Possible iOS version

I know this has been downplayed in the past, but on a recent podcast (I think Robby Burns), Daniel Spreadbury seemed to leave the door open for an iOS and/or tablet version of Dorico at some point in the future. Has anyone else heard any similar inklings?

I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t happen for a loooong time unless I’m really missing something. I’m sure they can say “yes that would be nice one day” but that is a far cry from “we are starting development soon.” Their team is still plowing ahead on trying to add full feature sets for the computer platforms. Porting Dorico to iOS would be full-time work for multiple people and to my knowledge, the team doesn’t have that kind of manpower to spare at this stage. I’d also guess that if we see anything for Dorico on iOS it would not necessarily be a full-featured app. We don’t even have that from established players who have had plenty of time for developing their equivalents.

It sounded like a long-term possibility, maybe a year away, which would be understandable. A “Dorico Lite” with only the capability of sketching out a lead sheet would be perfect for me, if it had the ability to be import/export from Dorico with absolutely no loss of information.

I’d rather buy Dorico Lite than a totally different program to use on iOS, such as Komp or Notion.

Just so you don’t create unjustified expectations, I’d suggest you don’t consider a year as long-term.

Maybe, but it seems Apple realizes that for MacOS to remain viable, it needs to make it easier for iOS developers to reuse/share more code to make it worthwhile for them to put out a Mac version. (See info on “Marzipan” project:https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-20/apple-is-said-to-have-plan-to-combine-iphone-ipad-and-mac-apps)

With Dorico, that would bring some improvements in them bringing the Mac app the other way, and developing a shared code base long term. And Apple is posting all of their WWDC sessions available online for people who don’t get the chance to go to the conference live, so the Dorico team can school themselves a bit when they’re ready.

I can see it not happening soon, but it seems inevitable.

The iPad market is also far bigger than the Mac market—in Q3 2017, Apple reported sales of 11.42 million iPads and 4.29 million Macs. And 41 million iPhones…

Apple is certainly selling more iPads than Macs, no question, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into an obvious market opportunity for Dorico on iOS. In general, users of software on Windows and macOS are still willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for sophisticated, powerful software, but, in general, users on iOS are not. So despite there being more iPads being sold than Macs, the economics for allocating a lot of development effort to an app that would not sustain a reasonable selling price are very difficult. Plus, don’t forget that the installed base of Windows and macOS computers is in the hundreds of millions, since they’ve been around a lot longer, and it’s not only people who have bought a device last year who buy software.

And because Dorico is a cross-platform application, it is not necessarily going to be easy for us to take advantage of whatever these rumoured changes to the software development frameworks that Apple might be working on in any case.

None of this is to say that we have no plans to produce iOS/mobile software using the technology in Dorico: the opposite is true! We definitely plan to do this. But we do have a small development team and a crowded roadmap with a lot of important things still needing to be added to the desktop application, so it’s hard to say exactly when this will come to fruition. We’ll be sure to talk about it when it does!

None of this is to say that we have no plans to produce iOS/mobile software using the technology in Dorico: the opposite is true! We definitely plan to do this. But we do have a small development team and a crowded roadmap with a lot of important things still needing to be added to the desktop application, so it’s hard to say exactly when this will come to fruition. We’ll be sure to talk about it when it does!

That is great news - for the future -

Without question, I’d prefer that developement ressources concentrate exclusively on the main soft. Tablets will be happy to import PDFs from Dorico to read them. There are already many very good music readers on the market that costs less than 20$. MobileSheet comes to mind (works very well on ANdroid and Windows mobile). About iOS forScore seems to work very well too

ForScore is great. I’ve taken to transcribing with apple pencil onto blank manuscript paper in ForScore.
It is also ultra-solid for live use.

Thank you for the honest answer, Daniel. I agree that a successful business model for professional software on iOS is not clear and likely different than existing computer software pricing models. I think that it will ultimately be apps like Dorico (Lite?) that reset expectations for what people are willing to pay for iOS software. I believe “If you build it, they will come…”

If you are not familiar with the company The Omni Group, I suggest that when Steinberg is ready they examine their model, which is perhaps the leader nowadays in providing free trials, upgrade paths for current users, etc.

With all due respect, taking digital score information and then converting it into a pdf is a mistake in my opinion as you are losing so much information. Instead, why not export MusicXML (or later MNX) into something like Newzik? You can transpose, notate, play, and generally manipulate the data, as it is still understood as music rather than just pixels.

I totally agree. MusicXML is way better than PDF if one intend to make modifications to the file. Still, PDF is a very convenient book that can be read on anything and is more convenient than paper in many cases. (annotations are non-destructive, for one thing…)
In any case, I prefer to see the team working on a better Dorico than on a widespraed little apps limited by small ressources of portable devices.
Exactly because Dorico already Export to MusicXML…so applets can make use of Dorico scores with not so bad modifications possibilities.

