Apple's Logic Remote shows the logic of Post-PC

Apple [AAPL] yesterday introduced Logic Pro X and in doing so took another big step toward a post-PC future, releasing an iPad app that acts as a user interface for many of the application's actions.

The Logic of Remote

It's only a suggestion of the future direction of the most processor-hungry apps within the new PC generation. You don't get to access every feature of the pro music studio using your iPad and you'll need Logic installed on your Mac. Despite which it represents a new paradigm in which your Mac or PC becomes the "truck" to handle the processor intensive functions, while your mobile device becomes the user interface from which to access those features.

Logic Pro X is picking up positive reviews:

"Logic Pro X is the best music software release I've seen from Apple in a while. They added a lot of pro features, but at the same time managed to make the app more approachable -- that's a difficult thing to do." Jim Dalrymple, The Loop.

"Unless you’re already committed to another DAW or aren’t entirely dependent on 32-bit plug-ins, you should plunk down the measly 200 bucks Apple asks for it. It’s an amazing piece of work." Chris Breen, Macworld.

"For existing users, though, unless you need 32-bit compatibility, I think upgrading is a no brainer."  Peter Kirn, Create Digital Music.

(To be objective, consistent criticisms I'm picking up refer to the software's abandonment of support for 32-bit plug-ins; the upgrade is the same as full retail price of $199; there's a feeling Apple should improve some of the audio processors within the suite.)


The iPad app is called Logic Remote and is available for free from the App Store. This is what Apple says of the release:

"Logic Remote is an innovative new way to extend the creative power of Logic by using your iPad. Designed to take full advantage of the iPad Multi-Touch™ display, Logic Remote gives users new ways to record, mix and even perform instruments in Logic Pro X from anywhere in the room, turning their iPad into a keyboard, drum pad, guitar fretboard, mixing board or transport control." Apple.

Untethered UI

This all sounds like candy, right? Nothing too significant. You still need your Mac to run the software. You aren't running Logic independently of the computer, the iPad is simply an interface to those functions.

This will change.

Circumstantial evidence of the change is seen in Adobe's move to embrace cloud-based services across its creative apps, as evidenced by Creative Cloud.

Once again, the mobile apps don't offer the full versatility of the PC/Mac-based versions, but they do offer some of the features. It must surely be obvious that as devices become more powerful and the cloud-based technologies are improved, it's only a matter of time until the mobile apps/cloud-based CS services offer additional features.

You see, what Apple has done with the release of the iPad app for Logic is plant a flag in the ground. Right now it's just about using Logic on your Mac from the other side of the room, but the inherent happening here is that you have now untethered the user interface from the Mac and put (some of it) inside a mobile device.

Apple is aware of the need to innovate within cloud services: take a look at iWork for iCloud as evidence of this.

It's all about the user interface. Your entire relationship with the computer you're likely to be reading this article on is predicated by that interface. The actual technology inside your computer isn't as relevant to that experience as your experience of using the user interface. It's not what the computer does that defines this experience, but what you do.

The separation of the Logic interface from the Mac and its inclusion within the iPad as an app means that in future you can put the Mac in another room, town, city or country while continuing to access its power using your iPad.

As broadband access becomes ever more ubiquitous and speeds improve, it will become increasingly possible for all of us to access the full power of a computer remotely using a mobile device.

At some point, the applications we are today completely reliant on a computer to perform (video and audio processing software being good examples of this) will be made available as cloud-based services. The only reason for any delay in such evolution might be to protect PC sales -- which is why Adobe is in position to accelerate that migration.

That this migration has begun is clearly evidenced by Apple's move to liberate Logic's UI from the Mac, and make it available on the Post-PC iPad. Yes, you need your own Mac to run the software today, but that won't always be the case tomorrow.


[ABOVE: A truck, taken by Tony Harrison c/o Flickr]

Keep truckin'?

The PC has become a truck. It will be used for certain specific functions. However, as mobile devices and cloud services are improved, the reasons for using a PC will shrink. These things won't go away, they will simply step into the background, supporting new breed devices, new user interfaces, and ubiquitous new computing experiences. Logic Remote is a significant release because it cuts the cord between the computer and the user. Now it is here it will only improve.

Like climate change skeptics, there's a lot of resistance to the notion of Post-PC; but the deniers doom us all -- the ice is melting and the evolution of the computing world will take place regardless of loud denials from the lackeys of vested interest.

The Post-PC sea change that defines the new era of the computer world has begun, so ask yourself how will affect you and your business: Will you sink, or will you swim?

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