With iOS 8 now out in the wild, app developers can begin releasing patches and updates that take advantage of the new software’s capabilities. Apple is showcasing the best of these apps, including a promotional page for the games that utilize its new Metal processing technology. If you want to know what iOS 8 is really capable of, go and download one now.
As you’ll know if you were paying attention during the iOS 8 keynote back in June, Metal gives developers the opportunity to make mobile games more console-like: It allows them to “squeeze maximum performance” from the A7 and A8 chips built into recent Apple hardware by enabling the CPU and GPU to work together more efficiently. Essentially, it gives games the ability to display better graphics at faster frame rates.
Head to the App Store in iTunes and you’ll notice a new “Gorgeous Games for iOS 8” section — these are the titles that are “enhanced by Metal” and which really show off the capabilities of the new mobile OS. Only seven games are listed right now: Asphalt 8, Beach Buggy Racing, Defenders, Epic Zen Garden, Modern Combat 5, Mr Crab and Plunder Pirates.
Epic Zen Garden is perhaps the best of the lot at showcasing just now the new iOS 8 graphics system works — it doesn’t offer much in the way of gameplay, and is little more than an extended demo, but it does display some beautifully rendered (and incredibly peaceful) landscapes. Like most of the Metal-optimized titles it’s free to download, though Modern Combat 5 will set you back $6.99.
Head to the App Store on your computer or mobile device to check out what’s on offer. You’ll also find a selection of apps specifically aimed at iOS 8 (such as third-party keyboards) and a new “Photo Apps for iOS 8” showcase featuring tools that are able to take advantage of the extra camera features unlocked by the new mobile operating system.