iOS 8 Swift, Metal, discoverability conspire to draw devs to Apple

Apple’s announcement of iOS8 brings a host of improvements for game developers all around. Will it be enough for iPhones and iPads to fight back the competition from Android? Read on and find out:

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The biggest gaming news is Metal, Apple’s graphics renderer made specifically for Apple’s SOC A7. It will bring multithreading, shader technology, and other PC and console features to iPhones and iPads. CryEngine has been demonstrated to work with the system, and EA, Crytek, Unity and Epic are signed up to work with Apple to improve Metal.

Up next is Swift, in some cases even more radical news than Metal. Apple’s newest programming language is, again, designed to improve performance on Apple’s mobile devices. It works with Apple’s Cocoa and CocoaTouch APIs, but official support will have to wait until the iOS8 / OS X Yosemite update coming this fall. Yes, Swift will be good for Macs too.

This final piece of news seems less interesting, but it could make all the difference for Apple gaming here and now. The App Store is getting several improvements to discoverability, the long nagging concern of game developers in the sea of games. There will be an Explore tab, an Editor’s Choice icon, video previews, and two new search choices: related search and trending search.

Aside from this, there will be Family Sharing options as well as the opportunity for devs to create and sell game bundles.

It’s all interesting stuff, but will it lead to something tangible for us fans? We’ll just have to wait and find out when the iOS8 update releases.


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