The new iPhones are crazy powerful, but how can you really put them to the test? These are the apps that'll make your iPhone XS or iPhone XR sweat...
Apple’s latest flagship phones – iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR – are seriously powerful devices. A combination of the new A12 Bionic chipset, with Neural Engine and machine learning, make each new iPhone absolute powerhouses when it comes to specs.
They’re so powerful, in fact, that when you use them to browse Facebook or check your email, you’re not using it to its fullest potential. So, if you want to really make your new iPhone sweat, you’re going to need some apps and games that truly push it to its limits. Here are just a few…
Elder Scrolls: Blades | Pre-order, Free
Bethesda Game Studio’s attempt to shrink the epic Skyrim experience down to mobile may have cut some of the core mechanics, but you’d be hard pressed to claim the company has scrimped when it comes to graphics.
Speaking about the game’s console-quality visuals at Apple’s 2018 keynote, Bethesda’s Todd Howard said: “[with iPhone XS] we can pull out all of the detail you’d usually miss from the light and the dark. Lighting can bounce off of the wall, even reflect off of your sword.” As you’ll see in the trailer above, the results make for an incredibly beautiful game world.
Homecourt | Free + In-App Purchases
Another demo from Apple’s keynote, Homecourt showcases the powerful Augmented Reality (AR) and machine learning skill built into the new breed of iPhones. With it, tomorrow’s basketball stars can set up their iPhone at the edge of the court, inviting the app to track and monitor their form, shots, and progress in real time.
As David Lee from developer Nex Team puts it: “Homecourt recognises the hoop and court automatically, then tracks ‘makes’ and ‘misses’, drawn as an overlay on the court.” And with that kind of insightful info, you can really push your game to its limits – along with your iPhone.
Galaga AR | (Release date TBC)
The last app demo from the Apple event came from Directive Games, who revealed an AR version of a much-beloved arcade classic. Using Apple’s AR Kit 2 and the power of the A12 Bionic chipset, the company was able to bring a 3D version of Galaga to life, live on stage.
The twist? This is multiplayer AR, letting people on multiple iPhones see the action in real time on separate displays, while they work together to defeat the same enemies. It’s impressive stuff, and it opens the door to a world of multiplayer possibilities. Head to 1 hour, 3 minutes in the video above to see what we mean.
Asphalt 9: Legends | Free + In-App Purchases
The release of a new Asphalt title on mobile is a great annual yardstick for how far we’ve come in terms of mobile graphics. True to form, Gameloft’s latest version, Asphalt 9: Legends, is an awesome way to put your new iPhone through its paces – in some of the fastest, best-looking races you’ll see this side of a games console.
Graphics aside, the game also boasts a massive roster of real world cars and locations, alongside an engaging career mode that’ll have you vying for the ‘Legend’ status.
Camera | Built-in
Stick with us on this one; Apple’s inbuilt camera app in iPhone XS, XS Max and XR does things that phones without the A12 Bionic chip can only dream of. The headline feature here is the ability to adjust the aperture after you’ve taken a Portrait Mode shot. Scrub along the slider and the software will adjust the background blur for an enhanced ‘bokeh’ effect.
What’s more, because the new Neural Engine can process five trillion operations per second, every picture you take on the iPhone XS range (and iPhone XR) will result from a combination of sensor information like facial tracking, landmarking, depth mapping, gamma, shadows and highlights – all captured and assessed in an instant to give you the best shot.
GeekBench 4 | £0.99
If we’re taking the title of this post very literally, there’s no better fit than GeekBench – the industry standard way to stress-test the brains and brawn of everything from laptops to mobiles. Because its benchmark scores are standardised, you can use the processor and memory scores it gives you reliably test your new iPhone against pretty much every digital device out there – and put them to shame in the process.
In other words, it’s a good way to make your friends jealous when it comes to pure processing power.