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Journey LIVE

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Next month Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble will be teaming up with composer Austin Wintory to premiere an original, interactive live performance of his Grammy-nominated score for the video game Journey. The game and its soundtrack have both been highly praised and incredibly popular, so it’s no surprise that their Kickstarter project was funded in just two hours. It has since reached over four times its goal, and with over three weeks left it’s sure to go even higher so be sure to check it out while the limited rewards are still available.

We were excited and honored to hear that they’ve chosen to use forScore during their performances, and they’ll be using Cue to stay in sync as they play from their iPads. Although we aren’t involved in the project at all, we think forScore is a natural fit for such a unique experience and trailblazing game.

Holidays

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As we head into this holiday season we wanted to take a moment to thank our amazing customers for a great 2015. It’s been quite a year, and none of it could have happened without your support and feedback.

We celebrated an amazing five years of forScore, taking a look back with a unique retrospective. We debuted our first service, Groups, allowing one user to easily manage music and setlists for their colleagues. This summer we released forScore 9, bringing incredible enhancements like Buttons and Dashboard, and with forScore 9.1 we added support for iOS 9’s new Split View and Slide Over multitasking modes. Just a few weeks ago now, Apple finally released the hotly anticipated iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, and our latest updates have taken full advantage of the powerful new hardware. We were even featured in Apple’s retail stores, on a giant banner and on every demo iPad Pro!

Now that the year is winding down and some lucky people are unwrapping their new iPads, we want to make sure people know about forScore and help them decide if it’s right for them. Word of mouth is huge, of course, but App Store reviews help a lot too. Unfortunately, every time we update forScore those ratings and reviews disappear, and we update forScore a LOT (over a hundred times so far). We don’t prompt our customers to review the app after every update because we know how frustrating that can be, but if you’re enjoying using forScore and want to help us reach an even bigger audience, please consider writing or updating your review.

And finally, we wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that apps make great gifts too! They’re perfect for last-minute shoppers and really help people put their iPads to full use. (You can even schedule them to arrive at a specific date and time if needed.)

Thanks again for all of your support, and your passion. We love making forScore better, and we can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring. Happy holidays!

forScore 9.3

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We’re very exited to announce the immediate availability of forScore 9.3, a big update that seriously enhances the annotation experience. For users with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, you’ll now benefit from support for pressure sensitivity and you’ll even be able to annotate at any time by simply drawing on the page (no need to enter annotation mode first!). We’ve also heavily optimized our annotation engine for today’s most sensitive devices, providing twice or even four times the detail without slowing you down. Finally, we’re adding a way for users with page turners or certain other hardware accessories to use links and buttons without touching the screen. You can learn more about all of these features in our recent Sneak Peek article.

As always, forScore 9.3 is a free update for all existing users and still just $9.99 (USD) for newcomers. These improvements will also be coming soon to forScore mini with our 2.3 update, so keep an eye out for that. Special thanks to all of our beta testers who helped us put the final touches on this complex update—we sincerely appreciate it.

Sneak Peek: forScore 9.3

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A little over a week now, we had our first chance to use Apple Pencil with forScore and came away impressed by the automatic palm rejection technology. Since then, we’ve managed to get our very own Pencil and have been working furiously over the past few days to take full advantage of its unique technologies and to tackle some issues we hadn’t seen during that first demo. Today we’re ready to give you a sneak peek at forScore 9.3 and some of the changes we’re making.

First, we’ve spent a ton of time working to make forScore’s annotation engine even faster. As of iOS 9, newer iPads deliver twice as much drawing information and iPad Pro with Apple Pencil delivers four times as much; this provides greater detail but requires more time to render. As soon as we started using Pencil we noticed some slowdowns, especially when erasing, drawing longer marks, or when using larger drawing presets. For a system as highly optimized as ours is, quadrupling performance is a huge undertaking but we’re always up for a challenge and after lots of late nights we’ve significantly improved things. Best of all, these optimizations will benefit all forScore users, not just those with the latest hardware.

If you’ve got an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, though, you’ll get some other nice big upgrades. For instance, you can now start annotating by simply drawing on the page with Apple Pencil—there’s no need to enter annotation mode first. Once forScore detects Pencil input, it’ll activate annotation mode automatically and draw your marks without missing anything. Annotation mode stays on so you can undo any mistakes, switch tools, and save or cancel your changes. This works everywhere except when you’re using two-page mode in landscape orientation. We’ve also added support for Pencil’s pressure sensitivity, so your drawings will look a little more natural and nuanced.

Finally, we’re adding a feature we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out: you can now use links or buttons with your page turner, keyboard, MIDI controller, or Bluetooth Smart device. There are two new options in the “Page Turners & Shortcuts” section of the settings panel called “Select Control” and “Activate Control.” The first allows you to move focus between any of the currently visible links or buttons on your page, and the second simulates a tap on the currently selected control. You can also skip the first step to immediately activate the first (or only) control on the page.

We’re excited to deliver all of these new features and enhancements with forScore 9.3 just as soon as it’s ready, and our beta testers are already hard at work looking for bugs and sending us their feedback. We’re hoping to release it in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Retail Banner

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Either we missed this last week at the Apple store or they just weren’t up yet, but forScore is being featured on one of the banners at the retail stores that use them. The image is part of Apple’s holiday gifts marketing series, and more can be found on their website. Check it out below, and special thanks to twitter user @RealAppleNerd for letting us know!

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