The next version of iOS – the operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – will have an unexpected surprise for musicians: real MIDI support.

Apple’s iOS 4.2 update, due in November, includes some interesting new features that didn’t make Steve Job’s official announcement.

According to a report in AppleInsider, beta testers have found that iOS 4.2 adds support for the CoreMIDI framework to the operating system’s application program interfaces.

CoreMIDI could be huge for iOS music apps, because it provides standardized MIDI support. It is a built-in system that supports MIDI devices and how they communicate with other applications.

MIDI support means that the iPad could be a touchscreen control surface for any MIDI device; developers will be able to create multi-touch sequencers that control MIDI hardware; and you should be able to plug your MIDI keyboard into an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and play your iOS software synths.

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