I ask that if you're reading this to read through and to please consider my request seriously and to let the good folks at Finale know how much you'd like to see Finale iOS. If you have any reservations, let me prove to you why it would help advance and not slow the progress Finale (the desktop version).
And I can also show you how and why a Finale iOS version could have a major impact on your workflow.
I own an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I use Notion iOS for my daily off site notation sketching and full charting and part printing to completion app. It works! And if I need to add something to a chart that the iOS version can't do (which there isn't much of), I can save to iCloud, Dropbox, save as MIDI file, XML and PDF. Then transfer it to Notion, Finale or my DAW for further editing.
But I would like to see Finale iOS and it's my desktop notation app.
There are two critical things to understand about iOS.
1) The A9X chip used in the iPad Pro's is fast. It's approaching decent i5 speeds and can easily handle playback of a full orchestra or if you're running a DAW and need to do sound design or you're composing in an iOS DAW, the iPad Pro runs several powerful DAWs (I'm currently using Cubasis which is the iOS version of Cubase - although I'm a Digital Permorner user on my multi-MacPro desktop rig), an iPad Pro can handle most needs with ease.
Note entry can be accomplished just like the desktop version (including using an attacked MIDI controller either via a USB cable or through Bluetooth. Bluetooth is great because it frees up the Lightning port to be used as a digital audio out, which can not only be connected to your desktop rig via a USB port, but an external clock can control playback. In other words it's about the same as having a MacBook connected to your main rig but it does things a MacBook can't. For one, the synths now available for iOS are extremely powerful.
2) The Apple Pencil. I can write notation freely with the pencil on a blank Notion iOS document and it takes my handwriting and turns it into vector graphics. The one problem with Notion iOS is that it only allows you to write on the bottom 25 percent of the screen. That doesn't quite cut it. But that's not an iOS or iPad issue. If you haven't already looked at the app StaffPad for Window's Surface tablets, your jaw will drop with envy when you do (look it up). StaffPad is basically a blank template for any ensemble you want. You write on the screen with a stylus just like you would with pencil and paper and StaffPad will convert your handwriting into vector graphics AND it makes use of the entire screen. It's taken the Windows notation world by storm. The makers of StaffPad have been inundated by iPad users asking for an iOS version but they stubbornly refuse to port to iOS stating the the iPad is not powerful enough (THIS IS BLATANTLY FALSE) as the A9x and the forthcoming A10x are fastly approaching i5 and even i7 capabilities. I have the Geekbench scores to prove it.
They also say that iOS is too locked down. Again, this is pure nonsense. Unfortunately the programmer for StaffPad is a Windows developer only and refuses to consider porting anything to Apple. I have a history with Apple and I can tell you that he is wrong. The iPad Pro is now capable of handling a desktop type app. Notion iOS basically does everything the desktop version does.
Notion iOS does 90 percent of what I need it to do. But again, the iOS community is insulted that there aren't very many big name notation apps for iOS. However there are many apps trying. There's Notion, Muse Score, Score Creator, Guitar Pro, NotateMe Now (all Pencil usage), Symphony Pro, iReal Pro, TouchNotation, Avid Scorch, and many others. BUT what's missing are the BIG TWO - Finale and Sibelius.
Admittedly Finale as is might be a tough port because it's so deep and has been built around the mouse and desktop metaphor for a long time. But with the latest version, Finale 25, a companion Finale iOS doesn't seem as far fetched as it might have been a couple of years ago.
I'm a film composer, conductor, music theory and composition teacher, and I have a background in technology. I worked at Apple for some years. And I can honestly tell you that the time is right for Finale iOS. iOS and iPad Pros are now powerful enough to hang with the desktop version ( in most respects), and in some ways the workflow is faster (depending on the task).
I have fallen in love with sketching and charting on the iPad Pro and I believe if Finale made an iOS version, it would take off like wildfire. StaffPad has done amazingly well for Surface sales and for composers and arrangers in rehearsals that are doing edits, cranking out cues (which get handed off to the destop orchestrator for clean up and part printing, but in Notion iOS can be done on the iPad itself!). StaffPad has revolutionized the way film scores and composers on location work. The iPad Pro is waiting for that app. Notion iOS is close, but because they got bought out by Presonus, integration with Studio One had become a priority. Hence, right now is the perfect time for Finale to make its move to iOS.
There are many, like me, that are heavily invested in iOS and the large iPad Pro specifically and refuse to buy into a Windows system. IMO, the Surface Pro's are clunky compared to the iPad Pro.
I herby request that Finale and MakeMusic port a version of Finale to iOS that is a combination of what Notion iOS and StaffPad have accomplished. I'm willing to use my YouTube channel to make videos showing the power of Notion iOS on the iPad Pro to demonstrate what a Finale iOS could do for the composer on the go.
I'm also asking for the voices of the Finale community to speak up and ask for Finale iOS. I'm guessing some of you already get it and already want it. But for those of you that are skeptical, please voice your concerns to me and let me show you the power, freedom and the newly found freshness of being able to notate at a high level on a mobile device. You will be surprised. Many times I have felt the creative desire in between rehearsals and then charted out my ideas during breaks or between rehearsals, and that has revolutionized my workflow, (and my output!).
Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your feedback.
Steve Steele (Finale users since 1995).
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