For the past few years, I have been covering many third-party USB audio devices for iOS phones and tablets in ProVideo Coalition magazine, including digital microphones and audio interfaces with built-in A>D conversion. Even though I am a Mac user who prefers Android for my mobile phone, I have so far emphasized iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) since there has been such weak support for digital USB audio with Android. This was supposed to change with Android 5 (Lollipop). However, there have still been latency issues. IK Multimedia promises to be the hero to resolve this soon for certain Android phones and tablets. Details ahead.
In this article
- Sidebar: Why do I prefer Android if I am a Mac user?
- Prior coverage of digital audio for iOS
- IK Multimedia’s promise and device requirements
Sidebar: Why do I prefer Android if I am a Mac user?
I have been a Mac user since 1984, when the first model was released by Apple. I have continued to prefer the Mac platform from 1984, after a brief hiatus in 2000. So why do I prefer Android as a phone, rather than an iPhone? Fortunately, many of my initial criticisms of iOS and the iPhone specifically have been answered by Apple:
- iPhones have now been available as contract-free and unlocked in the US (as they were previously with Androids)
- There are fortunately now several ways to subscribe to podcasts over the air from iOS (as they were already on Android)
Here are some of the remaining gripes I have with iOS for my “phone”, which nowadays is so much more than that:
- iOS won't show lowercase on its native keyboard: I am insulted that Apple still won't allow us to see lowercase letters on its native iOS keyboard when appropriate. Apple's reason: They want their keyboard to look like a typewriter keyboard. Now with iOS 8, we are allowed to use third-party keyboards, many of which fortunately offer lowercase. That's great for general typing. However, as soon as it comes time to enter a password, Apple forces us back to the native keyboard, right when it's so critical to be able to see the difference between uppercase and lowercase, especially since passwords quickly change to asterisks.
- Third-party access to the dialer: People who use a Google Voice number as their primary phone number need this. Otherwise, when replying to a call directly from the phone's history, the outgoing call will unfortunately display the irrelevant number from the carrier.
- Third-party access to Siri: This is necessary for full-fledged Google Voice users who want to do voice dialing globally, and show the Google Voice number instead of the irrelevant number supplied by the carrier. This is also necessary for many other things where people want Siri to favor a third-party app instead of the Apple app.
Some people believe that easier or better integration is achieved by combining iOS with Mac. For people who have been syncing contacts, calendar, and email (consumer GMail or professional Gmail), this is not true. Mac/Android integration and wireless syncing via the Google cloud is a snap, and already quite mature.
Prior coverage of digital audio for iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch)
- Roland DUO-CAPTURE EX US$199 field audio mixer for iPad (August 2013)
- iOS 7 expands digital USB audio use with iPhone/iPod Touch (January 2014)
- iRig Pro preamp/A>D from IK Multimedia (July 2014)
- iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia (August 2014)
- RØDE NT-USB studio-grade digital microphone (August 2014)
- Tascam iXJ2 preamp/A>D enables dual-mic/2-channel opportunities for iOS mediography (September 2014)
IK Multimedia’s promise and device requirements
IK Multimedia promises to unveil its solution on January 22, 2014. So far, the details are sketchy, but apparently it will work perfectly with any Android running 4.0 or later that supports USB host mode/OTG mode independently from the device manufacturer.
The OnePlus One phone (shown above) I recently bought is apparently a candidate, since it supports OTG and has surpassed the operating system requirement indicated by IK Multimedia. The OnePlus One currently costs US$349 with 64GB (unlocked/contract-free). It is capable of shooting 4K DCI, 4K UHD, 1080p, 720p and more, using a 13 megapixel Sony Exmor IMX214 sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Its screen is 1080p, 5.5″. It shares those two screen specs with the iPhone 6 Plus, and Leo Laporte has stated publicly that he believes that both Apple and OnePlus are purchasing the same panel from the same manufacturer. Stand by for audio/video reviews made with it and third-party software and hardware.
As I write this, it is not clear whether IK Multimedia is going to launch new hardware, some firmware update for the existing hardware, or simply an app. If it is an app, I really hope that they simultaneously add support for 48 kHz (which is the absolute standard for digital audio for digital video). Ironically, all of the production hardware I have covered to date from IK Multimedia already supports 48 kHz, but none of the software does so far. I hope that’s about to change on the palindromic date of January 22nd.
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My latest book (paperback + ebook)
My most recent book is available in two languages, and in paperback as well as an ebook. The ebook format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, Android tablets, Mac computers, and Windows computers. Although generally speaking, Kindle books are readable on smartphones like Androids and iPhones, I don’t recommend it for this particular book since it contains both color photos and color comparison charts. The ebook is also DRM-free.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- Amazon.com, for the US and other countries in the Americas that don’t currently have their own Amazon store, or anywhere if you simply prefer it
- Amazon.br for Brazil
- Amazon.ca for Canada
- Amazon.de for Germany
- Amazon.es for Spain pero a lo mejor lo preferirás en castellano, a continuación)
- Amazon.fr for France
- Amazon.in for India
- Amazon.it for Italy
- Amazon.co.jp for Japan
- Amazon.com.mx for México
- Amazon.co.uk for the United Kingdom
Or in your favorite bookstore by requesting ISBN–10: 1456310232 or ISBN–13: 978–1456310233.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com para EE.UU. y todas las Américas donde no existe ninguna tienda particular… o en cualquier parte si simplemente lo prefieres
- Amazon.com.br para Brasil
- Amazon.co.jp para Japón
- Amazon.de para Alemania
- Amazon.es para España
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.in para India
- Amazon.it para Italia
- Amazon.com.mx para México
- Amazon.co.uk para el Reino Unido
o en tu librería preferida al solicitar el ISBN–10: 1492783390 ó el ISBN–13: 978–1492783398.
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
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