apps for musicians, but we need to dig deeper into the platform in order to understand what’s going on.
Apple wasn’t doing amazingly well among musicians only because of its fame and widespread support; Android devices did have a limitation, which proved to be a huge slow-down. iOS has offered audio low-latency for a long time, something Google only implemented with the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop, along with multi-channel audio stream mixing and USB audio support.
With these changes in place, and considering Android does own the market in terms of numbers, we are sure to see some great developers getting on board with our favorite mobile OS. In the meantime, we would like to share some great apps any musician and music maker should take a look at.
Guitar Tuner Free (previously known as Guitar Tuna)
This app’s design is great, and I love having it around to tune my instruments. Mostly because it has support for tuning multiple instruments, including guitar, bass and ukulele (my personal favorite). It includes games for learning to play, a metronome and a design that makes it a breeze to use.
Serious musicians will also love that it touts “award-winning audio technology” and “professional accuracy for advanced players”. And with over 5 million downloads, this app sure has its fair amount of popularity.
Even the best of musicians forget lyrics, so it’s always convenient to have a lyric app around, just in case you need it. This application grants access to lyrics for more than a million songs, something considered to be heaven-sent to many cover musicians around. Lyrically can even recognize the music you are playing on your phone and present the right lyrics on the screen.
Having trouble syncing to a beat? Metronomes are no longer just tools that need to sit on top of a table. You can carry it around in your pocket, thanks to the power of our smartphones. Pro Metronome was a hit on iOS, and us Android users can also take advantage of it now.
Sure, other tuning apps include metronomes, but this one is far superior. The user can choose between many timing styles. Users can also “access subdivisions, poly-rhythm settings, and create complex patterns with triplets, dotted notes, and non-standard time signatures” if they purchase the Pro version. It’s also more precise than a real, mechanical metronome, as it’s not affected by friction, air resistance and other natural factors.
Musicians love their high quality sound recording. Sound needs to be as pristine as possible, and even though mobile is not quite up there with studio standards, I have to say RecForge Pro is about the closest you can get to the real deal.
RecForge Pro is a serious audio recorder. It can record in mp3, ogg or wav, and you can convert audio files between those formats, as well. It has support for storing clips in the cloud, and one can even edit these sound clips before doing anything with them. There’s a wide array of settings and tools for making your sound as perfect as possible.
I will advice that you get a good microphone to use with your handset, as phones usually don’t have the best microphones integrated.
How many times have you gotten inspired during your commute to the city, without an instrument within reach to hear how well your new song ideas work out? After all, music often sounds very different in your mind than it does coming out of an instrument.
Walk Band is meant to be more of a creative music-making app, with multi-track recording and a series of digital instruments you can play around with. That’s all fun, but I use it more as a tool for translating my thoughts into sound waves when on-the-go. Maybe you will find it just as convenient, so give it a go!
DJ Studio 5
Here is one area where Android is still a bit behind, with apps like Traktor DJ putting all their chips on Apple. That’s not to say there aren’t some good DJing Android apps out there, though. One of my favorites is DJ Studio 5. It’s completely free and all they make money on are skins. No ads, no hidden charges, no catch.
DJ Studio 5 is simple enough to welcome beginners, yet it has its good share of more complex features for the advances DJs out there. You at least have to try their unique scratch system and disk physics!
Sadly, we are far from getting anything similar to Garage Band, which continues to be a great tool even for some serious musicians. With that said, w can also say there are some great apps like Caustic 3 around, which allow us to create music from our mobile devices.
This app’s design is inspired by rack-mount synthesizers, which I say give it an awesome style. You can choose from a wide variety of synthesizers and different sounds. It’s fun and it’s free to use. You will need to pay $9.99 if you want the ability to save or export your projects, though.
Which apps do you use for making music?
Of course, this is all the opinion of one humble musician here. I am sure many of you have found great uses for other apps, and maybe you even have better alternatives to the ones I happen to love. Whatever the case may be, please do share your thoughts on the comments below.
Do you use any of these apps? Which are your favorite applications for making music?
A new report from an Android Central tipster says that Lollipop soak tests invites are going out for the Droid Turbo on Verizon. We’ve heard plenty of rumors in the past claiming that Lollipop is in the works for the Droid Turbo. And now it’s finally upon us.
