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iOS devices already have industry-leading graphics performance. This is about to get even better. Their new graphics API, Metal, aims to narrow the performance overhead introduced by OpenGL. Basically, Metal is like a shortcut between the software and the graphics processing unit (GPU). Instead of going through the more convoluted layers of OpenGL, developers can now use Metal to increase graphics performance. Game developers like Epic Games, Crytek, Unity and Electronic Arts have already embraced this technology. The good news is that you should get better graphics performance on your existing device, if it can run iOS 8.
New Programming Language: Swift
Consumers might not be too excited about a new programming language, even though they will reap the benefits. Apple’s new Swift programming language was introduced at the WWDC. Swift provides an alternative to Objective C that doesn’t detract from performance. In fact, in many respects, Swift will improve performance. Developers will also be able to rapidly create apps with less bugs and defects. Everyone wins with Swift. Developers can write simpler and more efficient code, and consumers will enjoy faster and higher-quality apps.
iOS 8 Compatibility
The improvements with iOS 8 come at a cost. Many devices won’t be able to support iOS 8. Most notably, the iPhone 4 cannot be upgraded to iOS 8. This seems reasonable. After all, the iPhone 4 was launched four years ago. People can still use their iPhone 4 and Apple will support the device with iOS 7 patches for years to come. Apple still supports older models, such as the iPhone 3GS and original iPad, even though they cannot run iOS 7. iOS 8 will run on the iPhone 4S or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad Mini or later, and the iPod touch 5G. Your older devices should actually fare quite well with iOS 8. New technologies, such as Swift and the Metal graphics API, will actually enhance performance on existing devices.
iOS 8 Release Date
Apple has not formally announced a release date for iOS 8. I expect it to be released in mid-September, along with the iPhone 6. Follow Appledystopia on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ or by subscribing to this website.