When it comes to U.S. and Canadian musicians, it seems that we’ve chosen Apple to provide us with the best mobile devices. Some musicians tend to choose Android, but for the most part we seem pretty set on the iPhone. Whether that’s my old hand-me-down iPhone 5 from family or the newer, fancier kind of models, it just seems that we all enjoy those the best.
That said, I think it’s well overdue that we put together a list of the best iPhone apps to have on the road (besides Maps, because, you know, duh). These are my most used apps that are specifically beneficial to touring.
1. WhatsApp Messenger
WhatsApp Messenger matters because you know there’s the one person in your band with a different kind of phone that sends text blocks over four or five messages. This person may also not have Facebook, and henceforth not have Messenger. That’s where WhatsApp comes in.
Mashtips called it the “number one cross-platform mobile messaging app.” Perhaps the best benefit of WhatsApp is that you don’t have to pay for SMS messaging with it either. If you have multiple phone services represented across your tour, this is your best option to keep everyone in touch.
Having an app like GarageBand helps you demo new songs out while traveling. Playing music all the time can help you come up with some new ideas, but the more you travel, the less time you may have to write.
If you’re impatient as far as getting to the writing stage, give GarageBand a try to start demoing out those songs. This way, you don’t have to waste time when you back home trying to remember the riff you came up with at some random club on your last string of dates. Demoing on the road helps you retain the cool ideas you’ve come up with in these scenarios, rather than discarding or forget them.
I didn’t know I liked Miley Cyrus, Tom Waits, or the Lemonheads until I used Shazam on tour. Sound guys who work at venues often have a more personalized taste they play over the speakers and it’s a great way to find new music, or in my case a lot of old music I never really paid mind to.
It’s without a doubt one of the best apps to have downloaded on the road, because you are surrounded by new music all the time. While writing this, I just checked and counted around 20 songs over the course of a month-long tour I shazammed. It’s definitely worth your time
This might sound kind of lame but I’m recommending this particularly for show promotion. A lot of promotion for DIY bands is done on social media, and Facebook is where the shows are officially promoted. Having a Facebook app allows you to interact with showgoers and check on updates should your promoter be flaky or forget to tell you.
Additionally, it’s good for networking with people you meet on the road. The people you meet at shows are the ones who will come see your band and book you the next time you come to their town. These people are the ones who will offer their house and hospitality to you. And these people will sometimes become fans of your music.
What iPhone apps do you and your tourmates find to be the best? Let me know on Twitter @Robolitious.