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Developers look to make Apple's next big things even bigger

Michael Simon | Sept. 15, 2015
Apple can only do so much—the real strength of its platforms is what developers add to the mix.

Intelligent design

Monument Valley’s remarkable world of stairs and levers would never have been possible without the iPhone, but future versions could utilize more than simple touches to lead princess Ida through mazes. And someday soon we might be manipulating the platforms, paths and podiums with more than just our fingers.

“What we’re really keen on is designing custom experiences around Apple’s new features,” said Wong, adding that his firm Ustwo is “looking into” bringing Monument Valley to Apple TV. “Imagine using the Apple Pencil’s angle and pressure sensitivity to control water or flocks of birds or an acrobat with very fine precision. With 3D Touch you could cast one spell with a light touch and a more powerful spell with a heavy touch, something that’s challenging to intuitively design right now.”

Equally challenging is bridging the gap between Mac and mobile, something that The Soulmen has already begun to do with its popular Ulysses text editor. Ulysses for iPad is one of the best writing experiences you’re likely to find on a tablet, but it still pales in comparison to its desktop companion. But that might be changing.

ipadpro lifestyle splitscreen print
The iPad Pro will unlock new software possibilities thanks to its slick multitasking features, laptop-like components, and full-size onscreen keyboard. Credit: Apple

“The iPad Pro came as no surprise, neither its size nor its feature-set, so we’re well prepared here,” said Marcus Fehn, co-founder of The Soulmen. “We’ll have to hold it in our hands to see how far we can take it, but we’ve been working on adaptivity for the past couple of months, ensuring Ulysses will work great with the new multi-tasking options, for example. It will be interesting to see how the large on-screen keyboard will affect the amount of content we’ll put on-screen–we might well go for all-out, Mac-like view of all sidebars.”

But while Monument Valley and Ulysses are eying a comfy new home on the iPad Pro, Camera+ is unlikely to stray too far from the iPhone. Tap Tap Tap plans to add 3D Touch to the new freemium version of Camera+ in time for the iPhone 6s launch as well as exploring Live Photos to see “how it will make sense,” but Bettany doesn’t think she’ll be firing up Camera+ on Apple’s giant tablet anytime soon.

“Due to the judgmental stares you would receive snapping shots with a giant 12-inch iPad, I’m guessing that the iPad Pro will be used more as an editing device, rather than a camera. I’m sure people will try, but for me and the photography I shoot, I don’t think I will be toting an iPad Pro 15 kilometers up a mountain to snap a shot.”


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