Metal graphic technology will be introduced in OS X El Capitan and can reportedly increase graphic performance up to 8x. Apple introduced Metal for iOS 8 at last year’s WWDC. A powerful tool for developers, Metal is an application programming interface that allows developers closer access to the computer’s hardware for more efficient graphics processing. When it was introduced in iOS, Metal dramatically sped up rendering for graphically intensive apps. It was announced this morning at the WWDC that this same technology has been introduced in the next generation of Mac operating systems, OS X El Capitan.
According to Apple, Metal “provides the lowest-overhead access to the GPU”, which will now allow developers of Mac apps and software to increase the graphical potential and efficiency in their programming. Users should notice smoother performance in any program or app that requires intense graphic-rendering – and because the language is more efficient, the rendering draws up to 40% less power from the CPU and battery.
The most obvious implication of this new language is in graphically-intensive gaming. While the gaming sphere has traditionally been ruled by Windows-based PCs, Metal may be a breakthrough that levels the playing field for Macs. The company behind the popular Unreal engine, Epic Games, demoed a new zombie shooter Fortnight at the WWDC today. Built using the metal language, the Epic Games team showed significant graphical changes being made in real time while previewing the game. Developers such as , The Foundry, 2k Games, and more are looking to utilize the programming language in upcoming titles.
Other traditionally graphically-intensive apps will benefit from the language, as well. Graphic designers and video editors will be pleased to know that Adobe confirmed an eight-fold improvement in performance in their popular After Effects software, and noted improved performance in Illustrator as well. Adobe has stated that they will adapt all of their Creative Cloud Suite apps to utilize the Metal language.
Metal comes bundled into the next major OS X release, “El Capitan.” The update was made available to developers today, and the OS will be made available to all users in the fall of this year.