Published on January 22nd, 2014 | by David Forshee
Is Your App Like a Silent Film?
Have you thought about how sound can enhance the experience of using your app?
In case you haven’t, here are a few reasons why you SHOULD consider sound as an integral part of the design and development process:
1.) People are actually listening.
Not so long ago, you could easily get away with having sub-par sounds (or no sounds at all) in your application. Who was really listening anyway? Today, more and more people are using apps while listening through significantly better speakers and headphones. Even the tiny speakers in mobile devices have dramatically improved over the years.
2.) Your app is more immersive and more responsive with sound…it’s science!
Sonification is becoming a very hot research topic in the audio community. Sonification is “the use of non-speech audio to convey information or perceptualize data. Auditory perception has advantages in temporal, amplitude, and frequency resolution that open possibilities as an alternative or complement to visualization techniques.”
In a nutshell, this means that our sense of hearing has several key advantages over sight. Why wouldn’t we make use of this in the sounds of our applications?
Apps have traditionally used sound cues to confirm responsiveness of the app (e.g. the “bloop” sound when you swipe down to update your Twitter feed) or for notifications, but one can sonify app data and user input in very creative ways to enhance the overall experience and immerse the user. Audio for a lot of today’s video games are in fact very sophisticated sonification systems.
3.) Sound can make your app stand out in an increasingly crowded app marketplace.
Use sound to create a user experience that people will remember. With the Apple App Store hitting the 1 million app mark recently, the app marketplace is as crowded as ever! Sound can give your app a unique “branding” that users will remember. It might just set your app apart from the competition!
4.) It’s easier than ever to find sounds fully-licensed for app development.
As you begin to search for sounds to enhance your app, you may realize that some sound effects are not licensed for use in mobile devices or interactive applications. Enter App FX, created by Ric Viers of Blastwave FX (also author of The Sound Effects Bible). This comprehensive library gives you all of the sounds you’ll need to give your users the complete experience they expect when using a well-designed app. Besides being a collection of incredible sounds, the sounds are completely royalty free and come with a mechanical license, meaning you can use these in your application with confidence!
Each sound effect was designed and mastered by Blastwave FX’s team at the Detroit Chop Shop, rendered as 24-bit/96kHz .wav files and delivered in popular audio formats for interactive applications: MP3, 16-bit/44.1kHz .wav, and Ogg Vorbis (Appcelerator’s Titanium platform supports MP3 and WAVE file playback) The collection is fully cataloged for ease of use, and complete with embedded metadata including description, category, and keywords for easy search and retrieval.
App FX is currently available on the Pro Sound Effects website: http://www.prosoundeffects.com/app-fx.html
Check out some sounds from App FX below: