Apple reveals Game Center social network

New iPhone OS 4 features include multitasking, a unified inbox and new iAd service

Apple has revealed a new games-focused social network service called Game Center as part of its preview of the new iPhone OS 4 software.

Game Center allows developers to create apps with the ability to invite friends to play a game, start a multiplayer game through a matchmaking service and track achievements and high scores on an online leaderboard. The new service will be available later this year.

All these features are currently offered by a range of competing third party apps, but Game Center will create a centralised system and offer a standard set of APIs.

Apart from the benefits of standardisation this also represents a rare intervention by Apple itself in promoting increased game functionality and may indicate a growing interest in the games market by the company.

Other features of the OS 4 software include the long-awaited addition of multitasking for third party apps, folders to better organise apps and a unified inbox for e-mail.

"iPhone OS 4 is the fourth major release of the world's most advanced mobile operating system," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "We’re delivering over 100 new features, including multitasking, folders, a unified inbox, deeper Enterprise support, and an iPhone version of our iBooks reader and online iBookstore."

Also unveiled at the same press event was iAd, Apple's new mobile advertising platform. The technology will allow for full screen video and interactive ad content without the need to leave an open app and allowing the user to return at any time.

Apple will sell and serve the ads, with developers receiving an industry standard 60 per cent of iAd revenues.

Related stories

App Store generates almost $900 million in seven days

Pokémon GO amongst the big Christmas success stories

By Christopher Dring

Developers must disclose loot box odds following update to App Store guidelines

Change to guidelines comes amidst ongoing debate as to whether loot boxes constitute gambling

By Haydn Taylor

Latest comments (6)

Dara Healy Staff Writer, Atamia7 years ago
Any idea when its out?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 7 years ago
@Dara: They didn't say officially, but it'll basically be out alongside the new iPhone this summer.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 9th April 2010 11:25am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane McCafferty iOS Developer/Consultant, Shane McCafferty7 years ago
@Anthony. They were careful not to say that actually. They only said later this year.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (6)
Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 7 years ago
@Shane: They never do, though. I don't recall a specific date given at any of the previous developer preview sessions, precisely because they know that everyone will "know" the date given is also when they'll introduce new iPhones. It's worked that way for the past three years, I don't see any reason for them to change it now.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 9th April 2010 1:53pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Edwin Lyons CEO & Co-founder, Firebolt Games7 years ago
What I've read made it fairly clear that it wouldn't be part of the 4.0 update, more likely 4.1, which is rumoured to also support the iPad.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 7 years ago
@Edwin: Ah, well, that's different. I thought they said GC would be part of 4.0.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.