Possible iOS version

I think Apple has made it clear that they want to make it easier for the many iOS developers out there to also write software for the Mac, and they feel that not enough software is being written for the Mac. Their work in this area may also make it easier for a Mac app to go the other way.

Apple has also stated clearly that they have recommitted to its pro Mac users, with the iMac Pro, the new 2019+ Mac Pro, and the rumored Mac Mini Pro sounds interesting as well.

It’s clear to me that developments are occurring that are not ready to be talked about, both with StaffPad and with Dorico. Earlier in this thread, Daniel stated that essentially Steinberg had long-term “plans to produce iOS/mobile software using the technology in Dorico.” That’s not saying they would create a version of Dorico for iOS, which is why I find Daniel’s (along with the head of R&D…) dinner with David William Hearn so full of possibilities. Hearn and his programming parter Matthew Tesch are rewriting the core of StaffPad, and Hearn commented about all of the advances in the tablet world since 2012 that they wanted to take advantage of. Has the Surface really changed much?

This is all a bit of tablet notation software Kremlinology, but it isn’t that hard to imagine Hearn and Staffpad being under some kind of exclusive license with Microsoft for a certain amount of time which might expire soon. I’d like Daniel to toss those of us waiting for Dorico on iOS a bone, but I think he’s done what he can.

Ultimately though Steve, I completely agree that the use case scenario for Dorico on iOS is so appealing that it has to happen sooner or later. Even if we don’t hear much back, we need to keep pointing out to Daniel and the team that we are here, eager and willing to pay.

Daniel, has there been another dinner?

No other dinner with David, sadly, but we do still have plans in the iOS arena. However, we are a small team and there’s only so much we can do at once!

Actions speak louder than words, and most of Apple’s actions (compared with Microsoft’s) over the last say 10 years tell the opposite story.

For example Apple demand that every approved iOS app must run on ALL iOS devices, so “Dorico for iPad” would also have to be “Dorico for iPhone” (and maybe even “Dorico for iWatch”?)

Since iOS’s market share is in steady decline in any case, and very few apps make enough return on investment to be commercially viable, app developers are voting with their feet.

It‘s good to know Dorico ‚light‘ for iOS ist something still being planned for the longer road ahead. I like Cubasis on my iPad Pro, but entering notes with Dorico is so much better. Having the flexibility to do so not only at home, would be great.

Any chance of news/updates on the iOS front at NAMM in January 2020 (or other venues)?

Whenever I check the StaffPad page and see the blog entry from mid-2018 about the “mega-update” which was originally hinted at in 2017, I keep thinking that they’re waiting for some exclusivity arrangement to expire. If there is one, and it expired say 5 years after StaffPad came out, then maybe we’ll finally get some news.

Hello tfort, I had a few problems with Staffpad a couple of months ago and got a reply, and yes they are currently rewriting Staffpad, they sounded very busy with it.

If we were going to make an announcement about an iOS version at NAMM in January, do you think we would pre-announce that announcement by giving you a response in the affirmative now?

But let me put you out of your misery: although we have done some exploratory work on getting Dorico projects to load and display correctly on an iPad, we are nowhere close to having an iOS version of Dorico or any Dorico-related apps ready. This assuredly remains in our future plans, but as a small team with an aggressive roadmap for the (actually revenue-generating) desktop versions of the application, we have to prioritise the areas in which we can deliver the greatest value most quickly.

Not a pre-announcement, but possibly a cryptic hint designed to build some buzz/anticipation in the weeks before the announcement. Isn’t that how it’s done nowadays?

Nevertheless, thanks for throwing this dog a bone. “Dorico-related apps” sounds interesting. “Dorico Express” or whatever the mobile version/companion app is eventually called will surely generate revenue once it is shipping. Can’t Yamaha afford adding some well-qualified Juce/Swift developers to your small team?

Hopefully Dorico 4 this summer will have some tablet-friendly features.

Dream on. 90% of the apps in Apple App Store are free. The average spend per IOS user on apps is close to $1. A $10 app is “expensive”.

Only 25% of IOS app developers make more than $5000 pa from sales - and they are the developers with apps that get 100,000 to 200,000 downloads per month. But revenue from advertising is often greater than revenue from sales, if you wouldn’t mind a Dorico app interrupting you with ads every few minutes.

There are a very few exceptions, e.g. Cybertuner targeted at professional piano tuners (and available for 20 years or more before there was an app version at all), which has the maximum price allowed on the Apple store, $999, plus in-app purchases. And even that has a “cut price” competitor that costs only $599.

According to data from Sensor Tower, this is the average/predicted average spending per iOS user in the USA:
2015: $33
2016: $47
2017: $63
2018: $77
2019: $88

That said, I’m not sure how much of that is really relevant for the pro/semi-pro music market that Dorico is in; mostly it is indicative of people spending on games and streaming apps.

“Pro” apps are different, people that are using an application to make money or do other serious work with it on a daily basis are accustomed to paying for it. That has not been done much historically on iOS devices, but that is changing; with the iPad Pro, serious apps are slowly arriving that are commanding higher prices. Photoshop is now on iOS, and many other serious drawing/designing apps such as Affinity Photo are sold at ~$20 and are making money for their creators. I pay $50-$100 every few years for upgrades (no subscriptions, thanks) for iOS versions of Omni Group’s OmniFocus and OmniOutliner because I get value from them and I use them nearly every day. They also have trials, basic and pro versions, upgrade paths from prior versions, academic pricing, etc.

