Okay, Google Android fans — your apps are starting to arrive, especially as Google continues to improve the SDK.

First up, here’s a demo of the new app FingerPlay MIDI, which turns Android into a simple touch controller. True, we’ve seen similar things on iPhone, and Apple’s platform has precise multitouch which Android lacks, but it’s nice to see the concept extended across platforms. Big thanks to postromantic on Twitter for the tip! (Follow cdmblogs for more.)

FingerPlay MIDI

I can’t tell yet if this will be open source – that would actually be nice, I think, as it’d allow the community of developers to have a shared set of tools. (In fact, it seems a logical model would be to cash in on general-market apps and open source the more music-specific, niche stuff.)

In other Android mobile news, Christopher Souvey continues to work on his Musical application and the Musical Pro desktop app. The desktop client works with MIDI over Wifi, and thanks to the Cupcake OS update, latency is greatly reduced after a complete rewrite and the creation of custom drawing and event handling and controls. Check out the slick new tuner and UI Christopher has been developing, too.

http://www.souvey.com/ [blog with all the latest]

This play-along piano is probably not something any of you folks desperately need, but it is a good demonstration of what’s possible.

Another interesting thread to follow will be the growing power of Web apps. On Android, you’re already able to combine a Web app with the Java APIs, and going another level, mobile apps with native ARM code for the processor. Translation: while phones still have a fraction of the power of your computer, it’s getting easier for developers to work across platforms and to take advantage of what power is there. That’s leading to trends that could be of use not only to a single platform (Android, iPhone), but to mobile devices in general.

  • ex-fanboy

    ok, interesting, but seems to laggy to me.
    aka latency problems.

    have not seen that prob on the iphones (or my winmobile ppc either for that matter.)

    still, the development of things in the last couple months is really cool….

  • I'm going to talk to Chris Souvey about what he's doing with those custom widgets. Basically, making UIs act as fast as we want for audio is hard in any context — worse in mobile. But it seems like a solvable problem.

  • @ex-fanboy: Are you talking about Musical or FingerPlay? (and if you are talking about Musical, do you mean playing on the device or over WIFI?) Thanks!

  • ex-fanboy

    sorry chris, was out for awhile….

    i mean both actually.

    the latency over wifi is to be expected, and in my experience bluetooth is better – i use a wii controller in my vj sets for example (bluetooth).

    but the lag/latency when "fingerplaying" is obvious….
    whether it is actually either an app problem or a hardware problem, i'm not sure; i tend to think it's a coding problem though.
    look what nvidia did with physx in peter's article on createdigitalmotion.com. just rewriting code changed everything!

    in any case, using winmobile every music app i've used has the same latency irregardless if its on a 512 mhz ppc or a 226 mhz smartphone.

    and i'm really not a fan of winmobile, believe me, but in this case, it realy does "just work".

  • ex-fanboy

    oops my last cpuple sentences did not get posted with my message:

    that all said, you are to be complemented for your work chris! without guys like you out there, the app landscape would be a lot less imaginative and exciting.

    like peter said, we know how hard it is to program fast ui for audio.

    so; no, thank YOU!

    I'm grabbing from the google marketplace this instant.

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  • I would love to make FingerPlay open-source as soon as I've cleaned up the code a bit.

    There is some latency involved as it has to send data over the wifi connection, but it's not as bad as the video on youtube might make it seem.

  • ex-fanboy

    cooooooOOL! can hardly wait 🙂

  • aaron

    There is already an opensource Wifi/MIDI application that can be easily ported to the andriod. It was originally written for the DS and has since had a port for the iPhone. I own a ton of the iphone apps and almost all of them with midi use this code.

    http://dsmidiwifi.tobw.net/ http://code.google.com/p/dsmi/

  • Tim

    I am developping an app for android which turns the touch surface into a 2d pad, with that you can control whatever you want over 2 axis, midi messages are sent and a server on a PC just transfer them to any virtual midi device you have installed.
    It is open source and uses bluetooth, not wifi as a medium between the phone and the pc.
    the google code website is here, I'll put a verison on the market as soon as I have a nice version. For now it is working but the interface sucks, so stay tuned, and you're welcome to participate/test with your phone as I only have a touch with android 1.6 at my disposal.