Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from Macworld UK. Visit Macworld UK’s blog page for the latest Mac news from across the Atlantic.
With all the fuss over the iPhone 4 antenna it’s forgivable for overlooking one of the more interesting new features: the built-in gyroscope.
This enables the iPhone to detect movement (vertical and horizontal rotation) and react accordingly. And some iPhone developers are already making interesting apps with the gyroscope.
The compass found in the iPhone 3GS was capable of providing similar functionality, but the gyroscope is much more accurate (although it lacks precision relating to magnetic north).
We’ve spotted two apps, both games, that make good use of the gyroscope. Both of them (perhaps understandably given the “where are you pointing” nature of a gyroscope) are shooting games.
Eliminate: Gun Range places you behind the trigger of a variety of real-world guns, and relies solely on the gyroscope for control. Point the iPhone to aim the gun and press the screen to shoot the targets.
An update to N.O.V.A uses a more subtle integration of the gyroscope. N.O.V.A is a traditional first-person shooting game that uses on screen controls to replicate dual-sticks (one for movement the other for looking). This control system is still in place, but gyroscopic control augments it. So aim with your fingers and subtly with the screen. From what we’ve seen so far it’s a more instinctive means of control.
Let us know if you’ve seen any interesting gyroscopic games or other apps in the comments.