Out of all the E3 hype, there was another big conference that was catching everyone’s attention, within an arena that they’ve made their name for. Yes, Apple took to the stage one more to introduce us to iOS7, but how much of an impact will this latest software update have on mobile gaming and its many number of indie developers and their fans?
Right now, arguably not a huge amount, certainly nothing groundbreaking or game changing. Though there’s no new hardware to speak of (at least not yet), iOS7 does sport plenty of new key features and functions, most of which are tailored for the general and business user. For gamers, though, there are two important updates.
Game Center itself has been redesigned, gone are the poker table like menu backgrounds and achievement lists. The replacements are in line with the overall iOS7 refresh, a much cleaner and crisper display and certainly more colourful. In terms of the refresh itself, the new iOS backgrounds and icons are brighter and more vivid than ever before, so that should make staring at your iPhone all those hours checking Facebook a more enjoyable experience.
By cleaning up the interface, hopefully that will entice users to check out Game Center more often, making it a more worthwhile app than how it currently stands. I, for one, rarely take much notice of the system during my time, but it will be interesting to see the response from both users and developers alike.
One thing of note is the new Sprite Kit framework, allowing creators to build and animate sprites, particle systems and simulate physics. There’s also the promise of greater support for leaderboards and high score uploads. More importantly Apple have added further support for MFi game controllers, providing developers a greater level of choice and refinement when choosing which controllers to design for. Hopefully that’s a positive step forward for all the indie hardware devs out there looking to expand their user base. There’s plenty of them, so it’s good to see the support from up on high is there.
We will have more on iOS7 in the near future before its release this Fall, but why not share your thoughts on our forums? Do you think it will have an impact? Is it all just pretty images and no substance? Let us know.