iOS 8 is here. What does that mean for game devs?


iOS 8 dropped yesterday and should be available for download as we speak.  Now I am going to take a quick look at what’s in it for game developers specifically.  Some of this functionality is new to iOS and OSX and some is iOS only, so I’ve separated each out below.


IOS 8 Logo 2


iOS 8 and OSX


  • New Swift programming language.  ( tutorial series here )
  • SpriteKit improvements
    • OpenGL ES shader integration
    • new physics features
    • shader and scene editors added to Xcode
    • SK3DNode for SceneKit integration
  • AV Audio Engine — higher level audio library 
  • GameKit Changes adds GKSavedGame for game saving to iCloud


iOS 8 


  • Metal — Metal is a low level OpenGL alternative.  ( Read more here )
  • SceneKit —  A high level 3D api ( scene graph and physics engine ).
  • OpenGL ES Extensions — APPLE_clip_distance, APPLE_texture_packed_float, APPLE_color_buffer_packed_float
  • New functionality for dealing with multiple screen sizes
  • AVKit — media player framework no available on iOS
  • Location API now supports determining users height (floor)
  • WebGL added to Safari.  Shadertoy now works!  HTML5 game developers rejoice
  • HealthKit API — tracking for health information.  Granted, pretty edge case for game devs.


Full developer release notes here.


Xcode 6


  • Swift programming language and Playground for experimentation
  • XCT test framework for performance testing
  • SpriteKit and SceneKit editors
  • View debugging


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