Name That App: GameCenter

**As published in digiday:DAILY** Publisher: GameFly Price: Free Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch Advertising: None Functionality: A- Fun Factor: B Overall: B+ Backed by GameFly – the Netflix of gaming – when the GameCenter app recently updated to version 1.2.1, I decided to give it a spin. The app stepped up its game, so to speak, by better integrating GameFly customers’ access to GameQ. This app has almost everything I’d expect – functioning as a conduit to customers’ GameFly accounts and providing relevant news and information services. Admittedly, I’m a non-gamer by most measures, but after signing up for the free GameFly trial, my wife and I were having fun battling over what games to add to our GameQ or Q first.

After accessing our GameFly account only using the app, I found a couple features missing from the Q. The app follows a pretty standard layout categorized by games, news, GameFly (GameQ) and settings. But without a browse-by-category section in the Q, the user has to rely on the search function to find the game they want. By using a mixed-use approach to the app – essentially moving outside of the GameQ panel and into the games panel – you can browse games by most popular, new releases and coming soon. A small button will add games to your Q from this section as well. The games and news panels have a ticker-like menu across the top that allows users to drill down by your gaming platform of choice, but the tiny arrows on the sides that were meant to control the scrolling feature weren’t always responsive in my experience. One particular standout feature in the games section though would have to be the trailers available for almost every game in the database. Lastly, while the news section seemed thorough in respect to the veracity of gaming industry coverage it offers, I couldn’t help but notice that the content is coming from a single news outlet. I wonder if the GameCenter app might benefit from a more open-arms strategy to its news feed. The updated GameCenter app still doesn’t have a clear digital marketing component per se, but for an app meant to give customers and gaming fans another resource for news and information, the coupling with its GameFly service is a smart play. In fact, it’s to be expected.

Name That App: Encyclopaedia Britannica

The closed (for good reason) world of mobile development