Apple lining up to take on Unity in iOS 7, says Chartboost

Apple lining up to take on Unity in iOS 7, says Chartboost
Apple's iOS 7 unveiling may have focused on the new 'flat' UI, but there's more for game developers to chew over than may initially have appeared.

That's the take of Kenneth Ballenegger, architect at cross-promotion and monetisation specialist Chartboost, who says much of the important news for games devs may be overlooked because of the focus on the platform's new UI.

The big news

"While the big news at WWDC yesterday was iOS 7 and its completely redesigned UI, game developers will find two other updates to the OS very notable and impactful," said Ballenegger in a statement issued to

"First, the ability of apps to automatically update is a significant new function that will certainly increase update adoption. This makes it much easier for game devs to release themed releases, integrate third party platforms, and in general iterate on their games.

"Second, Apple unveiled a new development framework called Sprite Kit, a fully-featured 2D game engine."

Lack of unity

Indeed, Sprite Kit – which, in Apple's words, "combines everything you need to animate sprites, simulate physics and create beautiful particle systems all in one easy-to-use set of APIs" - could put Apple in direct competition with one of its biggest supporters: Unity.

"It provides basic rendering, layout, and animation capabilities, as well as more advanced features such as physics and particle engines," added Ballenegger on the framwork.

"Sprite Kit will be capable of powering 2D games ranging from Cut the Rope to Jetpack Joyride and more. We think that this framework could become a major contender in a space currently dominated by Cocos2D and Unity."


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. As editor, he has the pleasure of monitoring the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.


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Lawrence Fletcher
Also, Apple is looking at providing for a larger platform with controllers, via apple TV. And for 3D there is SceneKit, the 3D version game framework, already on OSX. I don't think apple will compete with unity, but there will be some advantages to using apples native tools, and direct access to the almighty lower level frameworks API. If 3rd-Party Devs start porting tools for apple and if apple "expands" the IDE (there's a 3D model/animation viewer), things could get interesting. But imho, apple will never make it portable. That's the whole point of this... Everything Apple. Here's to moving targets.
Adithyaa Srikkanth
i dont see unity devs moving over to this new update, more over apple likes to lock down where as unity provides a cross platform dev which makes it better in terms of roi for an app unless you are focussed only on IOS
Ryan Carson
But, it'll probably won't be cross-platform I bet. Although I look forward to a surprise :D
Simon Harrison
This is purely Apple's attempt to lock developers into making iOS-only games, so in a sense Apple are competing with Unity as obviously they'd prefer developers not to use cross-platform tools.

A fully-featured 3D engine API in iOS 8 maybe?
Karl Schmidt
This is silly.

Sprite Kit:
* 2D
* iOS-only
* API only (ie: no IDE/editor)

* 3D
* Cross-platform
* Is/comes-with an editor

Not comparable. Sort of competition for cocos2d, but that's about it.
Dave Reed
This is Apple technology, which means that there's no chance of it being cross-platform, or being able to develop on Windows/Linux, is there? I'd be absolutely amazed if it supported anything beyond iOS and OSX.

I really wish Apple would port at least a basic iOS development toolchain to Windows. Cross-platform mobile development is such a pain when theres some things that you can only do on a Mac, and other things that you need Windows for...

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