Written iPhone Music App Review
MiniPiano is a free piano emulation application for the Apple iPhone. It is available for download from the App Store.
MiniPiano is a stripped down version of the FingerPiano application, by developer Junpei Wada. As you’d assume, this app operates like a ‘real’ piano – you press down the keys on the screen with your fingers to produce an audible sound. However, this is really the only similarity with a real piano. MiniPiano doesn’t have any more functionality or other features that you might expect from a virtual keyboard.
MiniPiano in Action:
Firstly, let me say that “features” are non-existent. You are limited in the number of notes to one octave – this gives you 14 playable notes in total. Unfortunately, there are no options for customization or configuration either – you can’t move the octave up or down, or increase the number of keys on screen. This really limits you in terms of what you can actually play. A lot of music obviously utilizes a larger range than that which is provided by MiniPiano, meaning that while Mary Had a Little Lamb might be possible, Fur Elise is definitely out of the question.
Other draw-backs include
- No recording feature
- Low volume
- Hard to hit black keys
The low volume problem isn’t entirely MiniPiano’s fault though – the iPhone in general simply doesn’t have a loud enough speaker. You will find it next to impossible to hear the notes you are playing unless you are in a quiet space. I found that while demonstrating the app to a friend in a semi-crowded room I had to hold the speaker up to their ears to show that MiniPiano was actually producing any sound at all. They were still amused by the app, however.
Despite the aforementioned drawbacks, the reality is that MiniPiano is a free application. It is definitely basic, but it still allows for a little bit of creativity and fooling around on-the-go. If you are looking for more advanced options and more functionality, take a look at FingerPiano – its also available in the App Store for $2.99.
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