forScore on Android: A no-go, for the time being

Posted: September 11, 2012 in Android, apps, forScore, iPad, sheet music, tablet

Credit: forScore

A lot of people arrive at my blog after doing a web search on forScore and Android.  Well, I’m sorry to say that the prospects of forScore being released for the Android platform are pretty bleak at this time.  The forScore website used to have a section in its FAQ stating that they had no plans at the current time to develop an Android version (although that FAQ section has since been removed; I don’t know if there’s any significance to that).  A musician colleague and I independently contacted the forScore developers last December to press them on Android and they gave both of us essentially the same response:

Thanks for your feedback, I definitely understand where you’re coming from. Unfortunately, it’s more than just a simple matter of wanting to create an Android version or not. The developer tools themselves are completely different, and not nearly as easy to work with. For now, I hope you and your colleagues will understand that it’s not an intentional snub, just a matter of our own capabilities.

The state of the art for PDF music score reading apps on Android has been lagging behind the iPad for some time, and still does as of this writing.  However, if you want to use your Android tablet for reading music, you might consider these options:

  • MobileSheets – PDF music reader app.  As of this writing, it does not support annotation, although it is on the product development roadmap. [UPDATE 10/23/12: MobileSheets supports annotation as of version 3.5.]
  • ezPDF Reader – A general-purpose PDF reader with good annotation capabilities.  I know of musicians who use this and have found it satisfactory. [UPDATE: Read a musician-oriented review of ezPDF Reader here.]
  • Musicnotes Sheet Music Viewer – Allows you to view sheet music purchased from Musicnotes.com on your Android device.

[UPDATE 10/31/12: You can also read forScore’s response to another musician’s Android query at this post from 2011, “Where are the Android Tablet Music Readers?”,  in the Technology, Music, Life blog.]

I have to say, though, that the difference in the playing field between music reader apps on iOS versus Android is in large part what forced my hand with respect to purchasing an iPad – although I took my time deliberating over the options (see “How I chose between an iPad and an Android tablet as a music reader,” parts one, two, and three).

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Comments
  1. Thank you for your post, as it’s the most current and definitive info I’ve been able to find on the matter. I use ezPDF Reader in the chorus I belong to, but several of my fellow chorus members use forScore and even from my limited interaction with it, it is an incredible program that outshines anything available on Android by a mile.
    It’s funny because when I bought my tablet (an original Xoom by Motorola) my intention wasn’t to use it as a sheet music reader…this is a functionality I realized later (although it’s kind of ‘duh’! 🙂 ), but if I had to do it again, or if I had the money, I would pick up an iPad because reading music has become the main purpose for which I use my tablet.
    Anyway, thanks again for your post!
    Daniel

    • Tech4Singers says:

      Glad you found it helpful, Daniel! I do hope that more options become available for Android, so that we musicians will have more choices. If you have any interesting experiences or insights in the future about using Android or tablets for singing, please stop by my blog and share them!

    • Daniel
      I have got around this problem by saving my PDF files to Dropbox then I can open them on my android.
      George

  2. Walter says:

    Wat is dat toch met Android? Waarom zit het zo in een verdomhoekje. Al diverse keren te horen gekregen dat een app wel voor de Ipad maar niet voor Android. Zijn ontwikkelaars niet voldoende ontwikkeld?

  3. I have found the Fakebook app to work really well. Not only for the choir sheets, but also for the jazz quartet I’m in. PDFs import in a single click (it automagically index e.g. the Real Vocal Book for you!) and it supports some chord/lyrics formats that also allow transpose. Great value, in my opinion. http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skrivarna.fakebook.android
    Thanks for the nice blog!

  4. Bourelle Gisèle says:

    Bonjour à vous!

    Depuis que le technicien a restauré mon Ipad, j’ai perdu presque tous mes programmes, dont ForScore, dans lequel j’avais énormément de matériel. Dans Appstore, c’est comme si je ne l’avais jamais acheté… Je pourrais en acheté un autre, mais cela ne me redonnera pas mon matériel!
    Comment faire pour récupérer MON FORSCORE ?

    Merci de bien vouloir m’aider!

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