With the introduction of iOS 10, Apple will indeed allow users to delete the pre-installed stock apps like – Compass, Stocks, Tips, Maps, Watch, Weather etc inside their smartphones, iPhone and iPad tablets. But there’s still one app that many people won’t need to remove, that is the Game Center. Now it looks like as though it’s finally time to say goodbye and move onto newer pastures as Apple plans on pulling the app with the release of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.
Previously it is been a good run for Game Center on iOS and Mac, and today with the unveil of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra during the opening keynote of WWDC 2016 event was more enough to whet the appetite of iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac users, but nevertheless it seems that there’s also value in knowing what has been removed from the platform as well as what has been added.
Although Apple confirms that Game Center will continue as a service, but it will no longer be available as a standalone application on their devices. After being pre-installed on devices for years, it now that starting with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, the native Game Center app will not form part of the iOS and Mac user-experience.
There were been a number of hints on this case earlier. This removal has really been a long time coming. Apple may do a lot of things extremely well for good experience – which is evidenced by its vast cash reserves and the fact that it’s regularly listed as either first or second most valuable company in existence. Building and marketing a social network type platform is one of those hidden things.
The company tried and failed in some occasions, Connect in Apple Music as seen with iOS 10, and now the removal of its own gaming social network in Game Center. Testers of the pre-release beta seed of iOS 10 soon discovered that the app didn’t appear on their homescreens after the upgrade. Neither of these things alone can serve as confirmation of a removal, though. Many things could change from beta to public release, for starters.
The removal of Game Center may not have had any airtime during the WWDC keynote, but Apple isn’t leaving people in the black hole about its disappearance. The iOS 10 and macOS Sierra beta 1 release notes do pay lip service to the removal and offers up some advice to developers about having to build in their own functionality and interface to make use of GameKit data:
The Game Center app has been removed. If your game implements GameKit features, it must also implement the interface behavior necessary for the user to see these features. For example, if your game supports leaderboards, it could present a GKGameCenterViewController object or read the data directly from Game Center to implement a custom user interface.
The fact that the App Review Guidelines, just updated, still refer to Game Center, which still offers developers guides and reference materials with no note of a shutdown, and Apple did mentioned that Apple Watch was getting Game Center integration with the launch of watchOS 3 this fall.
For now, Game Center is only a service, but no longer be an app. Apple also confirms this in its developer documentation about what’s new with iOS. What that means is that while the Game Center app has been removed, the service is still available, and developers will now have to use that to implement the interface directly into the game.
Game developers are now tasked with crafting and implementing their own UI to handle that information. It may represent a small amount of pain for those who now have to build the whole functionality that Game Center offered out-of-the-box. That should hopefully mean games can carry beautiful visuals throughout the entire experience.
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