Apple releases iOS 4.1 beta 3 to developers
Developers who have seen the beta report that it includes a new API allowing apps to access contact thumbnail pics, as well as media playback enhancements that include new classes in AV Foundation related to file compression, reading/writing, and batched playback.
There is also significant progress with Game Kit and the Game Center app it powers. Once bundled in a shipping version of iOS, Game Center will allow players to track their game scores on leaderboards, find teams for group play, and track their in-game achievements.
Game Center was touted by Apple as a major feature of iOS 4, signaling the company's efforts to support and attract high quality mobile games to the platform while making it easier for developers to add basic gaming features and more consistent for users who play multiple games.
Game Center may ship with the final release of iOS 4.1 for iPhone and iPod touch, which is likely to hit in September/October. Apple is also preparing an update that will bring iOS 4.x features to iPad.
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