Another week, another reason to talk about Cross DJ on Android… Mixvibes continue their march to dominate Android by working with French phone manufacturer Alcatel and providing a copy of Cross DJ preloaded on their new phone and tablet.
Fun fact: My first mobile phone, back in 2001, was an Alcatel (I think mine was too – Ed). All my friends had a Nokia 3310 and I was most jealous.
Both the Hero 2 (six inch phablet) and Hero 8 (eight inch tablet) seem like decent enough gear, and Alcatel have been in the game for a while, but what catches your eye in the following press release is the mention of a special smart cover designed for DJing, the MagicFlip DJ…
Paris, France – September 22, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cross DJ for Android, now with ALCATEL ONETOUCH HERO 2 and HERO 8
Cross DJ for Android teams up with ALCATEL ONETOUCH to offer a premium DJ experience. At IFA Berlin, ALCATEL ONETOUCH unveiled HERO 2 and HERO 8 with Cross DJ embedded.
Cross DJ for Android embedded in mobile devices.
For the first time, Cross DJ will be embedded in a mobile device. Indeed, ALCATEL ONETOUCH just introduced a new smartphone – HERO 2 and a new tablet – HERO 8. Those products will have a custom version of Cross DJ in them, providing for optimized performance for DJs.
HERO 2 & HERO 8
Cross DJ will be embedded in 2 different devices: HERO 2 and HERO 8. The HERO 2 is a smartphone with a special cover, the MagicFlip DJ, that offers additional DJ controls. The HERO 8 is a 8-inch tablet with octa-core LTE performance.
The HERO 2 can be complemented with a smart cover, specifically designed for DJing. When opened, a soft LED display appear. It allows users to control EQs, FX and loops in a new, engaging way. The main benefit is to double the control space, making it easy to create new combos. This cover is one of the thinnest DJ controller now on the market.
Availability HERO 2 and HERO 8 are available on the market from September 2014.
Mixvibes has been developing DJ apps for Mac, PC, iOS and Android for more than 10 years.
A little sleuthing on the webernets didn’t find much more mention of the MagicFlip DJ smart cover, but came up with a video that demonstrated some of what it can do. Although the video is in French, I could catch enough of it to hear the guy say that one pitfall for the MagicFlip DJ is that it will cost more than the phone itself, due to the expense of R&D.
Although the DJ smart cover seems pretty neat, it is definitely a very expensive way to get your DJ hit, especially when you’re only able to output to headphones on Android, currently. It also only works with that one phone. That said, I wouldn’t turn down a chance to give it a try.
I’m kind of torn on the idea of having apps preloaded. As an Android geek, I believe that one of the strengths in the OS is the customisability and ability to open up the guts of the software to get at everything you need (called root access). Preloaded apps can slow down performance and take up a lot of (sometimes limited) storage space. In fact, not that long ago, the issue of preloaded apps became such a problem in South Korea, the courts ruled to require phone networks allow users uninstall preloaded apps on Android smartphones.
That said, it would be hard to argue that Cross DJ is anything near bloatware… Though I did discover the hard way that you should always quit out of the app properly after you’re done, lest you return to a rapidly drained battery. Cross DJ for Android is a fun little app, for sure, so I can’t see anyone complaining.
While the idea of the touch screen smart cover that works with the app is interesting; the expense, lack of interoperability and small size seem huge hurdles to getting people to buy into this. Historically, gimmicky and very niche DJ peripherals have never done well, or have just been outright horrible ideas. Nevertheless, you have to commend Mixvibes for trying something new, and working with a phone manufacturer to get their app out there.
If it seems we’re talking a lot about Cross DJ for Android, blame Mixvibes for being such busy little bees. We keep getting their press releases.
Do you think this is a good move for Mixvibes? What are your thoughts on the smart cover?