Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live vs Apple’s Game Center on iOS

Here’s a really nice comparative look at the Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7 vs Apple’s newly launched Game Center on its iOS devices (iPhone 3GS/4 and iPads). It’s fairly long (3 parts) and detailed, filled with info about the history of both services and all the features currently supported on both platforms. I highly recommend that you check it out especially if you plan on getting a Windows Phone 7 handset in a few weeks or if you already own an Game Center compatible iOS device. The fact that both services are launching nearly at the same time make it seem like Apple it reacting to Microsoft’s offering  but I definitely see  Game Center as a natural evolution of the iOS platform and ecosystem more than a counter of Xbox Live. Both platform obviously have their strengths and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft’s experience in PC gaming and Console Market will help the software giant in its battle against an already well established mobile platform like iOS. From the looks of it (the Game Center launch wasn’t a ground breaking success, thanks to the lack of games support) Microsoft has a chance to show what it is capable of doing. You can start with Part 1 here and continue with part 2 and 3.

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iPhone OS 4 announced: Multi-Tasking, Folders, Enterprise features & Game Center

Today’s big news is obviously Apple iPhone 4 announcement and Apple delivered what everybody expected. iPhone OS 4 has 7 new big features:

1) Multi-Tasking: Finally? nothing really innovative here. Double clicking the home button will give the user access to a task-manager and let him jump from one app to another. Third-party apps will also be allowed to use this feature. Interestingly it works a bit like on Windows Phone 7; the Application is paused in the background and then resumed when the user comes back to it. The major difference being that Windows Phone 7 doesn’t have any way (user friendly task-manager) to let users jump from one app to another (onthre that the back button and the home key). It does have a full blown task-manager that is hidden in the OS as seen in this video. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft is going to react to this. It would be really easy for Redmond to implement a similar functionality in WP7  (double clicking on a home button to access all the running apps) but I think that the boys in blue are into something else with the Metro UI. Oh, and Only the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod will receive this feature (no love for the iPhone 3G because of the lack of enough RAM I guess…)

2) Folders: It gives users the ability to group the application into folders to save some space so they no longer have to scroll through tens of pages to find an application.

3) Unified Email inbox: merged inbox, threaded messaging view, fast switching between inbox/accounts etc..

4) Enterprise features: Encryption, remote device management, multiple exchange accounts , VPN support etc…

5) Game Center: Well….it’s basically a copy of Xbox Live…achievement, leaderboards etc..

6) iBooks: nothing much to say here. It’s the same app as on the iPad

7) iAd: The other big announcement is the new iAd advertising platform…Google watch out! Cause Apple wants to beat you at your own game…

And countless other feature like BT keyboard support, spellcheck, etc…

Anyway I’m not going to talk more about this given that MTW is primary focused on Windows Phone and Android. Nothing amazing was announced today but I have to give props to Apple because they are doing everything right IMO and pushing their platform in the right direction. The only downside is that the iPhone UI is staying the same (it’s starting to look a bit old). You can grab the Beta SDK of OS 4 here.