iOS 8 Reveals New “Metal” Gaming API at WWDC: Epic Games Set To Release Zen Garden App

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Epic Game’s Zen Garden shown at the WWDC 2014

Apple has unveiled a new platform for game developers to work on at the WWDC 2014 event on Monday. The new application programming interface (API) by Apple is called ?Metal? and will allow developers to explore a new level of graphics for iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch games.

The Cupertino-based tech titan?s new Metal API is a kind of low-rendering API intended to significantly improve CPU rendering efficiency on iOS-powered devices. With this, Apple plans to replace OpenGL ? the third-party gaming API it is currently utilizing. As one of the more widely-used gaming APIs today, OpenGL (or Open Graphics Library) is a multi-platform API used for rendering both 2D and 3D vector graphics.

By developing its own back-end, the Metal API will sit between a game software and Apple-made A7 mobile chip. The said processor is able to deliver an unparalleled 64-bit architecture to mobile devices which is previously seen on desktop computers alone. Some of Apple?s latest devices such as the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and the next generation?iPad Mini are all equipped with the A7 chip.

However, the major graphics improvement that the A7 is capable of delivering still remains to be utilized. In the absence of a proper gaming API, the A7 won?t be able to perform the full capacity of its graphics processing unit (GPU). With the introduction of the Metal API, that is clearly what Apple is trying to do.

During the WWDC event in San Francisco, Epic Games? founder Tim Sweeney has been called to the stage to demonstrate a little about how the Metal API will work. During his stint on the WWDC stage, he presented an Epic Game-developed app called Zen Garden. What people saw on the widescreen is a scene that includes a tree with thousands of leaves and flower petals, a koi pond filled with lots of fish, all in a life-like environment (pictured above).

Access to the Apple-made Metal API won?t be available to game developers until non-disclosure agreements (NDA) for its beta version have been lifted. Once available, Epic Games announced that Zen Garden will be present in the App Store following iOS 8?s official release to all supported iOS devices.


Photo Credit: ?Youtube.com/TPNCentral

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