Companion apps are getting pretty popular with blockbuster game releases lately, to the point where they’re starting to seem almost mandatory. No, not mandatory because people are demanding them or anything, just mandatory because… well, because. Luckily, in the case of Rockstar and the new Grand Theft Auto V app iFruit, the activities available to lucky downloaders actually seem pretty entertaining.
There are two main components to iFruit – a virtual smoothie-maker, and an apple-picking sim. Nah, I’m just kidding – but I was serious about there being two components.
The first is called Los Santos Customs, which has to do with vehicles in-game. According to Rockstar, you can construct, customize, and personalize a car or truck from within the app and have it ready and waiting the next time you play GTA V. I don’t think getting to one’s vehicle was going to be a huge time-suck or anything, but it’s a nice convenience nonetheless. Plus, who knows – this may offer easier access to tricked-out cars than attempting the same thing in-game does.
Next is a feature called Chop the Dog. As many likely already know, Chop is the pet of Franklin — a character in the game — and training the pleasant pup will pay real world dividends. If you build a nice relationship with him, he’ll be more helpful, and will even perform tricks and sniff out items if you sink in enough time.
iFruit has a few other neat surprises up its sleeve too, such as the ability to reserve license plates for use in Grand Theft Auto Online, and a feed with all the latest GTA V news. Chop is the main attraction as far as I’m concerned, though. I want dogs in my Call of Duty. I want dogs in my GTA. I want dogs in every game from now on, ever. I won’t buy non-dog games anymore.
The app is only on iOS at the moment (a move which I no longer understand considering smartphone OS market share), but for all you Android folk your app will be coming “soon.” I have an iPod Touch specifically for emergencies such as this, so it won’t be long before Chop and I are frolicking around grassy fields and prancing off into the sunset. The app is useless without Grand Theft Auto V, though, so take care of that first if you haven’t already.