If all goes will with the soak test, DROID Turbo owners should begin seeing the official update not too long from now.
source: Android Central
Come comment on this article: DROID Turbio software soak test invites going out, report says
It’s something that many of us with flagship smartphones take for granted – firmware updates to the latest version of Android. Granted, we still complain when they don’t arrive as soon as we would like them to, but we do expect the update to arrive, at some point. But what about the lower budget smartphones? Sadly, handset makers aren’t quite as diligent in updating their cheaper phones to newer versions of Android. Today we have news that one of Samsung’s more budget-conscious offerings, the Galaxy Ace 4, might not be receiving a helping of lollipop goodness.
@reubenupstone I’m afraid the Galaxy Ace 4 will not be getting the Lollipop update Reuben.
— Samsung UK (@SamsungUK) June 25, 2015
Twitter user, @reubenupstone got in touch with Samsung UK’s Twitter team to ask when the 1GB version of the Galaxy Ace 4 would be receiving the Lollipop update because of issues with how KitKat handles the phone’s MicroSD card. Samsung UK simply replied that the Galaxy Ace 4 will not be updated to Android 5.0. There were no further details or explanations, it’s unknown if it’s just that the Ace 4’s specifications aren’t up to the job of handling Lollipop and Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, as the S4 mini before it.
At the time of writing Samsung France, Russia and Poland have all given non-committal answers as to whether the Galaxy Ace 4 will indeed receive a lollipop update, so there is still some room for hope, but not much I fear.
Come comment on this article: Samsung UK say’s the Galaxy Ace 4 won’t be updated to Lollipop
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June 10th was the original date when Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo was allegedly going to be dropped, but it’s been two weeks since then already. Thankfully, there is hope again for DROID Turbo owners as it’s been reported that some owners are receiving invites to “participate in an early preview of a new software release” – while the invite doesn’t explicitly say Android 5.1, or Android Lollipop at all, we’re pretty sure it will be that update that everyone’s been waiting for.
It’s been a pretty painful wait for DROID Turbo owners after Motorola announced the device would be jumping from Android Kit Kat to Android 5.1, bypassing Android 5.0 in preference of the more stable, more relevant version of Android. However, despite the obvious foresight, it’s been a long three months with plenty of other flagship level devices getting their taste of Android Lollipop. Hopefully that wait isn’t much longer now.
Do you think this is Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post “Early preview” invites to test Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo are being sent out today appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
When LG rolled out the Lollipop update for their then flagship smartphone, the LG G3, they staked a claim as being one of the first to get Lollipop out to their devices. We all know manufacturers will roll out an update to a small market to make claims like this. Nevertheless, it is usually a decent sign of a commitment to providing the latest version of Android for a given device even if users have to wait a bit longer for kinks to be worked out and carriers to give their blessing. At the time, as a relatively new owner of an LG G3, I was looking forward to seeing what would happen with my device. Fast forward half a year later and Verizon finally pushed out the Lollipop update. That was the beginning of the transition for my “dream” phone to a nightmare and now signs point to Verizon not doing anything to fix the problems they have wrought.
When I say the G3 was a “dream” phone, what I mean is I finally had a device that had a relatively svelte interface that did not get in the way of my use of the phone, it was snappy in operation, great battery life and really had no negatives. The closest to a problem was a propensity to get hot under heavy use. Life was good and I was looking forward to getting a couple years use out of it unless I decided to go for an early upgrade.
Unfortunately, Verizon brought all of that to a screeching halt when they sent out their version of the Lollipop update. Granted, there are a few issues that seem to be inherent to how Lollipop operates that LG either couldn’t or wouldn’t find a way around, the most noticeable being changes to how the lock screen works, which has added some steps to the process of waking up the device.
If getting the device to spring to life were the only issue, I could probably write it off as an annoyance. Unfortunately, Verizon’s input into the update really messed things up beyond what LG had done. The most notorious problem is the WiFi notifications issue. A quick peek at the Verizon support communities reveals legions of users complaining about this problem. At first, users assumed the issue was just that notifications would not show up when connected to WiFi. After dealing with this for a couple months though, it appears the problem is actually that apps do not even bother to connect while on WiFi.
A good example is Gmail. Between all my accounts, I usually get a new email at least every 30 minutes all day and all night long. Yet, leaving the phone overnight or worse, sitting on my desk at work, connected to WiFi will cause Gmail to not even check for anything until I switch to the carrier network (and use up valuable data) or force the app to check for mail. So it is goodbye to the days when the phone worked for me and would let me know when I had to pay attention to something like an incoming email.
Other problems are now present, mostly subjective, but it does not appear I am alone. Apps load slowly, screen refreshes and redraws are slow, and recently the notifications bar has stopped loading unless I go through the extra step of swiping down from the top of the screen. Considering the hardware packed into the device, none of these problems should be present.
