The main character of Grand Theft Auto IV used his in-game cellphone to manage contacts and menu options, and now Rockstar is making the leap to your real-world iPhone with the Grand Theft Auto: iFruit app. This free app tie-in for GTA V provides a “second screen” experience, letting you customize your vehicles and train a virtual Rottweiler for use in the main game.
Besides providing links to download Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from the App Store, iFruit offers a bit of Real Racing-style car customization and a Touch Pets Dogs-esque pet simulator. You’ll have to start by creating a Rockstar Social Club account, and then link it to an Xbox or Playstation account.
Once you do, you’ll be able to customize license plates and upgrade cars using the Los Santos Customs app, and then hit a button to send your order to a playable character in GTA V. Unlike California’s real-world license plate restrictions, in Los Santos you can feel free to create whatever offensive vanity plate you like.
You’ll also be able to browse Lifeinvader, the Facebook knock-off that shows off some of the game’s satirical storefronts. Here we found barbershops, gun stores, travel agencies, and more stores that you can “stalk” online and visit in the full console game.
Finally, iFruit lets you play with the Chop The Dog app and manage your Rottweiler’s hunger, thirst, and happiness levels. In an odd twist, you can pour Chop anything from bottled water to energy drinks, and feed him steak or donuts. Each snack gives Chop different levels of health, and costs in-game credits. There’s even a dog park minigame, where you have to defend his pink poodle from other dogs in a path-drawing minigame. Increasing Chop’s happiness in the app will make him a better companion in GTA V, helping you sniff out hidden items, or learning useful tricks, like attacking police officers.
We’ve seen some previous tie-in apps for console games, like Mass Effect: Infiltrator, but this one seems to have a greater impact on your experience with the console game. GTA V will be available on consoles tomorrow, but download the iFruit app here to get a head start on your vehicle customization and virtual pet, if you can’t possibly wait another day.