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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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Very interesting. Back to "wait and see" mode...

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The Truth is PreSonus (Notion) is the only company that get's it.  Even Dorico whose interface is horrible (this is the best that an ex sibelius team could do?), doesn't get it. They should develop on IOS and extend it on Mac OS or Windows.  The problem is simple:  Finale's architecture is so outdated they can't develop for ios.  They would have to do a new Finale from the ground up which is the reality of what they really need to do.  Some people have said they are not concerned with the lack of andIOS app, but they should be.  Any company not seriously concerned with mobile at this point probably increases their chances drastically of not being in business within the next 10 years.  It goes hand in hand with having outdated code. 

MakeMusic could purchase one of these other apps and try to do an integration like that but that's probably their best option at this point.  In the meantime, Notion keeps getting better.  Why Dorico would even consider not retesting an IOS app is beyond me with such a new product. (Even they are obsolete at this point).   All this said Notion needs an overhaul to it's UI as well, primarily on the desktop version. They need to take a page from Musescore. 

For those asking what features should Finale Mobile do, try looking at Notion.  If not Notion, look at the other options there.  This will give you an idea of what features Finale for iPad OS should be able to do.  It's not  that hard, but it does cost money.

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I don’t know why makemusic gave up years ago on being the number 1 in Music notation. Without Sibelius kicking their behinds, they would have improved nothing. Let’s face it. Finale in Spanish? That’s supposed to excite me?
No, iOS is the last thing they are thinking about. I still think I wouldn’t want to do my 55 piece score on an iPad. But I sure could do a lead sheet on it. Maybe one day Mac OS and iOS will be able to run the same software. I think we are very close. Then they may be willing to modernize Finale, but the competition nay have just gotten too strong by then.

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I'm sorry for those who cannot live without a mobile version of Finale, but I would point out that Finale has a well developed implementation of XML to allow imports of files produced on mobile devices.

 

Perhaps the recent slow pace of feature development in Finale is precisely due to spending massive effort behind the scenes rebuilding the program from the ground up, something that the Dorico Team spent four years on. I hope that is the explanation.

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That’s not much of an explanation... since Apple is switching from Intel to ARM processors, this would be an excellent opportunity to build a version of Finale that works on both MacOS and iOS...

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All I am going to say is that I am tired of spending $99 FInale upgrades.  I have desperately tried to use Finale since version 1. The program is buggy and not intuitive at all. I think it's time for Finale to realize that we are in 2023.  We have ipads and apple pencils, we are ready to write music on a screen as we used to do it on paper. The technology is there! If you don't come up with an efficient way to do this, I am sure that someone else will and Finale will become a bad remembrance of the past!

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That ship has left the dock.

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Notion Mobile and Staffpad both have well developed pen input, and both export XML. Problem solved.

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William, I know I wrote the same thing, yesterday! I must have pushed the wrong button. Again…

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No, I don't think the problem is solved, because Finale is not intuitive, it does not follow the Mac guidelines and is full of bugs!

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All the more reason not to get side tracked on iOS

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All I am going to say is that I am tired of spending $99 FInale upgrades

 

The upgrades were annual till late 2011 when Finale 2012 was released. In the past twelve years, there have been five. What is your point?

 

No, I don't think the problem is solved, because Finale is not intuitive, it does not follow the Mac guidelines and is full of bugs

 

The same is true of all other notation software. As Deems Taylor pointed out decades ago, the problem with writing music (notation) is that it is not written; it is drawn. Jump forward 80 years, it’s the problem that everyone faces.

 

I suppose I should be slightly annoyed at Fender for wanting to charge me $15 to update Notion for iOS and another $15 for iPadOS. I’ve had it since 2010 or so when it was free (PreSous bought NotionMusic in 2013; Fender bought PreSonus last year). Ok, rant over. Anyway, it works quite well as does the MusicXML import/export. 

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As I have said on another software's forum, "There is no such thing as intuitive."

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I sure wish I understood why the folks on this forum that are supporting and making excuses for Finale are doing so…🤷🏻‍♂️ The arrogance of the MakeMusic team in completely brushing off their users’ requests and refusing to bring their software into the 21st century is sad. I’ve been using it since the early 2000’s and it has improved very little.

I assume they must be primarily supported by older professors and music directors who don’t understand the beauty and simplicity of modern software that can also be used on a touchscreen tablet such as the iPad. All the workarounds offered by the various folks on here that seem to be defending this legacy company are quite clumsy–having to export xml and using iPad apps like Notion etc. are not something that should have to be done with a professional software like Finale.

Sad to see such a longstanding company slowly fade into obscurity and obsolescence just because they don’t want to do the hard work of rebuilding for today’s technology…

Diatribe over…😊

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I agree 100% with Kenneth! CODA software will fade into obscurity, is just a matter of time unless they get with the program. By the way Adrian, I think that MOTU Digital Performer and ForScore are very intuitive. So yes, there is such a thing as software that you don't need to read the manual in order to use it.

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CODA Music hasn’t existed for many years.

 

There was a Finale app in 2012 that never got out of Beta. It was horrible and could not compare to what NotionMusic had already done. MakeMusic has decided not to compete in that arena. Notion is now free with in-app purchases.

 

I’ve been using Digital Performer since v.2 and don’t like to use anything else. Intuitive? Not a chance… The only notion I find sillier is that Logic is.

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