iOS 18 finally brings in a gaming upgrade for iPhones that Android phones have had for years

iOS 18 finally brings in a gaming upgrade for iPhones that Android phones have had for years

Apple’s iPhones are finally getting a feature that the best Android phones have had for years, all thanks to the newly revealed iOS 18 – and that feature is Game Mode. 

While the Game Center in iOS provided things like cloud-synced saves and an avatar, it’s pretty limited in terms of specific in-the-moment gaming features. Comparatively, dedicated game modes found on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S24 and OnePlus 12 can do things like mute notifications and ramp up performance to run mobile games that push on-the-go graphics rather hard. 

Revealed at WWDC 2024 – make sure to check out our WWDC 2024 live blog for the latest announcements – Game Mode in iOS 18 will ape some of the game modes found in rival Android phones, by slowing down things like background activity to enable more processing power to be piped to games. 

While the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have access to the already powerful A17 pro chip, Game Mode should help your phone extract more power from the silicon to run demanding games like the version of Death Stranding for iOS. 

Equally, this mode could help to optimize the power of older iPhones that may struggle a little when it comes to running games on iOS 17. 

All this ties in nicely with Apple’s continued building out of Apple Arcade, and its efforts to bring demanding console games to its mobile devices. Add in the rather neat controller support that iPhones offer, notably with the PS5 DualSense controller, and iOS starts to feel like a platform that could be used for pretty serious gaming. 

Enhanced gaming audio 

Gaming on iOS is getting a boost on the audio font too, with Personalized Spatial Audio coming to the AirPods 3, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, which brings in dynamic head tracking for games, meaning that positional sound is maintained despite any potential head-bobbing. 

And when the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are used in conjunction with Game Mode, users get the lowest-latency wireless audio Apple has ever delivered, and voice communication in 16-bit, 48kHz audio. 

One thing to bear in mind here is that in order to make the most of these gaming audio upgrades, developers need to bake-in advanced sound design into their games using an Apple API. 

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