Mobile music app recommendations

Phones and tablets have rich potential as musical instruments. Here’s my list of interesting music apps. The iOS apps are ones that I’ve personally used and enjoyed. I haven’t tried most of the Android ones, but they were recommended by people whose opinions I trust. If you have suggestions, please add them in the comments.


  • GarageBand (better than the desktop version in a lot of ways)
  • Auxy (packs a lot of musicality into a minimalist interface)
  • Figure (exquisite user interface design)
  • Rhythm Necklace (circular rhythm visualization, futuristic)
  • Nodebeat (generative, relaxing, great for preschoolers)
  • Patterning (more futuristic circular rhythm)
  • Animoog (not cheap but sounds amazing and is fun to play)
  • Bebot (another good preschooler app)
  • Baby Scratch (turntablism made simple)
  • Samplr (extremely futuristic audio sampler)
  • Keezy (super minimal sampler, delightful to use)
  • Madpad (video sampler, hard to explain, just try it)
  • Launchpad (ideal dance music tool)
  • Launchkey (cool synth app)
  • Borderlands (steep learning curve but super futuristic)
  • Thor (very steep learning curve, but sounds fantastic)
  • Audioshare (invaluable for moving audio between apps, for exporting from the mobile device to your computer, for recording from apps that don’t have that functionality natively, and much else)

Recommended by Adam Goldberg:


Marc Weidenbaum’s list of the best apps of 2016
More recommendations
Yet more recommendations
All of the popular free ones

Here’s some music I’ve made with mobile devices:

3 thoughts on “Mobile music app recommendations

  1. Musical necklace was released yesterday. It is super awesome. Looks like you already updated your link. Thanks for the heads up!

    +1 for nanoloop (on iOS). tweakybeat and seekbeats, too, but my favorite tool is impaktor. cool synthesis with randomize, multitrack loop, and you can drum on any surface.

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