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IOS 15: Apple’s New Advancements in Mobile Gaming

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

With the release of the new iPhone firmware update, iOS 15, we are getting the usual slew of fancy new upgrades to various aspects of the mobile device. What makes this year’s release different from the rest is the inclusion of two new gaming features that have been added that continue to make gaming easier than ever before.

Firstly, and the most important of the two updates, is the release of Apple's own “virtual game controller” for iPhones. Before, app developers would need to create their own control scheme for each individual game. With the recent update, developers will be able to use Apple’s own virtual controller that takes full advantage of each phone's focus and impact touch to give players further immersion. The virtual controller even comes with its own API (software that makes it easier for developers to use) in order to make creation easier for small and new studios. The controller is entirely customizable and free to make use of, allowing game development to be even more accessible than before. Controls have always been an issue for mobile gaming, trying to control a character in a 3D environment with touch alone can be a very complicated thing to do efficiently. As everyone has different sized hands/fingers and holding a phone can become increasingly uncomfortable quickly due to its size and shape. This is an important step as Apple tries to alleviate the problems that can come with mobile gaming

The second update is vital as the console gaming industry sees an increase in streaming games from devices. The new iOS 15 update will allow Playstation 5 controllers to be paired with on Apple devices. Allowing gamers to play compatible games with a PS5 controller immediately solves the control problem right away. As console game streaming becomes increasingly popular, it’s all but required that controllers be playable on mobile devices. While pairing a gaming remote is not a new feature, it’s important that Apple continues to support its OS with new options for players. Many console gamers are put off by mobile gaming's touch-based control scheme so continuing to add controllers is a much-needed update to bring console gamers over to phones.

Between these two updates and the continued fantastic support of Apple Arcade, Apple is putting a solid amount of effort into gaming. The gaming industry is only seeing increased profitability with each passing month, and Apple is taking steps to make sure it doesn’t fall behind the curb on this. iOS 15 provides us with an interesting look as to what we might expect from iOS games in the future. Gaming continues to become easier and easier for everyone across all platforms.

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