Writing to the Metal

Metal — throw the horns! — is iOS's new low-overhead, high-performance API for writing to the Apple A7 graphics processing unit (GPU). But given Apple's other graphical tools, from SpriteKit to SceneKit, where does Metal fit in, and what does it mean for developers and for the future of apps and games? Guy English, writing on Kickingbear:

Here's the run down. SpriteKit (or Cocos2D) will serve most of your needs for casual games. SceneKit (now on iOS too) will serve many needs, especially for top down games where culling isn't a huge bottle neck. Failing that OpenGL will solve 99% of your rendering needs. If you're reading this article and hope to use it to convince a manager to go with Metal as your rendering API you'll be disappointed.

Last fall it was all about desktop-class processors. Now it's about console-quality graphics engines: Frost Bite and Unreal and Unity and the like. And as good as Metal will be on current iPhones and iPads, I can't wait to see what developers do with it on presumed Apple A8 devices later this year, including the iPhone 6 and, who knows, eventually even a souped-up Apple TV?

Read the rest of Guy's article to see when and where he thinks Metal will be most interesting.