Apple released iOS 8 earlier this month with a significant feature that is specifically for gaming. It's called Metal.
Apple announced Metal at WWDC 2014. The new feature (or API, really) allows developers to make console-grade games for your iPhone and iPad. Both existing A7 and future A8 devices will rely on Metal to deliver a better graphics than what’s was possible through OpenGL technology in iOS 7. By coupling an advanced mobile chip with a new framework for developers, Apple is also able to push the performance envelope.
If you own an iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina display, or even one of the new iPhone 6s, you will notice a vast improvement to your gaming experience when running iOS 8. In fact, Pocket-lint has put together a list of all the Metal-enhanced games that are available for download right now.
And you should definitely check them out, whether you have a new iPhone 6 or just downloaded iOS 8. Enjoy.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Gameloft's latest driving game has been updated to make full use of the enhanced graphics and processing offered by Apple's Metal technology. If you play on any phone from the 5S and up or the iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display, you'll get much nicer graphics and a whole stack of extra content.
There's even a Metal-exclusive season that gives you the option to race against three times as many opponents as any other game in the series so far.
Beach Buggy Racing
The recently released Beach Buggy Racing will work on iOS 7 devices, but is enhanced for those able to work with Metal enhanced games.
It's a kart racing game that promises "enhanced graphics, real time lighting and shadows, and super-smooth frame rates" on iPhones 5S and up, plus iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. It's also cracking fun, as the Pocket-lint have found out.
Illusion Labs' game Mr Crab has also had the iOS 8 Metal treatment with several new graphical effects enhancing what is already considered to be a fun platform and puzzle game.
Although it's not particularly the most detailed and complicated visual fare, Mr Crab for the Metal-supported devices also now offers snowy landscapes, whirling tracks, "beautiful butterflies" and an improved user interface.
Epic Zen Garden
Not exactly a game as such, Epic Zen Garden is Epic Games' app to showcase the incredible visuals afforded by its Unreal Engine 4 and iOS 8. You effectively just wander around the amazing graphical feast, which is reminiscent of the original Epic Citadel that was released originally to highlight Unreal Engine 3.
Unreal Engine 4, which will only run on iOS 8 thanks to requiring use of the Metal API, is capable of running in a solid 30 frames per second and at 1440 x 1080 resolution. You have to see it to believe it.
A new game from Angry Birds developer Rovio's publishing arm, Plunder Pirates also uses the Metal API to enhance its graphics.
It's similar to Clash of Clans in that you must build a base and then set about other players to plunder their goods, but the island you build can be viewed in 3D through 360-degrees. And there are minigames thrown in to boot.
Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Metal allows for a much better-looking game, especially when it comes to Modern Combat 5. From RPG rocket trails to weather effects and even denser explosions, Gameloft's mobile shooter really shows off the power of Metal. It's immediately obvious when playing the latest version of Modern Combat 5 that iOS 8 did wonders for the gaming experience. It already looked amazing on iOS 7, and now it's just ridiculous. But in a good way.
Defenders is a free game that lets you "fight off hordes of evil mutants created by a cataclysmic event". It's now not only features Metal-enriched graphics but also a new Draft mode. You can use Draft mode to build your own set of random cards and try them out against various monsters. There's also a new Play button in the Leaderboards, simplify your ability to play with friends.