With the introduction of iOS 10, Apple will finally allow users to remove preinstalled apps – like Compass, Stocks, Tips, Maps, Watch, etc. – their smartphones and tablets. But there’s one app you won’t need to remove: Game Center. Apple confirms that Game Center will continue as a service, but it will no longer be available as a standalone app on their devices.
There were a number of indications that this was the case.
Apple has just released a nearly full range of its native apps to the App Store, so users who remove them from their devices can redownload them later if needed. Game Center, surprisingly, was not on this list, although it was certainly one of the less essential built-in apps.
Another hint that Game Center was going to be phased out as a standalone app came yesterday with the launch of the beta of iOS 10. Testers quickly discovered that the app was not showing on their home screens. after upgrading.
However, none of these things alone can serve as confirmation of a withdrawal. A lot could change from beta to public release, to begin with. (For anyone who knew, Game Center could get a facelift.) Also, Apple hasn’t released all of its native apps to iTunes. Safari, Phone, Photos, Messages, Health, News, Activity, and Wallet, for example, cannot be deleted.
Adding to the confusion is the fact that the app review guidelines, which have also just been updated, still refer to Game Center, the Game Center site still offers developer guides and reference documents without a stop note, and Apple even mentioned Apple Watch was getting Game Center integration with the launch of watchOS 3.
This implies that the service still exists, at least in one form or another.
It turns out that it is. Game Center is now a service, but no longer an app. Apple also confirms this in its developer documentation on what’s new in iOS.
Released with iOS 4.1 in September 2010 and extended to OS X in July 2012, the Game Center platform is intended to provide gamers with a social experience where they can connect with friends, track high scores on a leaderboard, compare games. achievements and launch multiplayer games through automatic matching.
A number of iOS apps integrate with Game Center to deliver these features (or a subset of them) in their own gaming environment. As 9to5Mac discovered last year, the Game Center app actually revealed the total number of Game Center users: As of December 2015, 405,519,488 players were using the app.
Still, many iOS users have long pushed Game Center into their “unused” Apple apps folder, because it’s not something you need to access regularly. Or forever, really, for that matter. With iOS 10, you won’t have to worry about it. Game Center is gone and you can just delete the rest.