Apple brings iPhone's gaming graphics software to Mac

The video game supercharging toolkit Metal can bring its graphics magic to Apple's computers.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt

Epic Games demoes Metal for Mac onstage at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday June 8. James Martin/CNET

Apple is bringing its Metal graphics toolkit to Mac, the company announced Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Metal, announced at last year's WWDC, lets developers take advantage of tighter integration between the graphics and processing tasks performed by the iPhone and iPad's A7, A8 and A8X chips. The goal was to juice its mobile gaming offerings with speedier performance and more graphically intensive titles for iOS 8.

Mac developers can now use Metal produce better performance and flashier graphics on the Mac.

Epic Games, maker of the widely used Unreal Engine that powers high-end console and PC games, demoed Metal onstage with a new title, Fortnight, available later this year for Macs and PCs. Using Metal, Epic created graphically intensive changes to the game in real time, the company said.

The Mac has long been ignored by most game makers, which have prioritized Microsoft's Windows operating system, instead. That contrasts with Apple's iOS, which has a far smaller market share than Google's Android yet remains the more lucrative destination for many of the world's best mobile games.

With Metal, Apple is hoping to confer some of the benefits of its dominant gaming platform to the rest of its ecosystem.

"I think we're going to see pro users and all of us benefiting from Metal," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.