Posts Tagged ‘iOS’

2011 Macbook Air for iOS Developers

Posted: July 28, 2011 by Ash Mishra in Productivity, Programming, Review
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New MacBook Airs are here!

The reviews have started pouring in for the updated Core i5/i7 Macbook Airs released in July 2011, and they have been unanimously acclaiming the ultra-portable laptop / notebook. There’s no question they are a leap in performance from the prior models, and they are now powerful enough to be considered tools for more than the casual user.  I even think they are good enough to be considered by media professionals and developers.

I decided to pick up the 13″ Macbook Air to see if it could replace or be a secondary machine in use for iOS development.  I originally ordered the  top i7/256 model, but returned it in favour of the more affordable i5/128 which in my experience (so far) has been more than sufficient.  I have a 2007 17″ Macbook Pro (2.4 c2d / 4gb / 500gb HD / 1920 x 1200) that I have been using for my primary development. I have enjoyed using the 17″ screen for iPad development – particularly being able to use the simulator at full scale, while having XCode on the same screen.

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VBO (Vertex Buffer Object) Limitations on iOS Devices

Posted: July 10, 2011 by Kearwood "Kip" Gilbert in Programming
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With the iPhone 3GS, the iOS platform gained programmable shader support through the PowerVR SGX 535.  Accompanied with an increase from 2 to 8 texture units, artists and developers have limitless creative expression by using any material in their 3d scenes that they can describe in GLSL.  The unsung hero of these upgraded GPU’s are their “real” Vertex Buffer Objects (VBO).

Vertex Buffer Objects allow the vertex level data to be moved from slower main memory to memory that can be accessed more rapidly by the GPU.  Instead of making a separate GL call to render each polygon, the VBO’s can be initialized when a model is loaded and a single GL call instructs the GPU to iterate through the vertices and rendering polygons is performed by the GPU.  Even though the new IOS platforms have a UMM (Unified Memory Model) where the CPU and GPU share the same ram chips and bus, utilizing VBO’s frees up the ARM CPU core during rendering for other game pipeline tasks such as physics calculation, AI, and audio.

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