How many iPhone/iPad iterations before they can act as Roon core?

Back in the early days of the forum, I think it was @brian who mentioned that iOS devices weren’t really too far away from being powerful enough to run the Roon core. Now we are a couple of years on and and couple of iPad Pro iterations on, I just wondered how long Roon thought it would be before these mobile devices are powerful enough to allow me to take Roon everywhere with me? An iPad Pro can’t be that lacking compared to a ELAC Discovery, surely?

What would be lovely, would be to run the core on a mobile device, with music stored on a wireless memory stick or hard drive. That way I can take my whole collection with me and enjoy the Roon interface, rather than struggle with the SanDisk Connect music interface, which is no more than a folder viewer. Hopefully that is somewhere in the future.


1 Like

The current iPad Pro has very solid performance. Probably in the NUC 7i3 ballpark or a little better. Only a small fraction of devices in the market are hitting those numbers, so it’s still not a great environment to support it as a product.

Important to remember–ELAC Discovery doesn’t run Roon, it runs Roon Essentials. That means many expensive features are turned off, and there is a library size limit. And of course, it doesn’t have to run the user interface. Different performance equation.

A key design attribute of iPad and other tablet and mobile devices is very aggressive power management, to preserve battery life. The processors have multiple cores of different power profiles, memory banks and other components can be shut down, and the OS takes extreme liberties shutting down apps that are not in the foreground.

This behavior is the opposite of what you need in a core, which has to serve other endpoints even if the iPad is not in use.

Maybe @brian us talking about a self-contained, local play only Roon on an iPad, which would be very useful (in combination with sync, cloud etc.). But that is not a full core.

Yes, that’s what I’m thinking about. An iPad is a crummy media server, but being able to use it as a satellite to a library managed elsewhere (with as much functionality intact as possible) is really interesting.

Yes, all part of the mobility revolution we are dreaming of.

Ok, so we just need a few manufacturers to catch up on the power front, then theoretically something could happen.

The DAP market desperately needs you! Every time I try one at a show I get totally lost. It is not a good experience. A lighter weight core, along the lines of Essentials would be a massive step up against the competition in my view. The Chord Poly for instance looks like an absolutely amazing product and is a Roon ready device, but that only works inside your house. Out and about, you are back to some crummy software to get to your music.

A lightweight core app that could then use the storage in the Poly that you could ‘offline’ ( freezing your library at a moment in time when away from home, so no data charges), that brings the fundamentals of the navigation would be a massive hit. I would certainly pay maybe 20% of my full fat lifetime version for a separate mobile license.


I would love to see Roon server on a ipad pro. A separate mobile license would be a money maker for Roon and they
would certainly be entitled to it.

I hope this happens in the future.