What happened to Game Center on iPhone and iPad? Here's the answer!

Game Center was and is Apple's version of Xbox Live or Playstation Network — connective tissue meant to allow iPhone, iPad, and Mac gamers to challenge each other, see their positions on leaderboards, get matched, take turns, and other play together. It infamously launched looking like the green, red, and yellow felt of a Vegas table, and a few years ago got a bubbly redesign. Now, in iOS 10, it's "gone". So, what's the deal?

Game Center, the app, is dead. Game Center, the service, is very much still alive.

To sign into and out of Game Center, and to manage the basics, you go to Settings > Game Center now.

When you connect with other players inside games, things like invitations are sent through Messages.

It's weird and I'm not sure it's for the best. Yes, Game Center suffered tremendously from Apple not having any first-party games on iPhone or iPad to test their own code against, but at least the app made it easy for customers to use.

Now? Not so much, and what that means about the future is unsettling. Apple gets gaming in that they know the biggest piece of the pie is casual players. But even casual players need good networking to get the best experience.