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Unity iPhone Roadmap

April 6, 2009 in Technology, Unity Products and Services by

Whooosh! First release candidate of Unity iPhone 1.0.2 just went out to our beta testers. It’s a good time now to overview our planned releases and directions we will be taking in the near future.

Unity iPhone 1.0.2. Based on custom builds we’ve been sending to devs in need, this release will address engine memory leaks and fix other outstanding issues:

  • Physics and audio related memory leaks
  • Asset leaks while reloading scenes
  • .NET sockets and threads
  • Compressed audio related issues
  • Stripping away too much of GUI components
  • Occasional crashes in AOT compiler
  • Support for both portrait and landscape splash screens

Next will be Unity iPhone 1.5. Since the release of 1.0.1 we’ve been working on a number of performance and memory optimizations. Most of the work on 1.5 is finished already and we’re doing an internal bug fixing round before it goes to beta testers too. Along with optimizations this release will include number of important features such as:

  • Binding custom ObjectiveC/C++ functions to C#/Javascript
  • Native on-screen keyboard support and interoperability with Unity GUI
  • Movie playback support
  • Performance optimizations:
    • significant C#/Javascript performance improvements
    • general rendering loop optimizations resulting in less OpenGLES state changes and less CPU work per object
    • number of internal routines were rewritten using VFP coprocessor assembly
    • way much faster mesh skinning utilizing VFP
    • batching small objects, given that they share same material, into single draw call
  • General distribution size optimizations which allows applications below 10Mb
  • Number of significant memory footprint optimizations

We don’t have strict versioning past 1.5 yet. Some of the following features will end up in the next big release and some might find a way to sneak into 1.5:

  • Compressed audio streaming directly from disk
  • 3.0 downloadable content
  • 3.0 bluetooth networking
  • GPS/Location support
  • Vibration support
  • Post-processing and render-targets support
  • Terrain support
  • Per-pixel DOT3 lighting support for skinned meshes
  • Reduce load times
  • Reduce distribution size even further
  • Improve GarbageCollector collection patterns to reduce spikes
  • Prepare a pack with iPhone optimized shaders

Update: Unity iPhone 1.0.2 is released.

Update: Unity iPhone 1.5 is released

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Comments (27)

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6 Apr 2009, 3:11 pm

That’s simply AWESOME!

6 Apr 2009, 4:22 pm

Brilliant, thanks for sharing. A good direction you’re heading with telling about the planned stuff. Greatly appreciated!

6 Apr 2009, 4:43 pm

Thanks a lot for the sharing, great to know where the journey is going and have something to look forward to :)

6 Apr 2009, 4:50 pm

Nice! Although I hope that you address the compatibility issue with OS 3.0 for the 1.1 release (even if SDK features are missing) unless you plan on releasing 1.2 by June.

6 Apr 2009, 5:34 pm

Great great stuff, always a pleasure to see see smart Unity priorities!
FWIW, support for iPhone SDK 3.0 and 3.0 downloadable content would be useful for me and mine sooner than later.
cheers,
Christopher

6 Apr 2009, 7:25 pm

Thanks a bunch for being so open about your roadmap, guys! It’s nice to know what to spend time on and what not to!

grinder
6 Apr 2009, 9:22 pm

this is a great way to support us. Thanks a lot. Optimized GUI functionality is mostly important I think. You should give Support UV mapping on GUI. This will really help us to build good UI without concern about square-texture issue and also the memory BW issue. Thanks again a lot.

randy
6 Apr 2009, 10:35 pm

Cool, thanks for sharing this info.
For what it is worth, I hope “Compressed audio streaming directly from disk” makes it into the next release!

6 Apr 2009, 11:06 pm

very much appreciated!

conair360
7 Apr 2009, 2:20 am

support for 3.0 is vital (maybe not yet). But I think that with 3.0 comes the downloadable content. That is going to be necessary, as I know I’ll be using that feature along with many others. :)

And finally, an insight as to what’s on your minds and what’s going on. Thanks a lot!

7 Apr 2009, 1:27 pm

Thanks for this much needed information – we at Studio Liddell are about to launch ‘Slippy Feet’ and I would really like to quickly upgrade it to this release of the engine.

IPete2.

8 Apr 2009, 4:24 am

Great info thanks.

Hoping 1.2 comes quickly with “3.0 downloadable content” which I think will be big for quality games.

8 Apr 2009, 11:12 am

Way cool, thanks alot! This is what we’ve been waiting for. Some nice additions, made my night ;-)

8 Apr 2009, 12:36 pm

Great.

How about Audio Level and Microphone support? I have a couple of projects that could really use that and it is present in one of your competitors engine.

Midnite
9 Apr 2009, 12:26 am

Do you know when GPS support will be available?

Jeff 'PsychicParrot'
9 Apr 2009, 1:08 am

That is awesome! Thanks for sharing the roadmap … I can’t wait for those performance optimizations :)

9 Apr 2009, 5:00 pm

Wow! Looking forward to this new releases!!!

9 Apr 2009, 9:40 pm

I’m really interested in the feature you describe as ” … batching small objects, given that they share same material, into single draw call … “. Any chance you could elaborate? :-)

Adams Immersive
10 Apr 2009, 5:23 pm

I fear I must abandon Unity for now… and switch over to Unity iPhone :D Apple just today took my paperwork out from under the parakeet cage and gave me the go-ahead.

Madrayken
13 Apr 2009, 6:21 pm

Great to see this; really good step in the right direction. If there were a fuller list of major bugs being fixed (multiple versions of application left running on iPhone), that would be fantastic.

Minevr
19 Apr 2009, 5:12 pm

Chinese version:http://1vr.cn/article.asp?id=455

Bububear
25 Apr 2009, 12:30 am

Any idea when 1.0.2 might be released?
I’m really looking forward to the issue of “Asset leaks while reloading scenes” being fixed.

26 Apr 2009, 8:10 am

@Bububear: “real soon” :)

28 Apr 2009, 6:10 am

…Unity iPhone 1.0.2 is out: http://unity3d.com/unity/whats-new/iphone-1.0.2.html

Silverfox
5 Jun 2009, 10:14 am

Sounds good!

I would love some extra audio scripting methods:

AudioSource.Filter – set a low-pass filter cutoff point for an audio source

AudioSource.Resonance – set the filter resonance for an audio source

Also the ability to send Midi note data and controller data to a laptop via USB link or Wi-Fi would be nice – I could build an iPhone touchscreen controller for Ableton Live with Unity then :-)

Jani
6 Jul 2009, 11:43 am

Is Unity iPhone 1.1 going to support the “Store Kit” feature of new iPhone OS 3.0? “3.0 downloadable content” is promised but I’m not sure does this mean Store Kit or something else, iPhone Reference Library says that it is not possible to download new content, only to unlock existing content from released build that has been hidden from user.

6 Jul 2009, 6:53 pm

The store kit might only unlock existing content. But that existing content could be some code that downloads new content from your own server or wherever, right?

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