There has been no doubt over the past year that Apple takes games seriously on its platforms. Last year the company launched Apple Arcade, which roughly put it in the role of a game publisher, and iOS 13 and tvOS 13 added support for the popular Xbox One and PS4 game controllers. .
Apple has long recognized that gaming is an important part of the iOS ecosystem, but its approach in the past has been a bit scattered. For example, in 2010, Apple added a new Play center app that was designed to allow players to interact with each other in a whole new set of ways, allowing iOS games to tie into a common framework that could be used to track achievements, multiplayer games, and more.
With Game Center, users could sign up with their Apple ID, pick their own nickname, and then compare their scores in supported games – and there were plenty – with others. Game Center even offered the ability to save and sync game progress across devices.
So it was a bit of a surprise when Apple created the standalone Game Center app in iOS 10, moving the functionality more into the background. While the Game Center frameworks were never gone, we can’t blame you if you forgot that it existed, as iOS users lost the dashboard that allowed them to check their status through games – it It was up to the developers to provide a user interface in Game Center, and many haven’t really done so in any meaningful way.
The return of Game Center
However, with the release of iOS 14 this week, it looks like Game Center is making a big comeback, with a redesigned Game Center dashboard that will also be available on iOS, macOS, and, for the first time, tvOS.
The new Game Center will include all of the same features as before, including the ability to view your achievements, leaderboards, and other user profiles, except that today instead of a standalone app, it will be linked to a new in-game dashboard that can be found in all Apple Arcade games with an updated Game Center section in the iPhone and iPad Settings app.
Unsurprisingly, Apple is also going to make more of the Game Center for Apple Arcade games, which will allow you to see which games are popular with your friends and challenge them to competitions. There will also be recurring rankings for the Daily, Weekly and Monthly Competition Rankings.
Apple Arcade Improvements
As MacRumors notes, Apple Arcade gamers can also expect a few other feature updates to improve service, including achievement lists right on the actual game page in the Apple Arcade store, more filters to find new ones games and an improved “keep playing” feature to let you quickly revert to your recent games on other devices, even if you haven’t installed them there yet.
It also looks like Apple Arcade developers should fully integrate with the new and improved Game Center, while third-party game developers are strongly encouraged to do so as well, which means we hope to see more developers come back to embrace Game Center. as they once did.
Even better game controller support
Last year, Apple added support for Sony’s Playstation DualShock 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One S game controllers, and even started selling them in its retail stores, and when Apple announced iOS 14 earlier This week, he briefly touched on the fact that he’s going to be expanding that support to include the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller and the Xbox Adaptive Controller.
A subsequent development session confirmed that not only will this support arrive on tvOS, iOS and iPadOS, but Apple also plans to take full advantage of these new controllers by adding new core features at the operating system level, including including the complete remapping of the controller buttons and a new Core Haptic frame.
These new features will allow game developers to take advantage of Microsoft’s advanced controllers without having to worry about the details of coding all of the media itself, as iOS and tvOS will take on the heavy burden of communicating with the controller. For example, a game can just tell iOS to vibrate the controller, and the Core Haptic APIs will take care of the rest.
Apple also offers full keyboard and mouse support for gamers in iPadOS 14, including the ability to remap buttons per game and play multiple simultaneous button presses. Again, this will be fully managed like the iPadOS level.
In addition, Apple is go even further, offering built-in support for specialized controller features such as motion sensors, controller lights, and battery level monitoring.