100+ new features in macOS High Sierra

Say hello to macOS High Sierra, Apple's newest operating system update for Macs. Whether you're on an iMac or one of the Touch Bar-outfitted MacBook Pro models, there is a lot to love in this latest release of Apple's desktop operating system.

What Automatic Graphics Switching is on your MacBook Pro and how to use it

MacBook Pro graphics

Depending on the model of MacBook Pro you have, you may be able to physically choose whether your computer uses the high-power discreet graphics card for better performance or the low-power integrated graphics chip for better battery life by using an option known as Automatic Graphics Switching.

The feature is only available on MacBook Pros which have two Graphics Processing Units (GPU). The reason it only exists on certain models of the MacBook Pro is not all Macs have dual GPUs. And desktop Macs don’t need this as they don’t rely on batteries and are connected to a power source all the time.

Here's more about Automatic Graphics Switching and how to enable it on your Mac.

Is your Mac able to take advantage of OS X El Capitan’s Metal?

When OS X 10.11 El Capitan launches this fall, it will feature Metal, a graphics framework Apple originally introduced for iPhones, iPads and iPods following the release of iOS 8 last fall. In addition to making El Capitan's user interface and apps perform smoother than before, Metal for Mac is absolutely huge news for game developers and makers of graphics-intensive apps.

Like on iOS, El Capitan's Metal significantly reduces the overhead of graphics frameworks such as OpenGL by enabling low-level access to your Mac's graphics subsystem. Photo apps, games and video editing software like Adobe After Effects will experience up to ten times faster draw call performance by offloading certain tasks from the CPU onto the GPU.

But does your Mac sport modern hardware needed to support Metal's features? It's dead simple to determine this for yourself, here's how.

Apple announces Metal for Mac

Among the many improvements Apple's Craig Federighi announced for OS X El Capitan, is the addition of Metal. Launched on iOS 8 last year, Metal provides the lowest-overhead access to the GPU, enabling you to maximize the graphics and compute potential of apps and games.

Battlefield 4 tech demo shows off incredible power of Apple’s Metal graphics framework

Hands up who's sick and tired of hearing about “console-level graphics” every time an iPad game hits the App Store?

I know I am and it's high time developers stopped overusing the marketing buzzword in their blurbs, methinks. No tablet on the market has the oomph to take on consoles, plain and simple.

While the advent of Metal, Apple's new low-level graphics framework in iOS 8, clearly won't make iPad games any better than their console counterparts, it does provide more aesthetically pleasing experiences involving far more detailed objects, lush visual effects and richer environments.

Apple is highlighting Metal-powered games in a dedicated App Store section and today folks behind the Frostbite graphics engine are showing off a pair of great looking screenshots of the Battlefield 4 console game running on an iPad and powered by the Metal-drive Frostbite engine.

Gameloft updates Modern Combat and Asphalt with iOS 8 Metal-powered graphics

Following up on yesterday's public release of the free iOS 8 software update for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch mobile devices, French games maker Gameloft on Thursday unleashed a pair of updates for its two highly-successful titles: Modern Combat 5: Blackout, a first-person shooter, and Asphalt 8: Airborne, a crazy racing game driven by a powerful physics engine which has you performing dynamic, high-speed aerial stunts.

Both games are now powered by iOS 8's new Metal framework which provides low-level access to the GPU inside the Apple-designed A7 chip (the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display) and its A8 counterpart (the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus). When played on these devices, both of these games benefit from close-to-the-metal access to graphics cores, without the overhead of the OpenGL graphics run-time.

Epic releases Metal-powered ‘Zen Garden’ demo free on App Store

Demoed at WWDC back in June to show off the power of Apple's new low-level graphics framework, Metal, Epic Games' Zen Garden is now available to download on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 8 and powered by the Apple-deigned A7 or A8 processor.

Built on the recently-unveiled Unreal Engine 4, the first game engine with built-in support for the Metal API, Zen Garden classes as a technological showcase.

The latest iPhone 6, for example, renders the demo in a whopping 1,440-by-1,080 resolution at a smooth thirty frames per second.

Read this before upgrading your iPhone 4s to iOS 8

Think twice before updating your rusty old iPhone 4s to the just-released iOS 8 because Apple's feature-packed upgrade makes its handset run most tasks about two times (or more) slower.

iOS 8 will slow down common tasks on the handset, including approximately two times slower launching of stock apps, almost three seconds longer booting and more, ArsTechnica reported Wednesday.

In addition to the performance hit, the three-year-old handset is incompatible with certain hardware-dependent iOS 8 features such as Handoff, AirDrop, the OpenGL ES 3.0 and Metal graphics run-time and more.

BioShock may finally be coming to iOS

We've been hearing rumors since 2008 that 2K was bringing its popular first person shooter BioShock to mobile platforms. At one point, they actually released a trailer for the game, and named IG Fun Studios as its mobile port partner.

But somewhere along the way, the concept got shelved, and was never mentioned again—until now. Yesterday, 2K tweeted the above photo followed by '#discuss,' and many believe it's a hint the BioShock mobile project is back in gear...

Epic Games builds support for iOS 8 Metal deep into Unreal Engine

Though Metal isn't among the headline user-facing features of iOS 8, its impact on games with snazzy visuals can't be overstated.

Introduced at WWDC 2014 alongside a number of other features aimed at developers, Metal is billed as a new graphics runtime that wants to replace OpenGL ES by trimming the fat to provide what Apple calls the lowest-overhead access to the A7 chip’s GPU.

And now, Epic Games - which makes the tremendously popular and powerful graphics engine that powers many premium games - has announced that the latest version of Unreal Engine (version 4.3) adds Metal support...