eXtensions - Friday 21 April 2017

Brian Eno Inspired Air Updated (2.0) for iPad and Improved iOS Navigation

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By Graham K. Rogers

Air Icon

I check for updates every morning for the Mac and for iOS and was surprised to see an update for a fairly low-profile app this morning: one that has only seen three updates since its release in 2009, the last in 2012. Air (69 baht) has now been updated to version 2.0 and the rubric simply states that it now has support for the iPad and there is "reworked navigation for iOS9+".

I first downloaded this shortly after it was first released. It builds on ambient music ideas of Brian Eno and is an audio-visual app: the display on the device matching the rather gentle rhythms of the electronic music it produces.

The user may simply listen to output with selections of All or Voices or Piano; or may "conduct" - directing All, Voices or Piano. There is also a "Random" option here. When opened the app recommends that headphones or speakers are used. While the iPhone 7 Plus I use has reasonable speakers, connecting the BeoPlay H7 headphones made a considerable difference.


The soothing sounds are matched with an unusual display that changes when the music is played. However, when the Conduct feature is used, the sound output will depend on which section of the display is touched, so we may create a personal composition. The sound builds as several of the 3D-look triangles are used, fading away at the end. Each of these sections has a different musical value - piano, voice or all.

For background, ambient music while relaxing or working, or for a gentle descent into sleep, this is worth trying out and as it now works on the iPad. I downloaded this to the 12.9" iPad Pro where that headphones or speakers recommendation may not be necessary. The display on the larger device appears identical to that on the iPhone, but much bigger.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



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