Game Center

Apple sticks it to cheaters with Game Center on iOS 7

All the talk about iOS 7 is, rightly or wrongly, revolving around the aesthetic changes that Apple has made, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of alterations under the hood. Game Center, a feature often ignored by many, is receiving some much needed love with this update and those pesky cheaters are top of the agenda.

Whilst adding new Game Center features that aim to make recognizing cheaters as easy as possible for developers, Apple is also adding other development tools that will make the whole Game Center experience better as a whole. Improved leaderboards and challenges are just two of the changes coming in iOS 7.

With rampant cheating and high scores that have obviously tampered with, Game Center is set to receive its biggest overhaul yet, and most people won’t even notice what’s changed…

Google announces Play game services coming to iOS

Google is in the middle of its I/O developer conference keynote right now, and so far it’s been pretty boring. There’s been no mention of consumer products yet, just some talk about developer API access and some new software and services.

The search giant did, however, unveil a new game service. Flying under the Google Play flag, the service resembles Apple’s Game Center, hosting leader boards, achievements, and facilitating real-time multiplayer. Oh, and it’s coming to iOS…

New Game Center concept looks sharp without the textures

During its big executive shuffle last fall, Apple put expert designer Jony Ive in charge of all HI (Human Interface). And since then, there has been non-stop speculation regarding what kind of changes might be made to the ever-aging iOS.

And a lot of folks are wondering what the operating system would look like without all of the skeuomorphism — the leather, etc. textures. Well designer Adrian Maciburko might be on the right track with his “Crystal Interface” concept…

Apple wins trademarks for the Retina moniker and the Game Center icon design

Apple today received two interesting trademark grants seeking to protect the Game Center icon design and the Apple-coined Retina moniker. The former describes a rounded icon divided into four quadrants, each sporting a distinct combination of colors and shapes. It was originally filed in June 2012 under international classes that cover multiplayer games, scoring and tracking game performance and “providing an online portal for social networking through virtual communities”.

More important than the Game Center icon is the widely used Retina name, now a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Why Apple is just plain mediocre in web services

Recently, a pattern has begun taking shape that I fear signals something worryingly awful is afoot as excellence takes a back seat at Apple in favor of mediocre web services. It’s always been that way, critics might add. Indeed, here we are, at the end of 2012, and yet weekly outages of key iCloud services such as iMessage and FaceTime are still a norm rather than a rare exception.

While iCloud storm is raining on users, Apple seemingly struggles in figuring out how to sprinkle its magic dust on Internet software. With over half a billion iOS and Mac devices straining its data centers, something clearly had to give. The iPhone maker isn’t an isolated example: competitors experience outages, too. But Apple’s different in that its online woes are symptomatic of a much larger set of problems the company faces.

Cupertino’s infrastructure is lacking. For all the computational power its array of super data centers provide, Apple’s software underpinnings are outdated and increasingly incapable of handling high load. Software shortcomings are putting Apple at risk at a time when competitors like Google tap their massive scale and expertise to successfully marry hardware to Internet software in ways Apple cannot…

Social gaming platform OpenFeint shutting down

It appears that OpenFeint, one of the first multiplayer gaming platforms for iOS, will be shutting down next month. The service was acquired by Japanese internet media company Gree in 2011 for $104 million. And last week, Gree announced that it would be shutting it down.

Even worse, the firm has only given developers a month’s notice to migrate away from OpenFeint. As of December 14th, the service will go offline, and any game or application still using it will either need to be updated, or will suffer from severely crippled online components…

OS X 10.8.2 released, featuring Facebook integration, and better iMessage support

A few days ago, I highlighted my experience with OS X 10.8.2, which is like the perfect supplement for Mac users who’ve just upgraded their mobile devices to iOS 6.

Some of the biggest features included is phone number support for iMessage, which makes the entire iMessage experience lightyears better than before, and Facebook single sign on integration.

Don’t be misled by the “.2”, as OS X 10.8.2 is a huge upgrade over OS X 10.8.1. Take a look inside for the change log, and stay tuned for videos showing off the new digs.

Amazon outs GameCircle, it’s the Game Center for Kindle Fire games

Amazon is keen on taking its Kindle Fire tablet beyond reading e-stuff, listening to music and watching movies and has today announced GameCircle, a brand new application programming interface (API) for developers, with social gaming features akin to Apple’s Game Center on iOS devices (and soon Mountain Lion Macs). It’s got the basics nailed, the stuff like leaderboards and achievements. Amazon is hoping developers will quickly pick it up and enrich their Kindle Fire games and who knows, it may come in handy if the company decides upon releasing a phone of its own…

Rumor: Google working on a Game Center rip-off for Android

The search giant Google is reportedly looking to replicate Apple’s Game Center with a native Android app of its own.

Despite the ongoing patent war waged between Apple and a bunch of Android backers over the look and feel of iOS software, Google is reportedly looking to simply copy Game Center.

The search firm needs own social gaming service so Android gamers have a central place to connect with each other, check out leaderboards, scores and challenge friends.

And if their other products are anything to go by, Google’s thing is likely to feature deep integration with Google+, their another social thing…

Overachiever: Auto-Fill in Your Missing Game Center Achievements

It looks like we may never be able to trust the legitimacy of an impressive Game Center account ever again, thanks to this new jailbreak tweak from Ingmar Stein.

Aptly named Overachiever, Stein’s new tweak allows users to earn Game Center achievements without actually playing the required games or levels…

Doodle Jump Finally Receives Update For Multiplayer Support

Doodle Jump has been one of the most popular iOS games ever since its launch, and it has received several updates throughout the year. The latest update brings one of the most highly awaited features: online multiplayer.

Similar to other multiplayer games available in the App Store, you can play against another friend via Game Center or randomly be matched up against another player…

Apple’s Latest “If You Don’t Have an iPhone” Ad Highlights Game Center

Apple continues their “If You Don’t Have an iPhone” marketing campaign with the latest ad focusing on Apple’s iOS online multiplayer social gaming network, Game Center.
The 30 second commercial opens up by showcasing the huge library of games available in the App Store, such as Infinity Blade, and then shows the capabilities of Game Center, including friends requests, starting a multiplayer game through matchmaking, tracking achievements, and comparing high scores on a leader board.