GarageBand To Be Free On New iOS Devices

garageband-free-iosGarageband for iOS, Apple’s mobile DAW, will be free on new devices, according to Apple tech site MacRumors.

GarageBand will become a free basic download for all iOS 7 purchased on or after Sept 1st, joining the five other iLife and iWork apps that became free with the release of iOS 7.

Here’s the (leaked) blurb from Apple’s site:

GarageBand is free on the App Store for all iOS 7 compatible devices; additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available with an in-app purchase. iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free on the App Store for qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated on or after September 1, 2013.

No official announcement has been made on this. Apple is holding a special event tomorrow, so expect additional information then.

24 thoughts on “GarageBand To Be Free On New iOS Devices

  1. I’m kind of getting sick of this approach. “Freemium” shouldn’t be the sole distribution/sales method. It should be for those that don’t want or need all of the features or content. For the rest of is, just offer a complete, one price version.

    For other perspectives on the matter, check out the reviews for Plants VS Zombies 2. The majority of them fail to even talk about the game. Instead they rail against the nickel and diming by EA.

    1. I’m sorry, but I keep reading this “freemium” word thrown around related to this news, but I don’t think that’s accurate, especially the comparison to a game like PvZ…

      In my mind, “freemium” usually implies an app that is FREE to download, but nearly impossible to play or enjoy without forking out money after the fact. It implies an attempt to “trick” a user out of their cash, and in the case of games, it unfairly prohibits advancement to the next level, or worse.

      This news about GarageBand is only saying that the EXACT SAME app I have on my iPhone/iPad today will now be free to download for new users, and there will also be additional instruments and sounds available via IAP if you so desire. Like Fungo McGurk said, this is a very common practice with music software, both on iOS and on the desktop. Remember the $99 Apple “Jam Packs” from a few years ago?

      Either way, a new and free version of GarageBand won’t adversely affect any existing user, especially if you’re hardcore and use ACP and/or the new IAA to create your tracks. It’ll be the same functionality and there’s no need to pay for additional sound packs if you don’t want to.

      1. Sorry about using the F-word, but it does seem to be catching on unfortunately.

        You’re absolutely right that this concept has been here all along… (the paid add-on content like Jam Packs) .
        I guess I was (incorrectly) assuming the sort of “the title screen is free, but everything else will cost you” shenanigans that we’ve seen elsewhere in the industry.

        The question that still remains though is…
        Will all of the current content remain in the free version, or will it include only a simple base set of instruments with options to pay to upgrade to the experience of the current full version?

  2. Yea the IAP model still bugs me. While I understand that it can allow consumers to tailor their app to their specific needs and not purchase that which they don’t need; IAPs are often obtrusive in the app and make the user feel like they are working with an incomplete product. I wonder apps with IAPs bother us kids with App Acquisition Syndrome more, than those healthy, app-selective folks.

  3. (shrug) I’m an Apple-leaning Logic user, so to me, this is no different than Camel Audio offering synth expansion packs. Garageband is plenty for basic songwriters or iPad people on the go. With Logic a mere $199 now, its not as if you’re being ripped off if you do decide to upgrade. You can literally be covered up in great instruments and effects for a few bucks now, so either route works there. You could not give me some DAWs, but I still see good features in them. Its part of the march towards the day we all have that Wm. Gibson USB.666 PORT in our necks. 😀

    Apple is making a sensible and rather friendly move here. If you’re going to buy the hardware, truly useful bundled software is meaningful added value. Its an all but standard practice now. The App store has issues, but the overall gain outstrips them. I want the $#@! option of a lighter-colored skin on Logic X, but I’d offer GB for free too, if it was up to me. Logistically, its a positive move.

  4. I guess you could say I’m “Apple leaning” as well, and therein lies the rub…
    When I get an app, it should “Just Work™”.
    I don’t want to have to enter my AppleID password 15 times to unlock each synth or effect, piece meal style. Kind of reminds me of a anecdote about boiling frogs… 😉

    1. Your upset over 5.99? Imagine how all the logic users that spent 1500 + on logic and logic upgrades only to see it being sold for 199.99 with no offers of a free or reduced upgrade to existing users feel.

