Apple poaches top talent from iPhone 7 GPU chipmaker

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A10 processor
Custom graphics chips could be Apple's next big move.
Photo: Apple

Apple is siphoning talent from one of its key partners, Imagination Technologies, which makes the graphics chip for the iPhone 7.

The British chipmaker was rumored to be in acquisition talks with Apple earlier this year. Apple told the press it wasn’t interested in buying Imagination Technologies, but based on a slew of recent hires, the iPhone-maker does want its employees.

5 reasons your Apple experience is about to get even more amazing

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Watch WWDC as a developer is a completely different experience.
Devs at WWDC 2016 see plenty of under-the-hood tweaks that will ultimately mean big things for users.
Photo: Apple

Most Apple fans don’t start drooling at the mention of speech-recognition APIs, Xcode thread sanitizers, Metal tessellation or Pixar USD model support. However, if you’re a developer, those can be huge game-changers that mean you can make your apps better than ever.

While Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 keynote revealed loads of fresh features coming in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra — including some amazing stuff that should delight iPhone, iPad and Mac owners when the final versions launch this fall — developers watching Monday’s event saw tons of seemingly minor updates that will let them make apps better than ever.

To find out what the little updates could mean for typical users, Cult of Mac asked some of this year’s Apple Design Award winners what WWDC additions they’re most excited about.

Here’s what they told us.

Vulkan is Google’s answer to Apple Metal for Android games

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Vulkan will bring better games to Android.
Photo: Samsung

Apple Metal, introduced at last year’s WWDC, gives developers low-level access to the GPU to maximize the graphics and performance potential of their games. Now Android gamers are going to get a taste of that, too.

No, Apple isn’t bringing Metal to Android — but Google is adopting an alternative called Vulkan.

Killer instincts hide behind Apple’s friendly new face

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Time Cook onstage at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Apple seems friendlier these days. But at what cost? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Apple sure is looking friendlier these days.

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was geekier, more welcoming and less locked-down than any in recent history. Apple also bid farewell to Katie Cotton — the much-feared queen of PR, whose frosty relations with journalists made her only slightly less terrifying than an angry Steve Jobs — with a call for a “friendlier, more approachable” public relations face to warm up the company’s relationship with the press.

“For the past few years it’s felt like Apple’s only goal was to put us in our place,” Panic’s Cabel Sasser recently tweeted. “Now it feels like they might want to be friends.”

These recent moves represent a major change in the way Apple does business, even as the company sits atop a $150 billion war chest amassed thanks to innovative products, ruthless leadership and heavy-handed policies that fostered a culture of secrecy and utter domination. But in a world where it’s drummed into our heads that nice guys finish last, does Apple’s approach risk killing the company with kindness?

CEO Tim Cook certainly doesn’t seem to think so.

Metal should get iOS gamers very excited about the future

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Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Apple unveils Metal, a promising new tool for game developers, at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

As a professional game developer, the big news coming out of Apple’s WWDC keynote wasn’t Swift or iCloud Drive — it was Metal.

In an onstage demo, Epic showed off the power of its Unreal engine after it had been modified to make use of this new Apple framework. Hundreds of fish reacted dynamically to a finger drawn on the screen. Leaves were shaken from a tree, and butterflies flew through the screen.

It was a very pretty demo. But what does it mean for the games you’ll be playing on your iOS device?