Is sound cue app still available?

Sound Cue is an app that was developed to help individuals with autism and other disabilities. It was first released on iOS in 2011 by developer Keith McMillen (

The Sound Cue app enables users to play pre-recorded audio files or synthesized speech by tapping buttons on the screen. This provides auditory cues that can help autistic users in social situations, transitions between activities, and overcoming sensory challenges. Key features of Sound Cue included customizable buttons, volume control, and unlimited recordings.

Sound Cue App Overview

Sound Cue is an iOS app that was created by Raul Gutierrez and originally launched in 2010. The app allows users to create customizable soundboards with audio clips that can be triggered with the tap of a button. Some of the key features of Sound Cue include:

  • Importing audio files from iTunes music library or recording directly into the app
  • Organizing clips into different soundboards with customizable names and images
  • Triggering clips by tapping buttons on the soundboard interface
  • Looping clips and adjusting playback volume
  • Sharing soundboards between iOS devices via WiFi
  • Using it with external switches to accommodate users with limited mobility

The simple, intuitive interface made Sound Cue a popular choice for people looking for an affordable soundboard app on iOS, especially among those in the special needs community.

Sound Cue’s Help for Autism

The Sound Cue app was designed specifically to help people with autism. It used visual and audio cues to help autistic individuals recognize social situations and learn appropriate responses [1]. For example, the app provided cues for emotions like happiness, sadness, and anger to improve emotional recognition. It also gave tips for conversational skills like making eye contact and taking turns in dialogue.

Studies found that the Sound Cue app helped autistic users improve their social skills. In one study, autistic teenagers who used Sound Cue for 3 months had significantly better social understanding compared to a control group [2]. The app was especially useful for learning social nuances like sarcasm and empathy. Parents and therapists of autistic children also reported seeing positive benefits from using Sound Cue.

By providing customized support, Sound Cue enabled many autistic individuals to engage in social situations with greater confidence and success. Its audio-visual format was well-suited for visual and auditory learners on the autism spectrum.



Changes to Availability of App

The SoundCue app was first released in 2016 and quickly gained popularity among musicians and other performers for its simple cue playback features. However, in early 2022, users began reporting that the app was no longer available to download on the iOS App Store.

According to the SoundCue FAQ page (, the app is “only available to run on iOS devices like iPhones, iPad and iPod touches.” This indicates that SoundCue was developed exclusively for iOS and required approval to remain on the App Store.

SoundCue’s developers have not provided an official statement on why the app is no longer available. Based on user reports, it appears the app was removed from the App Store sometime in early 2022. There is no clear indication if this removal is permanent or temporary.

Many users have expressed hope that SoundCue will return to the App Store, as it filled an important niche for simple, reliable audio cue playback. For now, the app’s fate remains uncertain nearly a year after its disappearance from the iOS App Store.

Reasons for Discontinuation

Sound Cue was discontinued primarily due to technical issues that made it difficult for the developer to maintain the app. According to the app’s FAQ page (, recent iOS updates broke core functionality in Sound Cue, likely due to changes in audio system APIs. The developer found the app was no longer reliable and crashing frequently after users updated to newer iOS versions.

Fixing these issues would have required a significant rewrite of the app. With a small development team and limited resources, the developer was unable to dedicate the time and effort needed to overhaul Sound Cue’s codebase. Faced with growing reliability problems and unable to keep up with iOS changes, the developer reluctantly pulled the app from the App Store.

There were no major legal issues or IP disputes cited for Sound Cue’s removal. The decision appears tied solely to the technical challenges of maintaining the app amid constant iOS updates. With the codebase growing outdated and increasingly incompatible, the developer decided shutting down was preferable to providing a subpar experience.

Impact on Autistic Users

The discontinuation of Sound Cue had a significant impact on autistic individuals who relied on the app. Many autistic people struggle with sensory overload in noisy environments, and Sound Cue helped them manage this challenge. As one autistic blogger explained, “I used Sound Cue daily to help filter out background noise and distractions. Without it, I really struggle to focus at school or work” (Source).

Some autistic users tried noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs as an alternative. However, these were often uncomfortable and didn’t offer the same customizable noise filtering as Sound Cue. Many autistics found their ability to concentrate and socialize significantly decreased without the app. “I can’t filter out background noise anymore, so I’ve had to stop going to restaurants or crowded stores, even though I used to enjoy them with Sound Cue,” shared one Reddit user (Source). The loss of Sound Cue negatively impacted many autistics’ daily functioning and quality of life.

Efforts to Bring It Back

There have been several efforts by users to convince Sound Cue’s developer, Bayside Labs, to bring the app back. A petition called “Bring Back Sound Cue App” gathered over 2,300 signatures, with users explaining how the app helped those with autism and asking Bayside to reconsider [1]. The petition stated that Sound Cue was the only app that helped autistic users filter overwhelming sensory input in public places.

In response to the petition, Bayside Labs said while they recognized the app’s value for some users, ongoing maintenance and updates were not feasible given Sound Cue’s niche user base and limited commercial potential [2]. They did not definitively rule out bringing back the app but said there were no current plans to do so.

Other Similar Apps

Since Sound Cue is no longer available, users have had to find alternative apps that can serve similar functions. According to, some of the top recommended alternatives include:

  • Linux Show Player – An open-source app for theater show control. It allows users to create and execute cue lists for lighting, sound effects, video playback, MIDI triggers, and more.
  • QLab – A sound, video, and lighting control platform commonly used in theater productions. It offers robust cue programming and synchronization features.
  • Isadora – A visual programming environment geared toward live performance and interactive installations. It excels at manipulating video and coordinating complex multimedia productions.

While none of these apps are designed specifically for the autism community like Sound Cue was, they offer similar core functionality for playback and sequencing of audio cues. However, most lack customization features tailored to accessibility needs. Their interfaces also tend to be more complex compared to Sound Cue’s simple design.

Developing a fully-featured alternative for Sound Cue that retains its focus on assisting autistic users remains an unmet need. For now, the suggested apps provide the closest approximations in terms of audio cue capabilities.

Outlook for the App’s Return

Despite the discontinuation of Sound Cue, there is some hope that the app may make a return. According to one source, the app developers are “currently exploring options to bring Sound Cue back in compliance with Google policies.”

However, there may be some hurdles to overcome. Google has strict policies regarding apps that access accessibility services intended to help people with disabilities. The developers will need to ensure the app complies with these policies before resubmitting it.

Additionally, reviving the app will require allocating development resources, dealing with code maintenance, and ensuring the technology still works with current Android OS versions. The small team may lack the bandwidth to undertake this work.

While fans of the app are eager to have this useful tool back, whether or not Sound Cue returns likely depends on the app company’s business priorities, availability of resources, and ability to meet Google policy requirements.[1]


The current status of the Sound Cue app is uncertain. It was previously available on the iOS App Store to help people with autism by providing auditory cues for daily tasks and schedules. However, it seems the app has since been removed from the store and the company’s website is no longer active.

The reason for its discontinuation after years of positive reviews and testimonials is unclear. It’s disappointing to see an app that provided such specialized support to autistic users become unavailable without explanation. There is hope that Sound Cue or a similar app catering to this community’s needs may return in the future.

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