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Apple’s long-lamented Game Center is not present in the first beta of iOS 10, suggesting the company intends to deprecate the standalone app after more than five years in service.
While Apple executives made no mention of the change at WWDC, AppleInsider On Monday, Game Center confirmed that it was not among the first-party apps that came with iOS 10 beta 1. The app is also not available for download from the iOS App Store.
Interestingly, Game Center still exists in Settings. It’s unclear how users will add or remove friends from their social gaming networks without a dedicated app.
Game Center was announced in 2010 as a multiplayer gaming network similar to products marketed by console makers Sony and Microsoft. Existing versions allow users to connect with friends, compare stats, and challenge them to online games, among other social elements.
However, the development was abandoned as consumer interest waned. Since then, Apple has focused on larger Internet services with monetary potential, such as Apple Music.
Along with the low-key move comes another unannounced, but highly anticipated iOS 10 feature: unbundling. Apple loyalists have long called on the company to allow users to delete bundled apps — so named because they come pre-installed on all iOS devices — that aren’t useful and just take up laptop space. ‘homepage.
With the debut of iOS 10 beta, users can remove rarely used apps like Compass if they want. Even interconnected apps like Contacts, Maps, and FaceTime can be uninstalled at will. Apple has placed its proprietary offerings on the iOS App Store in case users want to reinstall later.
As with any beta, app offerings and settings are far from final, and Apple may decide to include Game Center when iOS 10 reaches public release this fall.