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Article Written By:
Johann Dowa

What is the difference between iPhone OpenGL ES and other OpenGL APIs?

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On the original iPhone the iPhone OpenGL ES version is equivalent to OpenGL ES 1.x (meaning versions 1.0 and 1.1). Now, OpenGL ES is a slight different beast from OpenGL. An effort was made to remove all redundant functionality from OpenGL in order to reduce the size of the footprint for embedded systems. Shaders are also not available. So this means that the examples in OpenGL books likely won't work and you will need to find examples specifically for OpenGL ES. The iPhone OpenGL ES resources list is a great place to find OpenGL ES 1.x programming material.

With the introduction of the iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch 3G OpenGL ES 2.0 support was added. OpenGL ES 2.0 utilizes shaders exclusively, fortunately the iPhone 3GS is compatible with OpenGL ES 1.x. The OpenGL ES tutorial collection is a great place to look for OpenGL ES 2.0 tutorials.


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