Apple are known for their ability to look at something and see why it is good, not just from a technology perspective but the user experience and joy of each individual tiny action. One area I feel they have struggled though is Game Centre, here are a few ways I think they could improve it:
- Cumulative Gamer Score - Each game centre game has achievements but there is actually very little incentive to go out and grab a heap of games in order to boost your cumulative total of gamer points. It's gotten better in iOS7 but still a long way off being perfect. The Gamer Score needs to be a bigger feature and everywhere.
- Better Friend Management - Why not integrate with Facebook, twitter, contacts, etc to build up a large friends list of gamers who you can invite and challenge to games? Then take it a step further to show their gamer score and some other details on their contact page and integrate game invites and special sharing of custom game events via iMessage.
- Allow Developers to Share certain Content in GameCentre App - We all have the little game centre app on our phones but it is rarely visited. Apple need to find a way to boost it's usefulness by allowing for news, deals, content offers to appear on a "wall" like feed. This feed can also show significant game events like someone getting an achievement or sharing a high score / screenshot.
- Party Functionality - Now that MFI controllers are coming it is fair to say iOS is stepping up it's game. Wouldn't it be great if you could have something like a group FaceTime call with 3 or 4 friends then, switch to a match of a FPS game with all of them in the same group and continue talking maybe even with a PiP.
- Allow Developers to Be Your Advertisers - This really isn't hard, if games were able to integrate more fluently with game centre and show players their cumulative gamerscore, what friends they have online, what their friends are playing, do they have room in party, etc. There are so many ways developers can promote services of game centre and it will only encourage more people to use it.
While I understand a lot of these features have probably been denied in the past because it would take away from their overall goal of having a phone or tablet for all purposes, not a heavily game orientated platform, these changes might help people discover portable gaming and how great it can be.
I'm sure they are watching what Microsoft and Sony have been doing with their latest consoles and I hope they plan to learn from their trials.