Using your phone to check email, browse the Web, get directions, and find nearby restaurants is cool, but you know what’s really cool? Playing your phone like a flute. Smule, the company behind the Ocarina app that lets you blow into your mic to make music, has decided to revamp the Ocarina app and announced Tuesday the release of Ocarina 2.
“It's been more than three years since the original Ocarina helped to put Smule ‘on the map’. We've learned a lot from our users since, and felt it was time to go back to the drawing board and take Ocarina to another level for our users,” said CTO Dr. Ge Wang, adding: “In 2008, the original Ocarina took about six weeks from concept to submit. The gestation period for Ocarina 2 has been much longer! We've worked on quite a few new apps in the 3 years since, including I Am T-Pain, Magic Piano, Glee, Magic Fiddle, Magic Guitar. The time feels right to bring Ocarina back now, we've internalized (we think) how to make a truly new Ocarina that is also old, and to leverage what we've learned from being in the ecosystem since 2008.”
The new-and-improved app comes with some fun new perks, including a new “whistle mode” that lets you play songs in a higher whistle-like pitch, as well as a new learning mode that lets you learn songs as you play them by following a score that lights up on your phone. You can also add some depth to your music by playing with a dynamic harmony that matches your tempo.
Ocarina 2 comes with 50 songs at launch and will add more content on a weekly basis.
The company says that to date, over six million people have expended over two billion breaths playing Ocarina since 2008. Users have also spent two million hours making music with the app, and have listened to other users’ performances over 47 million times.
The original Ocarina was such a huge success that it landed in the top 20 in Apple’s App Hall of Fame.
“The original Ocarina has remained a classic, and we wanted to both preserve that experience and have the freedom to explore a completely redesigned Ocarina,” said Wang. “These factors felt ideal for us to make that rare sequel (our first actually)."