Apple Accepts Updated MoltenVK-Using App/Game For Vulkan API On iOS

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 29 July 2018 at 08:16 AM EDT. 17 Comments
Earlier this month we reported on a game studio finding their MoltenVK-using game rejected from Apple's App Store. Fortunately, that situation is now firmly resolved and Apple has allowed this Vulkan-over-Metal game into their iOS marketplace.

While this game making use of Vulkan on iOS via the MoltenVK translation layer to map to Apple's Metal API was initially in the App Store earlier in the year, on their latest update they had it rejected by Apple. The company asserted that MoltenVK was making use of non-public APIs.

As was written as an update on the earlier Phoronix article, a Valve developer realized they were unintentionally using a non-public interface around IOSurface. Valve had added this capability to MoltenVK for macOS as part of their Vulkan VR work but accidentally left it enabled for iOS builds. MoltenVK was then updated to not enable the IOSurface flag for iOS.

The good news is that Apple is indeed happy with this change and is no longer blocking the MoltenVK-using app from their store and is not otherwise trying to subvert Vulkan on iOS/macOS. App Store Review has now cleared the original app in question when using the corrected MoltenVK build.

For those wishing to enjoy a Vulkan-powered racing game on iOS, the updated game now available via the App Store is Dino Car Battle.

MoltenVK has been open-source since earlier this year for allowing much of the Vulkan API to work on iOS/macOS by translating the graphics/compute calls to use Apple's Metal API. Those wishing to learn more about MoltenVK can do so via MoltenVK on GitHub. Besides within some apps and notably within Dota 2 Vulkan on macOS, MoltenVK is also finding other interesting uses such as within Wine on Mac builds.

One of the Dino Car Battle developers commented in an email to Phoronix, "we got a performance and qualities that we could not give up! Being able to use MoltenVK has been a huge luck for us, since we got more FPS in the action scenes and we were able to also increase the Lods of some elements obtaining better graphics without increasing the resources, among other advantages."
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week