Another problem is the return of the hypersensitive touchscreen, a problem that LG fixed shortly after the initial release of the G3. This particular problem is why I am unable to use knock codes as the screen keeps registering “knocks” when the phone is in my pocket, turning on the screen unnecessarily. Overall I am routinely having to reset the device or shutdown apps running wild, steps I rarely took when still on KitKat.
Having about reached the end of my rope with the problems, and missing some time-sensitive emails until it was far too late to matter, I decided to reach out to Verizon about a solution to the problems. Of course, this meant dealing with support protocols like doing device factory resets, steps I had already taken. Once we dispensed with those, Verizon support indicated to me that they are “working hard to resolve these issues” which seems to imply that they know there is a problem with Lollipop on LG G3 devices. Unfortunately, they also indicate “No ETA currently.” Considering LG appears to be skipping Lollipop 5.1 and will hold out for Android M for the next major update on the G3, I suspect no fix is in the works.
My next step was to inquire as to whether I could trade-in my device for a different phone since the carrier is the source of the problems. It seems only fair to me that they should stand behind their updates. Unfortunately, despite recognizing that I no longer have a functional phone, Verizon support told me there is no way to trade for another model.
I did ask them whether my only option was to pursue a breach of contract, to which they replied they may be willing to pursue a warranty replacement or I could wait to see if LG issues a patch, a response that sounds like they are passing the buck.
My next step is to try a local Verizon retail store to see if the sales side of the house may have a little more flexibility in trying to keep a customer, much less keep one happy.
Any other Verizon LG G3 owners out there that have pursued a device replacement?
Come comment on this article: Verizon leaving LG G3 owners hanging out to dry?
Need to get dad something nice for Father’s Day? T-Mobile thinks he’ll appreciate a new tablet. What’s more, it also believes you’ll appreciate the pricing.
T-Mobile is giving away an LG G Pad F 8.0 to customers just so long as they purchase a qualifying data plan. Yes, T-Mobile will pay for the tablet itself provided you pay for at least 1GB of data per month for two years.
Essentially, you agree to pay $10 per month for 24 months for the data and the tablet’s free. Cancel before the two year period and you’ll have to pay for the remaining tablet balance of up to $239.76.
The LG G Pad F 8.0 is an Android 5.0 Lollipop tablet with an 8-inch display. Internal specifications include a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 16GB storage, and microSD expansion. You’ll also find a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter.
Note that this promotion is limited to a select number of tablets and once they’re gone, they’re gone. Also worth pointing out, a credit check is required as well.
Don’t forget to check out our Dads and Grads Buyer’s Guide for 2015!
The post T-Mobile offering free tablet promotion for Father’s Day appeared first on AndroidGuys.
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Many of you will know that I own a LG G3, so excuse me if I get a little emotional during this post. News is circulating today that the LG G3 may not be updated to Android 5.1 after being updated from Android KitKat to Android 5.0 not long after Google’s official unveiling of Android Lollipop. It seems relatively legitimate news after comments made by LG on the LG Greece Facebook page said that there were no plans to bring Android 5.1 to the LG G3. Bummer.
Of course, this might just mean that LG is skipping Android 5.1 in favour of Android M, the next verison of Android due for release later this year – however given the state of the LG G3 right now on Android 5.0, I’m a bit disappointed that LG isn’t going to try and fix some of the more crippling problems like instability and battery drain that some users are experiencing. It’s especially unusual since the work has already been done for the LG G4 which ships with Android 5.1. All the same, we’ll take this news with a grain of salt just in case LG Greece just meant that devices in that region shouldn’t be expecting an update (sorry, Greece!).
What do you think about the news the LG G3 may not be updated to Android 5.1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post The LG G3 may not be updated to Android 5.1, skip straight to Android M appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
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It almost seemed like when Android 5.0 was almost ready for the world, Android 5.1 was already ready to pounce. As a result, there are quite a few flagship devices from yesteryear which are currently stuck on Android 5.0 which scarce indication as to whether they’ll be updated again before Android M drops. Thankfully, Android 5.1.1 for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is currently in testing, so owners of the device can breathe a sigh of a relief. This news came about after screenshots from a Galaxy Note 4 running the AnTuTu benchmarking app were leaked and clearly shows Android 5.1.1 running on the device.