So in the latest post on Scoring Notes (https://www.scoringnotes.com/meta/road-report-london-diary/), it seems Daniel Spreadbury and Steinberg’s UK head of scoring R&D went with Philip Rothman to have a chat with David William Hearn, co-founder of StaffPad. Care to comment Daniel?

Yes, we had dinner together. Not much more to say than that!

How about the meal? :smiley:

Not much more to say, or that you’re inclined to talk about? In the last StaffPad blog post, Hearn said “Additionally, there’s been a lot of advancement in the device and tablet world since we started development of StaffPad back in 2012, and it makes sense to write for and utilise all of that advancement.” I interpreted this (perhaps willfully) as a recognition of the existence of the iPad Pro and a viable stylus in the iOS world.

You having a chat with Hearn, and the relatively deep pockets of Yamaha, make me wonder if a collaboration or even an acquisition of StaffPad by Steinberg might be considered. Hearn also mentioned that they’re rewriting much of the fundamental architecture of StaffPad. Seems like a good time to work on code base compatibility with other programs…

I’d like to weigh in on the Dorico for iOS/iPad Pro debate. I personally feel that the first big notation company that releases an iOS version for iPad Pros will gain a huge advantage moving forward. The iPad Pro IS NOT A TOY. Many young musicians see the iPad Pro as a serious musical device. My home studio contains two fully loaded Mac Pros (with VSL, Orchestral Tools and Spitfire sample). I also have a Vienna Ensemble Pro host and slave (I’m VSL Certified), and I own many other “top of the line” libraries on the market currently. I don’t want to use a MacBook for the road, because I believe the iPad Pro 12.9” version is better suited to the task of notation once a developer brings parity to the iOS environment. I get the feeling that developers feel that their customers are high end only customers only, not realizing that iPads also make TouchOSC, MetaGrid and Lemur controllers. High end iPad Pros are more powerful than think simply because they haven’t considered how powerful Apple’s SoCs have become. Maybe they have not tested them. The new Files app which is similar to the Finder. Remember the Finder IS an app in macOS.

Here are my reasons why Dorico should be available on iOS.

  1. I’ve been using Macs since 1990, and iPads since they first came out. I bought my first version of Finale in 1993. When I first got the 12.9" iPad Pro the first thing that struck me was the size. A device that’s a 1/4" thin. A piece of letter paper is 11" by 8.5". The 12.9" iPad Pro’s screen is 10" x 8.5", which means it’s practically WYSIWYG! And they’re light!

  2. Apple’s A-series SoCs - The upcoming iPad Pro will have a A12X Fusion chip with 64‑bit architecture and an Embedded M10 coprocessor.
    When I carry it around at rehearsals as a conductor, I can carry the iPad Pro around like a clipboard. I enjoy having access to any score I need, the ability to make edits or annotations before the start of rehearsal with the ability to AirDrop or instantly printing them on location. During breaks I can compose with the built in sounds that Notion iOS provides or with the one’s Symphony Pro 5 provides. And these instrument sounds aren’t junk. If they were I wouldn’t say they were good. They are good. I can also have layers of my notes, revise them and make final notes.

  3. Notion iOS is every bit as good as Notion for macOS. Almost identical. Notion iOS isn’t as deep as Finale but that doesn’t matter for an iOS application. Anything coded macOS would work in iOS. Apple has made it clear that they want to merge macOS and iOS. Who’s going to be the first great macOS/Windows/iOS music notation app? There’s nothing Dorico can’t do on iOS that it can do in macOS. Apple’s SoCs are gaining on Intel’s Pentiums.

  4. Workflow - [EXAMPLE] In my studio I work in Finale, Dorico, Digital Performer or Logic, then save in musicXML. I share to iCloud or Dropbox, then open that file in Notion iOS or Symphony Pro 5 for editing when I’m moving to my iPad Pro 5. Then before I go back top the studio, I save that file in the Music XML format again. When I’m mobile, I open the file in Notion iOS and continue working. Everything in the cloud!

  5. Apple’s CPU, (aka SoC) - Apple’s iPad Pros use the fastest SoC on the market. Geekbench independently tests and ranks them with these current scores:

Apple’s current SoC is the A11 (A11x for the iPad Pros). Snapdragon has the 845, but it’s anywhere from 75% to 35% slower, than the A11x.

Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus
Apple A11 Bionic @ 2.4 GHz
Score: 10174

Samsung Galaxy S9+
Samsung Exynos 9810 @ 1.8 GHz
Score: 8663

  1. The Apple Pencil. An exceptional input tool especially made for music notation and art brush markup. The Apple Pencil excels at markup, adding fonts musical-context fonts and freehand style notes wherever is needed. and is flexible at writing for conductor notes. Other import types include - Multiple MIDI keyboards, a typing keyboard, an Audio Interface that can send the iPad Pro’s 16-stereo channels, 16 Channels of MIDI, all through a Lightening and all data type travel along this cable, a MIDI Guitar, professional phantom powered microphone device, headphone outputs, amount other entry are available. The MOTU iiC is MIDI capable compliant device as are many other MIDI/Studio interfaces.

  2. 12-megapixel camera. I’ve found this to be extremely valuable when I need to scan a copy for markup or in situations where printing for analysis are quickly needed resolutions.

I ask Dorico to strongly imagine the possibilities, and consider Dorico for iOS. Other apps such as Staff Pad, Notion iOS, Symphony Pro 5, Music Jot, Notate Me. Touch Notation, Komp, and others. Non of them meat the requirements that Finale, Dorico and Sibelus do, and with the improvement with the iPad Pro and it’s file system, there’s no reason anymore to not have a high end Notation app on iOS.


Steve Steele

Two reasons off the top of my head:

  1. Dorico is far from “finished”. Though seemingly less “buggy” than some of the competition, the development roadmap has plenty more to keep the small development team busy for a matter of years.

  2. Dorico recalculates a huge amount “on the fly”. In smaller projects Dorico is quick. Seemingly the bigger the project (the more instruments, the more flows, the more overrides on each page, the more pages) the slower Dorico gets.

I run Dorico on a sturdy dual-core MacBook Pro with 8gb of RAM and dual-i7 processors. At the point that I was working on a 100 page project with six flows and six instruments, Dorico basically ground to a halt.

A new quad-core machine made all the difference. It’s not RAM or speed of processor, but number of cores that makes the difference.

With that in mind, the hexa-core iPad Pros should be able to run Dorico well, but ONLY the iPad Pros. The rest of the iPad line-up is dual-core and just couldn’t handle orchestral projects in Dorico.

The development team could spend months porting for iPad Pros, but what proportion of Dorico users have an iPad Pro vs. a regular iPad?

Also Steve, read up the thread. Daniel confirmed months ago that a tablet version IS on the cards, just not yet.

And with Apple’s track record, I would happily bet that the “mergedOS” will be incompatible with both, for most non-trivial software development situations.

(And I think Daniel already said pretty much the same thing, in more diplomatic language…)

And Apple may have decided it’s really an electric car company by then - too many of its existing product lines all seem to be running out of steam, if you look at the sales figures :smiling_imp:

Hmm, maybe but I’m not sure I agree. Just to get it out there, I’d easily pay $100 for a semi-powerful iOS version of Dorico. A little more powerful than Cubasis, but not by much. Apple, at least when I worked there had an excellent track record of porting their OS to a different architecture. 68k-PPC, PPC-x86 (although the latter was a bit of a cheat as OpenStep was running on several architectures already.

And Apple may have decided it’s really an electric car company by then - too many of its existing product lines all seem to be running out of steam, if you look at the sales figures > :smiling_imp:

I don’t see the car company going very far. I’ve never doubted Apple, but as a car company, they’re going backwards in a way if they do that. Any sales figure drops by Apple are Apple’s fault, IMO. They’ve hurt their own Mac sales. The iOS device line is doing ok, but Apple needs to add something to their line to continue to grow. Still, iOS isn’t going away for a long time. I understand Dorico is trying to catch up to Finale and Sibelius and surpass them, but having an iOS iPad Pro version would help with tat, IMO. Cubasis is ok, but DAWs on iPads are, eh, in my opinion with Cubasis being the best. I use Notion iOS all the time (while conducting, composing, releasing, and for its unique instruments).

The only difference between a Mac and an iPad is the mouse vs gesture paradigm, at least that’s what it boils down to for me. Ok, the Dorico team is small and they don’t want to commit resources to an iOS team. But the iPad Pro has a future in music, whether its a music stand, a synth module, or as a fairly popular notation app. I happen to feel that as a notation app, a large screen iPad is a brilliant device for notation.

You know what I do when I’m in a the passenger side of a car? Yep, I bust out my iPad and compose cues.It makes composing so much more efficient for me, and it doesn’t have to have all of the layout features. Just note entry and some playback.

Anyway, Make Music is hesitant to make one. Who knows with Steinberg. Avid, no way. Notion and Symphony Pro 5 are all we have. They’re not bad, but I’d like either Finale or Dorico on the iPad. If it were a Cubasis-level app, I’d be thrilled.

I’ll be sure to read Daniel’s article. Thanks,

Just my two cents.