Elgato has released Stream Deck Mobile 2.0, a major update to its mobile platform that, together with the Stream Deck 6.3 desktop update for Mac and Windows, supports iPads natively. Previously, the Stream Deck Mobile app ran on iPad but was limited to the same 5 x 3 configuration that was supported on the iPhone and the Stream Deck hardware device. Now, Stream Deck Mobile users with a Pro license can enjoy not just the same 8 x 4 configuration that’s supported on the Stream Deck XL, but an even larger 8 x 8 configuration, if desired.
It should go without saying — but I’ll gladly say it anyway — this is gangbusters news for users of our Notation Express XL profiles for Sibelius and Dorico. Not only can you finally use those profiles on an iPad, you can do some additional things with them.
The first thing to do is to get an iPad, if you don’t have one already 😀
Next, you’ll need to update, or obtain the Stream Deck Mobile application. With the Stream Deck Mobile 2.0 update, Elgato has made some welcome changes to their business model for the application.
The app is now free for an unlimited time, but with a limited configuration. Free users will be limited to six buttons — the same configuration that’s on the Stream Deck Mini. However, what you can do with those buttons is unlimited, so if you have just a handful of actions that you’d like to port over to Stream Deck Mini running on your iPhone, you can do that.
To unlock the app’s full potential, you’ll need a Pro license, which can be obtained via an in-app purchase. Elgato is offering monthly, yearly, and lifetime licenses at $2.99, $24.99, and $49.99 respectively.
Clearly, if you think you’ll be using the application for two years or more, the lifetime license is a no-brainer. But, for what is effectively a $3 30-day trial period, there’s little harm in trying it out for a month and seeing if you like the new features, and then making your purchasing decision accordingly.
Finally, you’ll need to update your Stream Deck desktop application to the 6.3 version, on your Mac or Windows computer, by downloading and running the installer that Elgato provides.
With Stream Deck Mobile 2.0, Elgato has greatly simplified the process of pairing your mobile device with your computer.
Gone are the days of QR codes. You do still need to be on the same WiFi network as your desktop, but you can set up everything from your device.
After launching the app on your iPad, you’ll be prompted to connect your computer.
After choosing your computer, you’ll get a six-digit pairing code that appears on both your iPad and computer. Go to your computer and instruct it to Trust your iPad.
Once that’s done, your iPad will appear in your list of virtual devices.
From there, you can customize your setup, including the layout, orientation, appearance, and the virtual “faceplate”.
For the first time: an “XL” setting appears!
The “Custom” layout can go up to 8 x 8, but you have the option of configuring it however you like.
You’ll want to go to the desktop app to quickly ramp up on the iPad. Presumably, if you already use Stream Deck XL, you have certain profiles that are already configured (did we mention the Notation Express XL profiles for Sibelius and Dorico?).
Thankfully, it’s easy to copy those over to your iPad. Simply head over to the Preferences (the gear icon) on the Stream Deck desktop app), and navigate to the Profiles tab.
From there, you’ll see your list of profiles. Choose the profile that you wish to copy over to your device, click the chevron, and select Copy to and the name of your iPad from the list:
Repeat that for all of the profiles you wish to copy over, and you’re all set.
The fun stuff
Seeing the full 8 x 4 XL experience on the iPad is a glorious site indeed. It works just as you’d expect.
If you’re already a Notation Express XL user and have installed our profile(s) on your computer for Sibelius or Dorico, you don’t need to do anything special, other than setting up the iPad as described above.
And if this news prompts you to get Notation Express XL for the first time, you just need to install it in the usual way, same as you would for the Stream Deck XL.
But the fun part starts when you make use of Split View to run two instances of Stream Deck Mobile side-by-side.
To do that, tap those three buttons at the top of the screen that you probably never noticed before.
If you tap New Window at the bottom, you can add a whole new virtual device on your same iPad!
Name it whatever you like.
After you initialize your new virtual device, set it up in the same way as described above, by copying over your profiles to it.
Once you’ve done that, you can have two instances of Stream Deck Mobile running side-by-side on your iPad, each in the full 8 x 4 “XL” configuration.
Remember that Orientation option from earlier? That’s where you can tell Stream Deck Mobile to adjust the layout of the icons to make the most of your space.
It’s pretty great to have both the Sibelius and Dorico profiles running on a single iPad! Plus, I can still do whatever I like with my Stream Deck XL console, which seems a bit lonely at the moment.
Here is the briefest of videos showing the slur filter in action, in both Sibelius and Dorico:
If all that’s a bit much for you, you can close one of the virtual devices in the same manner, by tapping the three dots and selecting Close.
You can probably sense that having the full 32-button Stream Deck XL layout — plus a lot more — on iPad has been a long-awaited wish that I’m delighted to see fulfilled. Now I can see that, rather than quickly porting the layout to iPad, Elgato had a longer-term strategy with Stream Deck Mobile 2.0, and was waiting for the right time to make this wish a reality.
The additional features, easier setup process, layout configurations, and side-by-side options are well worth the wait. And the new pricing scheme seems very reasonable, at a fraction of the cost of a Stream Deck XL (of course you do need to already have the iPad).
There’s still nothing quite like the satisfying sensation of pressing that button on the deck and seeing something happen on the screen. I am a child of the 80s, after all, back when “gaming” was going to the arcade and pushing those big round buttons. But, especially if you have a 12.9″ iPad Pro, the much larger button size on the app compensates for the missing tactile feedback. (Haptics, anyone?)
It’s also thrilling to see Notation Express XL “just work” here. It opens up lots of possibilities in the future for that product, and for those that have been wondering about updates to take advantage of newer features in the notation software, those are also in mind. For now, enjoy using Notation Express XL on your iPad!