    1. Your upset over 5.99? Imagine how all the logic users that spent 1500 + on logic and logic upgrades only to see it being sold for 199.99 with no offers of a free or reduced upgrade to existing users.

  5. Hey folks, thats a lot of belly-aching for an excellent piece of software that only costs 5 fricken dollars. Oh yeah, now it’s free (not Freemium). Purchasing additional instruments via IAP is something that A LOT of people have been asking for so I’m not sure what all the whining is about (except for the usual internet forum knee jerk reaction). I expect that all the instruments that are in the existing version will still be in there (Apple is not EA) since they want to support the existing base and not piss off all the present GB users. You will, most probably, just be able to cherry-pick new instruments based on your taste without filling up the available memory on your iPad with stuff that doesn’t fit your style.

    1. Graham – “I expect that all the instruments that are in the existing version will still be in there (Apple is not EA) since they want to support the existing base and not piss off all the present GB users.”

      It’s exactly that “I expect…” uncertainty that sparked my comments.
      If the current “full” version is made free, cool. No complaints there.

      Now if Apple is going to be adding -new paid content- (not present in the current full or free version) then that’s awesome, as long as they don’t crazy with it – (ie, Synth Bass A: $0.99, Synth Bass B: $0.99, etc.)
      If they could do Jam Pack style bundles, I’d be happy even if they were $5 or $10 each.

  6. When I see an app is “freemium” or “IAP” I just avoid it because there’s no way to tell the total cost of ownership. Will it cost 5 bucks to get it feature complete? Or will I have to blow 50 bucks to get everything? Video games started as “pay to win”, need to kill 20 minutes before your movie starts? Go spend a couple bucks in the arcade. Ok, fine, this can work…but doing that with “prosumer” apps is just obnoxious. Surely Apple knows that too much choice actually causes anxiety and annoyance in the consumer which is why they have a very slim line of products…well with IAP apps you are now giving people that shopping anxiety like “should i buy this? is it cheaper than the other one? I can’t tell since it’s IAPed up, do i need that feature? gee, I don’t know, etc… easier to just not buy it. Sure, some geeks like to blow the whole day at JR comparing features on motherboards hoping to save 20 bucks on their homemade PC or whatever, ok cool for them, but leave that kind of crap to the Android people please, they’ll love it. I just want tools that work.

  7. Lets not let freemium games, with all their trickery, make freemium music apps look bad!

    In the case of music apps, think of a freemium app as a demo. The IAPs usually unlock features rather than consumables. This is a big win for users because you can try before you buy, and you can buy what features you want.

  8. I’m very much looking forward to not being able to criticize this is any way, shape or form due to the fact that it’ll be free, so I’d better get my act together and get some in now.
    Errr….yeah, you can only use it as an output in AB…..only have two effects……only eight tracks – even if you can use a template to increase that, and eight is enough for me to get something started, which I can then import into Logic – oh, I mean ppffff only eight tracks? rubbish!
    Yeah – and it’s just too easy to use….hmm, clutching at straws now.
    I’m going to work out my frustrations by playing GTA5. TTFN.

  9. This is good news for me. Granted I already have GarageBand and an irig midi, the new instruments being added are pretty exciting. Hopefully they make synths much more featured instead of only 4 knobs, they should go all out like they did on the Hammond model. Perhaps a grand piano that has some life too.

    1. They make synths with MANY more knobs. They’re in Logic. You start getting more detailed instruments by upgrading from GB, or at least selecting 3rd party plugs carefully. If you want a fairly comprehensive instrumental bang-for-buck, look into SampleTank. It has a great library and its a good thing to use as a starter for more research. If you need a ‘real’ piano, buy Ivory. If not, build one as a combination patch made from several high and low piano layers. There are many good options and some make great blends with GB’s very basic soundset.

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