In music, Notion for iOS costs $15, plus in-app purchases of $8 for handwriting and another $30 for all sounds. Many here would pay $50 for a pencil-enabled, iOS version of Dorico that would be far superior to Notion, I’d warrant. What about $30 for a basic version, with several IAP’s which could bring the pricing closer to $100? Admittedly, this is still a far cry from the hundreds of dollars charged for pro music apps today, but we are perhaps entering a new era where the pro iOS market has yet to be established, first movers are not in place, and pricing models are still in flux. Sound like an opportunity for someone?

Steinberg itself has some somewhat but not completely relevant data, with Cubasis being out for quite some time now. So far they have sold it as an entry-level product priced far below Cubase. Cubasis was created when iPads were fairly underpowered. My 2018 iPad Pro is more powerful than any MacBook Pro I have ever owned, including my current 2015 15". What price could Steinberg charge for Cubasis if it was far more fully featured and allowed seamless handoff back and forth to Cubase 10? How much would you pay for a touch-enabled version of Cubase or Logic?

Would Dorico users pay additionally for a tablet version, perhaps $30-$50+ for one that is not as fully featured but allowed users to be productive while on the go and away from their main computer, such as at rehearsals or while commuting? Would a tablet version of Dorico attract new users? Yamaha/Steinberg can certainly do some market research and experimentation to find a viable pricing model, but a market for more expensive iOS apps is certainly emerging.

And what if, as rumors have predicted for years, MacBooks and MacBook Pros are transitioned over the next few years to Apple’s own A-series chips and away from Intel?

I, for one, would happily pay $50 for a Dorico app, and I’ve paid well above the $1-4 “standard” for multiple apps. I was smiling to myself earlier today, in fact, because I realized that the value of my own personal software that I had put on my work computer far-outstripped the value of the computer itself. Owning a computer or tablet is like owning a car. You still need to fuel the thing and then choose where to drive. That can manifest a million different ways, but to me, spending money on software is a total no-brainer and non-issue; it’s just as essential as putting gas in my car.

It’s probably nearly meaningless to toss in my own anecdotal perspective, but Dorico on iPad would be of no use to me. I used iPads to consume, not create. Tap, pinch, and flick are fine enough for rudimentary functions, but my attempts at productivity on iOS have been hilariously short-lived.

Steinberg had an entry level product called Cubasis 10 or 15 years before iPads existed.

But I suspect the “old Cubasis” was renamed to something like Cubase Elements before the “new Cubasis” appeared.

I’m also very happy to pay for software if it gets me results, but when trying to use e.g. Excel on an iPad I just find myself cursing its inadequacies.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, as things stand, Dorico can only run with x86 processors (meaning it can’t be run on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X, for instance). I guess that means that if Macbooks eventually transition over to A-series chips, there’ll be a bigger incentive for Dorico to be appropriately rebuilt. In the meantime I can see why the development team wouldn’t want to spend energy forking the code base - it’s software that’s still growing at a rapid pace, and developing parallel codebases is a complex business. Not to mention the fact that if there are fundamental differences between the touch version and the traditional version, the manuals team would need to grow.

Apple’s basic business model is based on reselling incompatible versions of hardware to people who want the “latest version” of stuff.

IMO, eventually, third party software developers will walk away from it if they find there is a better game in another town.

Consider the amount of disruption caused by Catalina for example. But if you want to create music, why do you need any third party apps at all? Aren’t Garage Band, Logic and Final Cut Pro enough tools for anybody? :laughing:

Indeed, some use cases are far easier with precision pointing devices. I still prefer my laptop for some things despite buying the iPad Pro and Brydge keyboard to see if it could be my only portable computer. Other scenarios, such as actual on-stage use by a musician (for score reading, VSTs, mixing), seem far better suited to a touch-based interface. Music scoring/notation seems particularly well suited for the additional use of a stylus in many use cases even though it’s slower than keyboard entry most of the time for experienced users.

Agreed again, and I think you’ve captured the Dorico team’s point of view. Whether Yamaha/Steinberg could add another group to Dorico’s small team and effectively develop “Stylus and Touch Dorico” is an interesting question, but certainly the expertise the team has developed is difficult to replicate and keeping a team small and flexible is important. That’s what makes Daniel’s comments about the use of Dorico technology in iOS/mobile apps (see Daniel’s first post in this thread in Feb of 2018) interesting. What kind of iOS software could use some of the technology behind Dorico without being Dorico? Could Steinberg buy Staffpad and turn it into the mobile/lite version of Dorico?

My main point throughout this thread is just that the touch/stylus market seems like it is crying out for the right music scoring and notation product, and people will pay for it when it works for them. Dorico is clearly leading the way forward right now and I’m hoping that they’ll address that market rather than leave it to other software which frustrate so much.

About the Linux version -

ducks thrown objects

I agree 100% with this.

I find that working in Dorico is easier if the screen is as large as possible - heading in the other direction seems to me to be making things more difficult. When you then factor in that you’ll need to learn a whole new way of working with Dorico, it strikes me as an awful lot of effort for very little gain.

However, I would be interested in any apps that can work in conjunction with the OSX / Windows version to make things easier. Something like an in house Command / Playback Manager - think Notation Express combined with IC Pro. I’d also like a file reader so I can load up any Dorico score on my iPad, browse through it and add comments if necessary.

David, I agree. (And I should have clarified my vote above.) For my part, I don’t want—or anticipate—a fully-functioning mobile version of Dorico for ipad. I’d like it as a tool to use in conjunction with the full desktop version. For instance, I’d love having a dorico app that could display my scores correctly (reformatted for the ipad screen perhaps), transpose, have rudimentary playback on the go, and perhaps the ability to start basic sketches in a format native to Dorico. I currently use a large 4k monitor and still feel the need for a second monitor (and would like to upgrade to an even larger 4k). I can’t imagine trying to do everything in Dorico on an ipad. I’d go insane. But those few things that it could lend would be nice to have as a complement to the real deal.