What’s notable about the screenshots is that the Android 5.1.1 shown here is indicated as a 32-bit version – we’re also hearing rumours that a 64-bit version is in testing, but it’s possible both these are true as the Exynos variant of the Galaxy Note 4 does have a 64-bit processor. Despite all this rumour talk, it’s always worth taking this news with a grain of salt as even if this screenshot is legitimate, it’s difficult to tell exactly when Android 5.1.1 is going to drop for the Galaxy Note 4 – though we hope it’s sooner rather than later.
What do you think about Android 5.1.1 for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post Android 5.1.1 for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 being tested now, release coming soon? appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
If you cast your mind back to April, you may remember that T-Mobile briefly started rolling out the long-awaited Lollipop update to all its carrier-branded variants of the LG G3 located in the United States. Sadly, the operator was forced to pull the upgrade for reasons unknown.
Earlier today, Desmond Smith, Senior Product Manager at T-Mobile, announced on his personal Twitter account that the Lollipop update (software version D8512oe) has received re-approval and should start rolling out again in the not-too-distant future.
The full changelog for the upgrade can be seen below:
- Material Design: You will quickly notice a whole new colorful look and feel to your device – from fluid animations to new application and system themes, colors and widgets.
- Notifications UI & Priorities: In order to alert you to the mosttimely and relevant information, the format and behavior of notifications have evolved:
- notifications will appear on the lock screen and are intelligently ranked by type and who sent them.
- you double-tap to open one, swipe left or right to clear one, or clear all notifications from the bottom of the list.
- you can set the priority and privacy of notifications for each application.
- very high priority notifications will pop up briefly over other applications so that you can take action.
- when you dismiss a notification on one device it will be dismissed on your other Android devices, if they are connected to the Internet.
- you can further tailor how notifications behave with the new Downtime and Ambient Display settings (see below).
- New Interruptions & Downtime Settings: You can tailor how interruptions behave, choosing to allow all, none, or only priority interruptions. You can personalize what counts as a priority interruption (reminders, events, calls, messages) and even tailor them to be from only contacts you specify. The Downtime setting will allow only priority interruptions during the times and days that you specify. e.g. allow only priority interruptions on the weekend.
- Recent Apps (Multi-tasking): The redesigned Overview space (formerly called Recents) will include both applications and separate activities within those applications. For instance, each open tab in Chrome will also appear here along with recent applications; both your Gmail Inbox and a draft email message will appear as separate cards. This provides a consistent way to switch amongst tasks.
- Flashlight: Lollipop includes a new flashlight option as part of Quick settings (swipe down with two fingers from the status bar to see it).
- Pin a view/app: Screen pinning allows you to keep a specific app or screen in view. For example, you can ‘pin’ a game and your child will not be able to navigate anywhere else on your phone.
- Battery: The Battery settings panel now shows an estimated projection for how much time you have left while discharging or charging. You can also enable a new battery saver mode that will save power by reducing performance and most background data operations to extend your battery life.
- Smarter Internet Connections: With Android Lollipop, your phone will not connect to a Wi-Fi access point unless there is a verified Internet connection. This feature improves hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular connections, helping to maintain your video chat or voice-over-IP (VoIP) call as you switch.
- Performance: Your phone now uses the new Android Runtime to help optimize application performance. After upgrading to Lollipop, your applications will undergo a one-time optimization process. Note that the optimization for ART requires more space.
- Security: Encryption can now use a stronger 256-bit key to help protect your data. Note that the stronger key willonly be used after you perform a factory reset on Android Lollipop. Otherwise encryption will continue to use 128-bit key. You can turn on encryption in the Security settings menu.
Be sure to check back as we’ll let you know as and when the update starts rolling out.
Come comment on this article: T-Mobile will start rolling out the Lollipop update for the LG G3 shortly
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Back in March we heard of Motorola‘s plans to jump the the Motorola DROID Turbo from Android KitKat straight to Android 5.1, eliminating Android 5.0 from the equation entirely. While in the long term DROID Turbo owners should probably be thanking Motorola for its foresight, it’s still a hard wait considering so many other devices are rocking Android Lollipop already. Still, the wait is almost over with reports saying that Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo is going to be dropped on June 10th.
The DROID Turbo is certainly Motorola’s most impressive device from a hardware perspective, at least, ignoring to the Motorola-manufactured Nexus 6, but it’s interesting that they didn’t give it the same treatment that it gave its other major devices, the Moto X and Moto G. All the same, the update is apparently coming, so come June 10th, start mashing your System Updates button – and feel free to drop us a line in the comments if (or when) you get your update.
What do you think about Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post Android 5.1 for the Motorola DROID Turbo is coming June 10th appeared first on AndroidSPIN.