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WWDC 2015: Metal Makes Leap from iOS to OS X El Capitan

WWDC 2015 Fortnite

On the heels of a faux behind-the-scenes video, Tim Cook introduction, and rundown of new features coming with OS X El Capitan, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi kept the momentum going by announcing the arrival of Metal to the desktop platform.

Harkening the return of “Back to the Mac,” the iOS graphics technology Metal is making a leap onto the desktop with OS X El Capitan this fall, effectively replacing OpenGL with up to 40 percent greater rendering efficiency for gamers and other high-impact graphics applications.

“Metal combines the computing power of OpenCL and the graphics power of OpenGL in a high-performance API that does both,” Federighi explained.

Among the high-profile developers joining the Metal camp are Adobe, who managed to infuse After Effects with an 8x improvement in rendering time with the improved graphics. The venerable software publisher plans to implement Metal across all of their OS X applications in the future.

The rundown on OS X El Capitan wrapped up with Epic Games hitting the stage for a quick demonstration of what gaming publishers can expect from Metal on the Mac. The demo included a peek at how Fortnite was built using the Unreal Editor with Metal, and the game will be released in beta later this fall.

Federighi closed by announcing that developers will be able to get their hands on a beta of OS X El Capitan today, with a public beta due next month. As usual, the final version will be a free update available this fall.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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