The Files App in iOS 11 is Huge for Music Apps

I’ve been working on integrating the new iOS 11 Files features into an existing music app. This feature is going to open new workflow possibilities for creators and remixers.

iOS Files Support can be First Class

Apple is pushing deep integration for Files with controllers like UIDocumentBrowserViewController (meant to be the root view of your app) and UIDocumentPickerViewController (more like to a modal).

You’ll launch your app and either you’ll start in a files based browser or you’ll pull one up later to move your files in and out of your app.

File utilities could easily be new a category of apps, especially with experiences centered around creation and manipulation of media. In addition to traditional music applications, a file browser app could provide utility like editing new audio loops, generating chord progressions, or providing an easy way to update meta data for things like tempo and key.

iOS Files Support can be Simple

For a first pass experiment on my app, I just set two flags in my application (UIFileSharingEnabled and LSSupportsOpeningDocumentsInPlace).

Everything I was previously saving within my app (hidden away from other applications in its own documents folder) was now visible in the Files app, under a special folder for my app.

Two simple settings, and then I was able to take my audio assets, and free them to be shared, imported into iMovie and GarageBand, or dragged into whatever other utility the future creator might want.

Want More?

Check out the WWDC session, Building Great Document-based Apps in iOS 11. Or, just set the few flags above and see what possibilities it unlocks in your app.

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