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Immediately after iOS 7 was unveiled at this year’s WWDC, a storm of controversy erupted over the user interface, while the 1500 APIs were largely ignored. Many users were pleased with the new UI. Some people thought it copied from other operating systems. A few people even proposed their own UI redesign of iOS 7. The user interface was the focus, and many people couldn’t see the forest for the trees. iOS 7 is more than icons, fonts, panels, and dynamic wallpaper. This article will look at some of the 1500 new APIs introduced and how they will affect users. iOS just got a whole lot better. There will not only be new apps, but also new ways of interacting with your iOS device.
iOS is already a successful gaming platform. With approximately 200 million Game Center accounts, iOS may actually be the most popular gaming platform of all time. iOS features the best games of any mobile platform, from professional developers such as Electronic Arts and Epic Games.
iOS 7 introduced new APIs that will improve game development and the user experience. The new Game Controller API introduces a standardized interface for supporting game controllers. iOS already had some game controllers, however, without standards, it was difficult for developers to justify adding support. Apple has also created a certification program for game controllers. These new MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) game controllers support a standard. MFi isn’t just for game controllers. It is the certification program for all iOS device accessories.
In addition to standalone game controllers, some will allow an iPhone to be snapped-in to the device, converting it into a complete portable gaming platform. Apple supports two types of controllers — standard and extended. Standard features a D-Pad, shoulder buttons, and ABXY buttons. The extended controller adds thumb sticks and trigger buttons. Manufacturers such as Logitech are already working on new game controllers for iOS devices.
The Sprite Kit APIs will make it a lot easier to develop games. Sprites are 2D images or animations that are integrated into a larger scene. Sprite graphics represent the more traditional style of video game, as opposed to newer 3D games. These new games will not be throw-backs, however. The Sprite Kit introduces new, advanced physics modelling along with particle systems for amazing effects. With Retina graphics available on many iOS devices, be prepared for some new, amazing games.
Game Center also offers developers some improvements. iOS 7 introduces turn-based gaming. This can be used to develop role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons or traditional board games. Game Center also introduces some new security features to protect high scores and authenticate users. (continue…)