The iPhone 5 — it’s a big deal. It’s of particular interest to the multiple developers who create games on iOS. We thought it might be worthwhile getting some feedback — what do they think? Are they happy with the changes or, in this case, lack of changes? We actually had a bit of a mixed reaction…
Phil Larsen — Halfbrick
“Apple oozed confidence during the announcement and I’m sure we are looking at, both objectively and subjectively, the best iPhone ever. Given that Apple is the leader in smartphone gaming, this should easily continue that trend. For us, all that means is Halfbrick can make better games and connect people quicker. The biggest rumoured feature that isn’t present is NFC – meaning tens of millions of iOS users will have to wait at least a little while longer.”
Gerry Sakkas — PlaySide
“We are really looking forward to getting our hands dirty with the new iPhone. The iPhone 4S is already quite powerful, so to be able to take what we have developed so far on the 4S and add even more powerful visual effects, such as real time lighting and shaders is a very exciting thought. Also the wider screen will make for a more ‘traditional’ console style experience!”
Ben Britten Smith — Tin Man Games
Tom Killen — The Voxel Agents
“The screen size is a much more important feature than most people realise. I’ve been talking to a lot of people to find out what they think, and many are writing the screen size off as a somewhat incremental addition. It’s much more than this. They have significantly increased the amount of screen space apps have to work with without significantly changing the form factor. So the device still feels like a small device and most people won’t notice that it’s slightly longer, but they will notice that apps will have improved user interfaces.
“This is significant. The iPhone famously has the best resolution of all the leading smartphones, but for user interface elements this only means that they look sharper. They still have to be the same physical size because if they get too small then they are impossible to touch. This increased screen size means that buttons can still be a nice and big finger-friendly size while allowing plenty of room for the rest of the game.
“So the screen is great, but the features I’m really excited about are under the hood. They are part of iOS6 and they are part of the way Apple is improving the entire ecosystem by continuing to improve the App Store.
“Apple are taking important steps to improving discoverability on the App Store. As the App Store has matured, certain successful apps have become “must haves” and persist at the top of the top lists. There is nothing wrong with this, but it does mean that new apps and “hidden gems” find it more difficult to break out and find their audience. Apple are tackling this by a few important steps that improve discoverability.
“The App Store has been redesigned. It now shows less options per page but provides greater detail about those options. So when you search for a game, instead of seeing a dozen little icons with just the title of the game, you are now given much more information and a screenshot which means you’re able to make a more meaningful and informed decision about which game you want to investigate further.
“‘Genius’ is now able to make suggestions for games a user should try. Since most users discovers games either via word of mouth or the top charts, this is a crucial third method of discovering great apps. I’m hoping that this feature will become as useful and prominent as Amazon’s “also bought” feature is.”