Here’s one for all the musicians out there looking to use Windows instead of iOS or Android: you can now run (just about) all your favorite apps from Android on a Surface or other tablet! I installed Bluestacks last night on my Dell XPS 18 and it works better than I expected. My go-to app for Jazz charts has been iRealB Pro and it works amazingly with this combo, including downloading charts from the forums directly, transposing music and even running the practice backup tracks with bass, piano and drums! What’s more, when I plugged a USB cable from my Kronos in, the sound started coming through the mains of that synth! After some tweaking, I was able to run it in a 4×3 aspect ratio window, enable tablet interface for iRealB so I could see the list and search box to the left, and the full chart to the right, with more than enough room to keep an iPad sized PDF on the right half of the XPS. Just KILLER…..
Even more amazing, games work excellently too. It was so cool to see Angry Birds 2 on an 18.5″ screen and still play it with a touch interface. Performance was excellent, although loading times seemed ever so long. I was able to install the Amazon App store, Google Play and all the apps I’ve paid for on both platforms. Amazingly, Bluestacks is completely free!
So, do you think Apple would ever allow this? Instead, they are supposedly releasing the iPad Pro, an, undoubtedly exorbitantly priced, King Size version of the gimped platform that’s been losing market share rapidly in the tablet world. No OSX because they stubbornly stick to the path laid out a long time ago by the “visionary” Jobs, the man who declared that 3.5″ is the perfect smartphone screen size. As a matter of fact, OSX still doesn’t even have touch support at all, as Microsoft perfects that combo of full usability with an overlay of simplified touch control that gets better every time. I can run Sibelius on my pad; I do not have to buy and learn yet another piece of software, just because of some arbitrary decision to separate form factors into incompatible OSs.
For an ecosystem that is supposed to be the easiest, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and it’s exactly what I’ve been predicting would happen. The iPhone is getting more behind in functionality with every generation and as Apple struggles to catch up, it pays the price for its lack of forward thinking, having to add on functionality that wasn’t envisioned, leading to instability and unpredictable code! iOS 8 was already a bug fest, with more crashing and app incompatibilities than any version before and 9 will be worse, mark my words. And that’s with breaking compatibility for apps that are not that old!
On OSX the same thing is happening: when I hear my Mac-head friends talk amongst each other, they often discuss how a new version of OSX does not support the relatively new version of Protools or other DAW. It’s pathetic, when you realize that the newest version of Sonar works on Windows XP from 13 years ago, and I can still install software from the 1990’s on Windows 10.