iPhone Game Center released

Apple's shot at Xbox Live arrives with iOS 4.1

Apple has release iOS update 4.1 which, if you've been following the times, is extra special to us gamers because it contains Apple's Game Center app.

The Game Center seems like Apple's shot at bringing Xbox Live-like services to its increasingly gaming-focused iDevices. It's billed as a "social gaming network", and will bring with it the ability to add and invite friends, leaderboards, achievements and will power matchmaking for online multiplayer games.

As Apple demonstrated, sending invites to a friend makes their device display a Push Notification on screen, rather like receiving a text message.

iOS 4.1 also introduces much-requested bug fixes for iPhone 4, including the proximity sensor (which currently refuses to keep the screen shut off while the phone's pressed to your face), Bluetooth, High Dynamic Range photo-taking options, HD video uploads via WiFi, TV show rentals, and performance enhancements for the iPhone 3G.

Beware, though, that although you can install iOS 4.1 on a number of iDevices, you'll only be able to use Game Center on the iPhone 3GS and third-gen iPod Touch or newer.