What Do Australian iOS Developers Think Of The iPhone 5?

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

"Ugh"

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."


Comments

    Good response from Tom, very thoughtful.

      I like Ben's better.

    What a professional, constructive response from Ben Britten.

      I don't feel that people need to conduct themselves professionally at all times. Clearly his comments were made in jest. Besides, there's no harm done.

      He's probably commenting without sugar coating it. He pretty much summed up my thoughts.

      In keeping with your being professional vice - His name is actually Ben Smith. - It was a very funny comment.

        I do generally go as Ben Britten or Ben Britten Smith so it is all good. It is meant in jest, I do think it will be a great phone. I just done like the aspect ratio to be honest.

          Thankyou for the reply lol. I thought your commentary both intelligent and inspiring. :-) . However I would have spelt it ughh in order to accentuate your disapproval.

    I wonder what these guys are saying OFF the record. They're going to be biased as they are game devs and better hardware is never a bad thing for devs, but on a consumer level I'm sure they're disappointed.

    Someone like Halfbrick is obviously in a close partnership with Apple and has everything to lose by not playing along with the hype in a public forum, so I find their comments moot.

    It's missing simple things that Android phones have had for a long time. Where's near field? Where's haptics? Those sorts of things can bring new mechanics to games.

    Oh well.

      Wait... iPhones don't have haptic feedback?

      Seriously?

      I just sort of assumed that they did. It's such a small thing, but it adds so much to the UX!

        Nope. Crazy, right?

          dont worry they will add it for the next iphone release in 6 months and call it inovative

      That is what I'm saying off the record haha. It's true that in terms of hardware this isn't as big a leap forward as retina display (however the "incremental" updates to the hardware are actually quite significant, just not headline making), but as a developer my biggest concern right now is how the app store is shaping up. Better discoverability is good for me because the biggest struggle I have is how to get my apps known.

      Basically, I know how to make great games. I've got that bit down pat. The struggle is that there are about 700,000 apps out there and so it's hard to make a splash. My biggest concern right now is Apple making it easier for people to find great new stuff. IMO Apple is doing a better job at this than Android at the moment.

        All true. You don't have to tell me that! PS. it's Cam from Si :)

    well jet pack joyride will be a bit easier :)

    I wonder what the "stretched" screen will do to existing games that were formatted for the smaller display? Games such as Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, etc... will those games just be stretched out to fit the new screen size, or will there be more visible playable area? ie: see higher up in Doodle Jump, or further across in Angry Birds?

      Paul They are just letterboxing the top and bottom, so they will remain the same size until the developer changes it. Most developers will need to change it in order to be competitive on the app store though, and i dont think Apple will accept stretched apps.

      I would assume stretched unless the game is individually patched. Otherwise how would the iphone OS extrapolate and display the necessary data?

        They showed it in the conference, its letterboxed. Xcode gives you vaules to do all of that per device

          ? Xcode allows you to letterbox or to create something that doesn't exist? I don't understand what you are implying. :-)

    "I’m sure we are looking at, both objectively and subjectively, the best iPhone ever" What a pointless statement.

    "The new iPhone 5 is thicker, slower and has less battery life than the iPhone 4s, and instead of glass, its body is coated in toffee and cyanide."

    Maybe by iphone 355325 they will catch up with the Galaxy s3. Cant see the value in iphones. More expensive but do less slower.

      Slower? Really? I have never noticed my 4S struggle to load anything, it loads as quick as I tap it. Everything it does, it does very well. If the 5 is an improvement on any of this, it cannot do wrong. I beleieved the Galaxy hype and brought an SII about 8 months ago, noticeable lag, runarounds trying to get features to sync, update, etc... It sits in my drawer now.

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