Grand Theft Auto V launches on September 17, 2013, but you can start getting yourself set up with the iFruit companion app, now available in the iOS App Store. All you’ll need is a Rockstar Games Social Club account. With iFruit, you’re able to influence your GTA V save in a number of ways, through the app’s Los Santos Customs and Chop the Dog features.
The Los Santos Customs portion of the app allows you to customize cars and license plates on the go. The only catch is that you can only mess with the Franklin, Michael, and Trevor’s unique vehicle. Each character is associated with a specific ride, and while you can drive and store anything in your personal garage, you’ll always find the same character-specific vehicle spawning outside a given safehouse. The interface is easy enough to work with if you’ve ever used an iOS app before; simply tap the relevant prompts until you’ve fitted the custom features that you want and then put the order through. The upgrades will be applied automatically (provided you have the money), though you’ll have to physically bring the car to the shop if you’re in-game.
Chop the Dog is the pet pooch that Franklin acquires relatively early in GTA V‘s story. You can take him on walks and play fetch with him in the game, but the app allows you to train him using a Tamagotchi-like interface. As you spend time with Chop in iFruit, you can teach him new tricks, customize his collar, play a Flight Control-like minigame when you take him for walks, and more. As the pup improves, his in-game behavior on the GTA V side does as well. He’ll perform the tricks you’ve taught him, he’ll be a more effective fighter, and he’ll even sniff out hidden collectibles when you take him out on long walks.
The app also serves as a portal for a number of other GTA V and Rockstar items. The LifeInvader “app” – GTA V‘s play on Facebook – allows you to sign in with your Social Club ID and “stalk” in-game companies, usually for some kind of first-time buyer discount. You can also access GTA III and GTA: Vice City from here if you happen to own them as well; otherwise, clicking either icon takes you to the iOS App Store purchase page (naturally).
Note that you’ll have to have your characters unlocked in order to tweak vehicles in Los Santos Customs. The same may well go with Chop. We connected iFruit to the account that played through the game for review, so it’s not clear exactly what brand new players will see. Let us know in the comments. The Android version of the app doesn’t appear to be available yet, but it should be soon.