iOS 7’s new Inter-App Audio introduces universal audio routing between apps

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Following WWDC this week Apple’s redesign of iOS 7 and Mavericks have been getting the majority of attention, and rightfully so, but there are a few new big features coming in iOS 7 that haven’t been discussed. This morning we told you about the new MFi Game Controller framework that will make using hardware game controllers a lot smoother in iOS 7, but another important new feature in the update is inter-app audio.

The basic idea is simple: Inter-app audio will allow developers to make their app act as an output and or input for sending and receiving audio to and from other apps. In fact, we already somewhat have that functionality through third-party iOS app Audiobus. However, with Apple’s new inter-app audio feature available to devs, apps will no longer have to use a third-party app like Audiobus to send audio to one another. At first glance it seems to make Audiobus obsolete, an interesting move after Apple just recently implemented support for the third-party service in its own GarageBand app. Either way, it means a ton of new possibilities for creating music and sharing audio on your iPhone and iPad are on the way with the update to iOS 7 this fall.

We dug into Apple’s documentation on Inter-App Audio to find out how it works and also spoke with Audiobus about what this means for them:

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Apple updates GarageBand for iOS with support for Audiobus, better control over region and note editing & more

GarageBand-AudiobusApple today updated its GarageBand for iOS, bringing the app up to version 1.4 and providing support for Audiobus. Originally launched in December 2012, Audiobus is an iOS app available from developer A Tasty Pixel and described as an “inter-app audio routing system.” The app allows users to route audio from a growing list of third-party and Audiobus-compatible synths, drum machines, effects, and audio-editing apps and record them simultaneously in other supported multi-track editing apps. That means GarageBand users will now be able to use Audiobus to route audio instruments and effects from other Audiobus-compatible iOS apps into a GarageBand session.

Audiobus provides an SDK to developers that want to integrate the ability to support the Audiobus app and a long list of popular music creation apps have already taken part, including: Cubasis, Animoog, many of Korg’s apps, JamUp, Loopy, and now GarageBand. You can see a full list of apps that support Audiobus here. The Audiobus app will cost you an extra $9.99 on top of the cost of GarageBand ($4.99).

Other improvements in today’s update include the ability to turn off grid snapping to easier control the placement of regions when editing and a fix for issues with third-party audio accessories: Read more