Apple’s New Inter-App Audio Brings Universal Audio Routing

Apple’s new iOS and OS X versions have been the center of attention at the WWDC 2013. With all eyes pointed at these innovative OS versions, developers were eager to find out what is new with iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

Among many innovative features introduced by the iOS 7, a notable new feature in the update is the inter-app audio. The system will allow developers to make their app act as an output or input for sending and receiving audio to and from other apps.

In fact, Apple’s new inter-app audio feature designed for developers will allow them to send audio from one app to another one, without making use of third-party apps such as Audiobus. Now, developers have numerous possibilities to create and share audio on iPhone and iPad.

Inter-app Audio Feature introduced in iOS 7

Recently, Apple introduced a new support for the third-party service in its own GarageBand app. Now, GarageBand would act as a host application, allowing it to receive audio from any audio app that is enabled as an output “node”.

As stated in the app descriptions, “Inter-app audio allows iOS audio applications that are remote instruments, effects or generators to publish an output which can be used by other audio application. These applications, which publish an output, are known as nodes. Any application which connects and utilized this node application is known as a host”.

After clearing things up, Apple also outlined two implementations of inter-app audio. Therefore, the app includes “InterAppAudioDelay” and an “InterAppAudioSampler”. InterAppAudioDelay is for effects such as delay: “InterAppAudioDelay allows apps to publish their audio capabilities so that they can be used in conjunction with other audio apps in iOS”.

On the other hand, some critics suggest the fact that Audiobus might feel threaten by Apple’s new audio innovation. However, it admitted that inter-app audio brings “ new functionality, which has some terrific features that only a team at Apple with system-level access could achieve”.

In order to make a clear distinction between these two similar products, here are some Audiobus features: a standardized interface, a control panel for triggers and device-to-device connections. On the other hand, Inter-app audio offers basic transport controls that have to be mapped to buttons inside each app. Moreover, Apple’s audio app does not own device-to-device connections.

Developers who are interested in using the new audio feature will have to “publish an AURemoteIO instance as an audio component that is visible to other processes” in order to act as a node or “to use audio features from another app, use the audio component discovery interfaces in iOS 7” as Apple mentioned within the inter-app audio’s description.

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