updated 01:35 am EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
New touch system enables more mobile play
Minecraft developer Mojang has announced that the new 0.3.0 version of the mobile version of the game, called Minecraft Pocket Edition, has added a new "Minecraft Advanced Touch Technology Interface System" (MATTIS) to enable "crafting" on iOS and Android devices. Though the game also adds other elements (including damageable items, cows and ducks and a way to drop items from selection slots), the ability to do crafting in the mobile version is the major change.
The Pocket Edition features an entirely different crafting UI than is seen in the regular editions of the game. Players can access the new crafting area by opening their inventory and touching the "Craft" button. Forsaking the familiar grids, the mobile version has four categories down the left side (Blocks, Tools, Food & Armor and Decoration).
Once selected a "wheel" of craftable items or blocks is presented (similar to the system used to set an alarm in iOS). Each item selected lists its requirements, along with the quantity of material required and the amount the player has. Some resources can only be gathered with specific tools.
The update complements the earlier "survival" elements that have been introduced into the mobile edition via previous updates, such as Health, Day/Night, and Mobs. In addition to the other changes, the 0.3.0 update also adds descriptive text of inventory items and refines the AI of zombies. The game is available for iOS and Android devices and costs $7.