iOS 5 wants: Game sync via Game Center

I'm playing Infinity Blade on my iPhone 4 but if I switch to my iPad I have to start the game over, fresh, as if I'd never played before -- it makes me hope Game Center in iOS 5 will sync my game state between devices so I can just pick up any of them and keep playing from where I was. Not just for Infinity Blade but for Angry Birds and Angry Birds HD and tons of other games. All of them, actually.

Currently that sort of sync is left up to the developer. Epic/Chair and Rovio/Chillingo didn't build any sort of sync feature into their games the way Apple did with iBooks, Amazon did with Kindle, Netflix does with their app, or ngmoco's Plus+ network does with their games, so we don't get one in Infinity Blade or Angry Birds.

Jeremy and Leanna have complained about this before and Chad and Alley got into a real fight over it on iPad Live!, but wouldn't it be great if Apple extended Game Center to allow any developer, large or small, to easily add code that would sync game state data for users?

iBooks has your iTunes account, Kindle your Amazon account, Netflix their own account, ngmoco your Plus+ account. I don't want any more accounts. I don't want an Infinity Blade or an Angry Birds accounts. I don't even want a Game Center account, frankly, I'd rather just have my iTunes account cover that as well, but since I have a Game Center account and most games tie into it already, it seems like a great single point of convergence.

It would even leave the door open to gaming on other people's devices. Just log them out of Game Center, log yourself in, launch the game, play, then log out again. Go back to your device, keep playing.

Achievements are nice. Being able to keep them cross-device would be even nicer.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 29 comments. Add yours.

Brian Tufo says:

Oh man would this be such a nice feature for them to add! I hated having to doing the same thing twice when I had my iPad!

Chad says:

Game syncing for the win. This is at the top of my wishlist.

donnana says:

Top of my list is (still) bluetooth syncing with photo kiosks. Not holding my breath.

Zaib says:

And also it would be awesome if i can play the game on my iPhone from where i left it on my iPad...great possibilities

gquaglia says:

I could think of a dozen of other features iOS 5 needs before this.

zen says:

And game saves would be nice.

MooPenguin32 says:

I think this would be awesome. Currently, I have to basically decide which games I will play on which device (iPhone or iPad) because I don't want to have to replay a game on one device when I've already started it on another. I had to do that with Cut the Rope when I first got an iPad, but it worked out because I ended up getting 3 stars on more levels using the iPad than I did on the iPhone.

Trevor says:

Oh yeah, I've thought this exact same thing. Would be awesome, especially to go btw. games like Angry Birds & Angry Birds HD...it keeps me from wanting the iPad version of games. How bout a gigantic wishlist of all the features TiPb nation can think up?

Trevor says:

Oh, there'd need to be a way to deal w/the fact that many households have multiple users w/the same iTunes account. So, for example, a kid might have Angry Birds on their iPod Touch and Mom have it on her iPhone. Because no one is going to (or should) pay for an app twice, they have one iTunes account they purchased the game w/. If the kid beats all the levels, Mom shouldn't be synced to that spot, she should be able to get there herself and play through 'em all.  would need to solve this problem as well. If they did, it'd be quite the killer feature, especially w/Rene's (correct) supposition that games could well be the "killer app" for iOS in the short-term future.

Tim says:

I would add this feature in a heartbeat to my game Ramps.
That problem drives me crazy as well!

scott says:

gquaglia....I agree 100%. There are sooooo many things this phone needs to have corrected, I really hope this is NOT at the top of the list. But, like all things Apple, we will get this and be told how "magical" it will be for all of us. And, Trevor, you have the perfect reason why this won't be offered. I don't want to have to start MY game where someone else stopped. Nice, but NOT needed at this time.

ren says:

Folders and naming for pictures would be quite nice.

Jared says:

Save game data takes up space. think of that space* thousands of games * Millions of users * up to 5 iTunes accounts = Huge file storage issues for apple. If they do impliment it, it would be a paid service most likely.

Chris says:

iCloud could solve the space problem

boss man says:

it does do that already on some games, Smurfs syncs your data from iphone to ipad or vice versa via gamecentre and you can carry on where you left off from either device!

lion2k3 says:

A recent sync uninstalled Infinity Blade on my iPad. When I resynced it, I lost my level 40 character (the day before the 1.1 update). Gamesyncing would have been nice... All my gamecenter achievements remained, however.

tuscanidream says:

I still can't even merge my $6(?&8! Mobile Me and my previous gmail apple id accounts. Crazy.

Megaz says:

iOS 5 wants:apple plug-in store

Megaz says:

iOS 5 wants: apple plug-in store

jodihansen says:

I have had the same thoughts. I really want this feature.

Jez says:

Couldn't agree more with game sync.
Gets frustrating having to complete the game twice over lol
Loving my iPad

Matt_wood87 says:

Good article. The feature would be useful to not lose all your progress in games when wiping your iPhone.

frog says:

All apps need this, not just games.

Boron78 says:

Developers should just use Dropbox. It is fast and free!
Broken Sword 2 uses this and it works just great!

iVenom says:

Well the deferent devices could all have there own game center accounts with the same iTunes account that would fix the problem of the mom with the kid that plays the same game

Paulshipper says:

So true - iWant this feature! seems so obvious!