Version Reviewed: 1.5
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I still remember the pre App Store days where the coolest thing in the world was the kid who had the incredibly simple guitar strumming app, just waiting to be played with simple touch commands. You could even, and this is cool, use multitouch on the frets to make a simple chord. The world was our oyster.
The app world today is a bit different, with music sims coming from countless developers hoping to make a buck off the tried and true guitar and drum designs. The trombone though; now that's an instrument worth downloading (no joke, the trombone is pretty cool).
iBone, by Spoonjack, is the first trombone sim that I've been really impressed with in the App Store (I liked Leaf Trombone, but that's an entirely different thing altogether). The apps layout shows your trusty old trombone set in front of an interactive note board. As far as I can tell, the notes are all labeled in vertical columns that correspond to where the slide would be if you were actually playing the note on a trombone. Once you get the note placement down pat you can even turn off the note background and replace it with the image that is coming out of your camera. If you want to get really wild and crazy you can even turn on an option that lets you blow into the iPhone mic to make the sounds. Watch out for water damage though... the phone doesn't come with a spit valve.
The best part about iBone though is that it comes with a few songs to play, such as Ride of the Valkyries and Greensleeves, each of which have interactive help options that light up the correct note at the correct time. Since I am but half a musician and have a fear of lifting my finger off the screen, my songs all sound like drunk renditions... but still, it's fun.
My only concern here, and this is legitimate, is with the name of the app. I'm usually not one to criticize an app's name, but iBone? Really? Imagine yourself as a parent for a moment. Being an app fan you typically green light app purchases, but now your son is coming at you with an app called iBone.
"But it's a trombone dad!"
"Yeah, I'll bet..."