It’s September, which means Apple has announced a new model of iPhone that offers mobile game developers some new features and functionality to play with, including a new form of pressure-sensitive touch control.
After showcasing a new plus-sized iPad Pro and a revamped Apple TV with a game-capable remote today, Apple kept its September press event rolling with the debut of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, improved versions of last year’s models that include better processors (Apple’s new 64-bit A9 chip) and support for a new method of pressure-sensitive touch control.
Apple is selling this new input method as “3D Touch.” Developers can use it to detect when iPhone 6S/6S Plus owners press down on the screen with force, and offer a broader array of haptic feedback in response via the “Taptic Engine” built into the new phones.
Both additions are much akin to the “Force Touch” feature already available on the Apple Watch, and at the bare minimum shake up the field of mobile game development by expanding developers’ repertoire of input options (tapping, swiping) to include clicking.
Games were not a focal point of Apple’s presentation, though Pixel Toys’ Andy Wafer did briefly take the stage to demonstrate how 3D Touch was implemented in the studio’s Warhammer 40K: Freeblade shooter for mobile devices, calling the feature “revolutionary” for mobile game design.