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Apple lining up to take on Unity in iOS 7, says Chartboost

Sprite Kit signals a shift in direction

Apple lining up to take on Unity in iOS 7, says Chartboost
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Apple's iOS 7 unveiling may have focused on the new 'flat' UI, but there's more for game developers to chew over than may initially have appeared.

That's the take of Kenneth Ballenegger, architect at cross-promotion and monetisation specialist Chartboost, who says much of the important news for games devs may be overlooked because of the focus on the platform's new UI.

The big news

"While the big news at WWDC yesterday was iOS 7 and its completely redesigned UI, game developers will find two other updates to the OS very notable and impactful," said Ballenegger in a statement issued to PocketGamer.biz.

"First, the ability of apps to automatically update is a significant new function that will certainly increase update adoption. This makes it much easier for game devs to release themed releases, integrate third party platforms, and in general iterate on their games.

"Second, Apple unveiled a new development framework called Sprite Kit, a fully-featured 2D game engine."

Lack of unity

Indeed, Sprite Kit – which, in Apple's words, "combines everything you need to animate sprites, simulate physics and create beautiful particle systems all in one easy-to-use set of APIs" - could put Apple in direct competition with one of its biggest supporters: Unity.

"It provides basic rendering, layout, and animation capabilities, as well as more advanced features such as physics and particle engines," added Ballenegger on the framwork.

"Sprite Kit will be capable of powering 2D games ranging from Cut the Rope to Jetpack Joyride and more. We think that this framework could become a major contender in a space currently dominated by Cocos2D and Unity."

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on PG.biz, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.