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How much does Metal matter to iOS developers? A ton, apparently

Mike Wehner
Mike Wehner|@MikeWehner|July 7, 2014 2:00 PM

metal api

For anyone who hasn't dabbled in the rendering capabilities of Apple's iOS devices, the announcement of Metal -- the new API that Apple claims will offer greater power for games than ever before -- was cool, but that's about it. But for the team behind the hugely popular Unity game engine, the upcoming update is extremely exciting.

Metal is designed to give developers much more control over the power used by the iOS devices that run their games. With less power needed to run the API, more resources can be devoted to making games run smoother and look better. As CVG reports, the change has impressed Unity's developers quite a bit. "Based on our testing so far, we have seen API+driver overhead vanish to just a few percent of CPU time," the team claims. "That is a tremendous improvement comparing to 15-40% of CPU time that it used to be before!"

This comes on the heels of praise from Epic Games, creators of the vaunted Unreal Engine, who took the stage at WWDC 2014 to show off an impressive "Zen Garden" demo running on Unreal Engine 4 and Metal. With performance gains as high as 40%, Metal -- which is on the way in Apple's iOS 8 update -- is undoubtedly going to give marquee developers even more reason to devote time to Apple's platform.

How much does Metal matter to iOS developers? A ton, apparently