You can actually DJ on your iPhone, iPad and Android device. Some can be used with controllers too, but we’ll cover that in another article. Today, we look at the best DJ apps for iOS and Android.
While you can use these apps on your smartphone, it is obviously easier to use a larger touchscreen, such as an iPad or Android tablet.
Some of the big DJ software companies have brought most of their features to the touchscreen devices, but there are also some DJ apps from other developers.
We have chosen our top 5 DJ apps and reviewed them for you here:
Traktor is one of the most used DJ software on the market for Windows and Mac. Native Instruments, the makers of the software, also released an iOS app.
Available for Desktop and iPad, Traktor DJ 2 lets you mix two tracks from your music library and SoundCloud Go +.
I you have used the desktop version, you will be familiar with the layout and some of the features of the iOS app. There are some differences though; the app only has two decks rather than four, and the music library is limited to the songs you have stored in your iPad or iPhone, so you will need to make use of a compatible music streaming service, like SoundCloud.
The app is easy to pick up and use and could be great for a house party with your friends.
Of the iOS DJ apps, Algoriddim’s Djay is probably the favourite, and for good reason. Djay has most of the features you can find in its desktop DJ software. It is well designed for use on the iPad or iPhone.
The free version of the app has two main modes: Classic and Automix.
Classic mode allows you to DJ with the software and make use of its main features on its two-deck and a mixer interface, including scrolling waveforms, looping, EQ, filter, and five FX.
The Automix mode enables you to cue up a playlist and the app will DJ for you automatically, using its AI technology.
Upgrade to Djay Pro on a $4.99-per-month subscription to get all seven modes: Classic, Automix, 2 Decks, Looper, 4 Decks, Single, and Video.
The Pro subscription also unlocks pre-cueing with headphones and “support for 50 controllers from Pioneer DJ, Reloop, Numark, Denon DJ, and others out-of-the-box”.
There is a wide range of music options available for you to play; starting with your Apple Music library, you can play anything downloaded or purchased on your iOS device, or those that are synced to the cloud. Then there are the music subscription services; TIDAL, Soundcloud, Beatport, Beatsource, Spotify* and they’ve added a few Demo Tracks for you to get started. You will need an active subscription to use the full library.
Cross DJ Free is a great DJ app, available for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices. Its mixing features include Beatmatcher, 2 effects units, 8 hatches and loops per track, quantize, manual and auto loops and an autoplay function.
You can play the music stored on your tablet, and stream from Soundcloud. You can also import your libraries form you other DJ software, including Rekordbox, Traktor and Virtual DJ, including the beat grids and hot cues.
When you select a track you have the option to choose the next from the Track Match function, using one of the three modes: auto, history and manual.
For a great, straightforward DJ app you can’t go wrong with Pacemaker. It has a colourful yet minimalistic design, and still full of features.
You can scratch using the touchscreen virtual jogwheels and it has a nice crossfader, with a Sync button.
The free version is very basic – still worth a try, but without upgrading with the in-app purchases you will be limited.
In the free version you get;
- Loop – Just a 1 bar loop
- Beatskip – Skip by -1 or +1
- EQ – Bass, Middle, Treble and Gain
- Nudge and Tempo
The in-app purchases give you much more to play with, but each feature has a separate cost. There is a ‘Value Pack’ to purchase all the features at once.
You can use your Apple Music library or stream tracks from Spotify*.
Pacemaker received the ‘Editors’ Choice’ accolade from the iOS App Store and featured in the first place in The Guardian’s seven best apps article
Listed as the “World No. 1 DJ App”, “Best App of 2015” and “Editors’ Choice”, edjing Mix is a fantastic DJ app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
I was disappointed to find that there isn’t really a ‘free’ version of this app. As soon as you launch the app you are immediately taken to a screen that offers a 7-day trial, but only if you sign up to a $7.99 (£6.99)/week or from ($40.99 (£35.99)/year subscription, which upgrades you to edjing Mix Premium.
You can subscribe, then cancel immediately (or at any time in the first six days) to access the 7-day free trial.
It boasts features including;
- Music streaming – Deezer, SoundCloud, iTunes/Music and music saved in your cloud accounts
- 11 Effects – Filter, Echo, Loop, Flanger, Roll, Steel, Gate, Roll Filter, Double Beat, Phaser, Color Noise, Beatgrid, Band Pass, Band Stop, Reverb.
- DJ Pre-cueing
- HD Recording
- MIDI Support
I had a play with it during their ‘free trial’ and enjoyed using all the included features, of which there are many.
Overall, it is a great app, brilliant design with plenty of features, but personally I don’t feel it’s worth just shy of $8/£7 per week or $41/£36 a year subscription. I would much rather see a genuinely free, scaled-down version, with a paid ‘Pro’ option. This is the only reason for the 3-star rating I have given.
Conclusion - Best DJ Apps
DJing with a smartphone or tablet is a great alternative to using a DJ Controller and Software. Using one of the best DJ apps for Android tablets and smartphones and the best DJ apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) we have reviewed, you could get started today.
Whether you are a beginner or even if you have years of experience, DJ apps give you the flexibility and freedom of using a device you already have and can carry with you wherever you go – on the bus, train, in the park, on the sofa, virtually anywhere.
All you need is your device and a pair of headphones – though you don’t need them, just don’t annoy other passengers if you’re in a public place!
Some of these apps are also compatible with some DJ Controllers too.