It's happening – Samsung is getting a feature that has been iOS exclusive for years – plug your guitar into your Galaxy and rock out!


There is no arguing that Android has made great strides these past few years, and the flagships toting the system have turned into hardware monsters of desktop-class power. Still, there are a few fronts left, where iOS beats Android, and this is usually the front of highly specialized, niche apps, which need to be developed with specific hardware in mind, in order to ensure flawless performance.

One such niche is audio processing and reproduction, more specifically – guitar signal processing – something that has reached quite the heights in development on iOS, has yet to even set foot in Android lands. Sure, there are some DJ apps that are making their way to Android these days, however, the platform is widely unpopular among developers of audio products due to the fact that Android has been infested with a lot of audio latency issues in the past (though, Google says Jelly Bean added ways for developers to fix those) and the fact that the OS spans across so many different hardware configurations that it's virtually impossible to guarantee flawless (or any type of) performance, unless the developer partners up with one specific manufacturer and only builds a program for a specific set of phones.

So, which Android handset manufacturer is better to team up with, if not Samsung? The South Korea-based ODM definitely builds the flagships that can deliver the heavy hardware punch, needed to run such a processing-heavy app, and it has its own Galaxy Store, ensuring the app would be hosted in its own ecosystem. So, IK Multimedia – the company who was first to bring guitar signal processing to iPhone – seems to have closed a deal with Sammy to do exactly that – be the pioneer to bring portable solutions for guitarists to Android.

Samsung has teased this for quite a while, before IK Multimedia finally spilled the beans. The first time we noticed something might be going on was when we watched Sammy's live Unpacked 2.0 event, which had a live band playing, and each instrument was connected to a Galaxy Note 3, instead of an amp, for example. Then, when Samsung announced the Galaxy Gifts, which each new Note 4 owner would receive, we noticed an AmpliTube LE app in the list – something that hadn't been seen on an Android device before. So it was obviously only a matter of time.

Well, IK finally announced it officially – the AmpliTube for Android is available through the Samsung Apps store and can be had for $19. There are also Free and LE versions – the latter is a gift version for Note 4 / Note Edge owners. The app is currently only available for these two tablets, though, IK says it will soon come to the Note 3 and Galaxy S5.

Guitar enthusiasts will also need a special piece of hardware – an audio interface – in order to be able to plug their guitars into the handset – of course, IK offers these also. There is a choice of three different ones – the $39.99 iRig interface, $69.99 iRig Stomp, and the $99.99 iRig HD-A (as opposed to the iRig HD, which is iOS-only – shop with care). If one can shell out the $100 for the third option – it's the best one, as it uses a digital connection in order to get the guitar's signal into the phone, where the other two use analog, introducing noise and signal-loss in the process. Tip: if you are unsure about this tech, but wish to try it out for cheap – there are plenty of iRig interfaces flowing around the second-hand market, as ever since manufacturers switched to digital interfaces, users have been looking to upgrade.

Samsung has also introduced the Soundcamp app, which is, more or less, Sammy's version of Apple's Garage Band, so there's probably more goodies on the way - such as MIDI controllers and drum machine apps... Exciting, no?


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14 Comments

1. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

bite me

2. KingDingaLing

Posts: 324; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

That's actually a cool app for those who play. I had it back on my 4s a few years ago.

3. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I love how you pick this opportunity to point out ones old features being added to another.

4. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Nice move by Samsung this time.

5. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

But still Apple has it better. I can play in Amplitube and record it in Auria using Audiobus, and add some drums from DM1. All on one device, Android doesn't have any serious music apps so it's definitely not OS for musicians.

6. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Stop that Apple vs Android/Samsung war already !!

8. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

I take offence to that. As a 20-year professional veteran, and never having felt the need to own a shoddy apple device and fall in with the crowd...

9. zibbyzib2000

Posts: 221; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Wow. You're soo cool.

11. paul.k

Posts: 296; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

It doesn't have the plethora of apps and hardware, yes, but it's an exciting step for Android that could open up more oppurtunities for such developments in the future. No matter which platform you prefer - having more choice is always a good thing, no?

7. techloverNYC

Posts: 601; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

Can't they fix the music player for Android while they on it? The shuffle feature in Android music players is so outdated compare to the IOS music player. I like android and I use an M8 but this music player is just unacceptable.

10. CheckThisOut2k

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

Hey iPhoneArena, lets take a look, and see how many features your precious iPhone took from the Android, shall we?

12. paul.k

Posts: 296; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

No need to bring this in here - it's a fact that Android is late to the mobile guitar processing party, and it is a fact that it has been a highly sought after feature - just google "Amplitube Android" and see how many people were asking about it, or looking for Android alternatives, in various musician forums. The fact that it's finally here is a good thing.

13. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

It's a great thing, it's the wording in the title that seems to put the iPA in the spotlight.

14. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Guitar processing party? It's a gala now? Just what exactly are these apps good for anyway? I'm a bassist and I only use my phone to link to my amp to run down tunes. I'm guessing people want it because it's good and there are a lot of folks on Android who want it. I have android phone but I have no idea just what this app does or helps with.

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