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Thursday, September 19, 2013, 11:54 am PT (02:54 pm ET)

Amazon extends GameCircle achievements, leaderboards to Apple's iOS

Amazon continued to extend its reach across the assorted mobile platforms on Thursday, announcing that its GameCircle and Whispersync game-synching technologies were now available to developers programming for Apple's iOS.



The new development opens up the possibility of deep, cross-platform interoperability between games with a presence on more than one major mobile operating system. GameCircle and Whispersync would operate on iOS much in the same way that Apple's Game Center and iCloud synching does, but the services would allow for saving and synching on non-iOS devices.

A Kindle Fire owner could, for example, begin playing a game on that device before switching to an iPhone during travel. If the game's developer has implemented GameCircle and Whispersync, data from the Kindle Fire would be saved to Amazon's Web Services cloud, with the save state then becoming available on the iOS version of the game.

Amazon introduced GameCircle in June of 2012 prior to unveiling the most recent generation of Kindle Fire devices. The service was initially available only on those devices, which run a forked version of Google's Android operating system. Over the summer, though, the online retailer expanded the service to include other Android devices. With the addition of Apple's iOS, Amazon's service now addresses the vast majority of the mobile device market.

Amazon has already implemented the technology in one of its own offerings, Air Patriots, a game available in Apple's App Store, Amazon's App Store, and Google's Play Store. GameCircle achievement game data synching is free for developers to build into their games, and it reportedly takes under an hour to implement.

The technology requires that a device be running iOS 5.0 or higher. It also reportedly works with Apple's Game Center feature. The service can automatically resolve data conflicts stemming from incidents where multiple devices give conflicting saves out of order. Further information on the service is available at Amazon's developer page for the GameCircle and Whispersync API.