Emerging Paid iOS Apps: Disney, Capcom, EA & Other Larger Studios Rise

The top paid iOS charts are filled with new releases this week, running the gamut from the typical puzzle game to fighting apps to digital books. Despite the fact that there were a strong number of rising new apps, most were fairly low within the top 50 as Gameloft dominated most of the upper rankings with a reduction in price (to $0.99) for a large quanitity of its games.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Paid Apps List

Puffle LaunchPuffle Launch – The highest ranking iPhone app (at #6 on iPhone and on iPad) is one from one of the world’s largest and best known companies, Disney. The game is the September 15th-released Puffle Launch and it puts players in control of a little puffball daredevil who is trying to get his snacks back from a thieving crab… with a flying robot. To do so, players collect Puffle O’s by launching themselves from airborne cannon to airborne cannon. Additionally, all virtual coins collected can be transferred to accounts on Club Penguin. The game costs $0.99.

Destinia — The next new release doesn’t appear until #34. It is the game of Destinia. Destinia is a $0.99 role-playing game in which players are imprisoned for defying the orders of a corrupt empire, and must escape to make things right in a realm completely dominated by it. The game touts several options for customization with one’s character, the ability to create unique items, and player versus player combat. Further supported with in-app purchases for virtual currency, the game is credited to South Korean mobile games publisher Gamevil, which started at $10 million fund to invest in external game development partners back in June. Destinia was released September 15th.

Final Fight — Japanese core games developer and publisher Capcom – whose mobile and social gaming unit reported $15.5 million in earnings in the quarter that ended in June —  is the creator of the #35 application this week, Final Fight. The classic game is an iOS port of the original Final Fight, but for those that do not remember Final Fight, it is a side-scrolling fighting-style game game in which players simply beat up everything that comes their way in order to find and save a kidnapped girl named Jessica. Released September 15th, the game grows not only due to nostalgia, but also because of a reduced, $0.99 price tag until September 21st.

A Monster Ate My CondoMonsters Ate My Condo — Monsters Ate My Condo is a new game (released September 15th) credited to two companies: Adult Swim Games and PikPok Games. The former is the casual game development arm of Cartoon Network’s (a part of Turner Broadcasting) Adult Swim programming lineup while the latter is an iOS and Android games developer and publisher. In the odd game, players must match the colored floors of skyscrapers in order to feed giant monsters, lest they destroy the world. Costing only $0.99, the game is already #39 on iPhone and #31 on iPad.

Not touch my phone –  The final highlight for iPhone is ranked at #42, Not touch my phone. A $0.99 application, it is once again a title that falls into the quasi-security realm. Though not completely fake, like those highlighted in past top iOS charts that merely display an image of a securely locked screen, this app allows players to draw an unlock pattern and then select an alarm sound. Should the phone be picked up, the alarm will trigger, being disabled only by the correct unlock pattern. The only older iPhone app highlight this week, it was last updated September 8th with new alarm sounds. It is credited to Spanish company LideraFX, an Internet applications developer that specializes in electronic commerce.

New Titles Within Top iPad Paid Apps List

Bop ItBop It! for iPad — New highlights for the top paid iPad apps list don’t appear until #20 today with the newly released (September 15th) game of Bop It! for iPad. Created by the world’s second largest games developer, Electronic Arts, the app is a digital remake of the children’s game of the same name. A reaction-based game, players must perform a motion based on whatever the game says to do, be it tapping the iPad, turning it, twisting it, or bopping it. Additionally, the app comes with several other actions that can be performed once unlocked. As it stands, the game currently runs $2.99.

Bobo Explores Light — Digital children’s books sees growth today with Bobo Explores Light. The $6.99 book is an educational title centered around the science of light and including topics such as photosynthesis, lightning and color. As an iPad app, it is also interactive with manipulable 3D holograms, a robot guide named Bobo, and several extra videos, articles, and trivia games to further learn from. Its creator is noted to be Game Collage, an iOS developer of several casual games and educational children’s books. Bobo Explores Light is currently ranked at #32 on the top paid iPad apps list.

Cowboy Guns HD — Moving back into games comes the latest game credited to EA division, Chillingo, Cowboy Guns HD. In at #36, the game is a dual-stick shooter in which players must work their way through the wild west in order to defeat four notorious gang leaders. Moreover, and along with several different game modes, the game is a universal app, working on both iPhone and iPad. Though it is credited to Chillingo in the App Store, development credit is also given to C2EStudio, a Colombian company who focuses on 3D applications in terms of simulation, training, and games. Cowboy Guns HD costs $2.99.

Epic WarEpic War TD Pro – iPad Edition — The #37 app this week might look familiar as Epic War TD was on the top paid iPad apps list a few months ago. Now, it is Epic War TD Pro. The older version of this sci-fi tower defense game has since gone free-to-play, offering players a taste of the more futuristic looking title of  a noted five tower types and 14 enemy classes. The developer of Epic War is a small studio by the name of AMT Games, whose only other iOS titles are Best Free Games – Daily Magazine and Stacker Online.

NFL 2011 HD — Last up is yet another football app, squeezing in at #49. NFL 2011 HD is the oldest highlight of the day (released October 23rd), but is one of the few Gameloft games yet to rise into the top 50 paid iOS charts in recent time. A fairly standard football game in which players choose and run plays, the iPad platform does allow for some tilt controls in terms of avoiding defenders when running the ball. It also boasts north of 200 different plays to run as well as a “Playbook Editor” with which to create one’s own. Currently, the app is only $0.99 as part of a massive “Back to School Sale” from the international developer and publisher.

 

This Week’s Headlines From Across Inside Network

Here are all the latest headlines from around Inside Network this past week.

IMA LogoInside Mobile Apps

Tracking the convergence of mobile apps, social platforms, and virtual goods.

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Friday, September 16th, 2011

ISG LogoInside Social Games

Covering all the latest developments at the intersection of games and social platforms.

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Friday, September 16th, 2011

IF LogoInside Facebook

Tracking Facebook and the Facebook platform for developers and marketers.

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Mobile App Roundup: Google, Big Business, Startups & More

RIMRIM Reports a Decline in Q2 Revenue — Research In Motion has reported a decline in second quarter revenue due primarily to a poor performance of the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM states $4.2 billion in revenue, a 10 percent drop from $4.6 billion. In terms of PlayBook, only 200,000 units were shipped. The net income was $329 million, a 59 percent drop from the $797 million of last year.

Google Possibly Working on Digital Magazine App — According to tech personality Robert Scoble, a source “working with Google” has noted that the company may be working on a competitor to the popular digital magazine app, Flipboard. Additionally, All Things D says that numerous sources are saying similar things and are dubbing the product “Propeller.”

Google Buys Over 1,000 Patents to Protect Android — Google has purchased 1,023 patents from IBM in order to protect Android from potential lawsuits, reports Bloomberg. The reports from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office note the acquisitions occurring on August 17th, and according to Google, are designed to counter “hostile, organized campaign[s]” from companies such as Apple and Microsoft. In addition to these new patents, Google also acquired 1,030 from IBM in July and will gain 17,000 more with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings.

Sony Releases SDK for PlayStation Vita – Sony released an SDK for developers looking to create games on PlayStation-certified devices. The SDK will support the programming language of C# and will work on devices such as the PlayStation Vita and Sony Tablet.

foursquareFoursquare Releases Push Notifications API — Location-based Foursquare has released two new beta version push notification APIs, User Push API and Venue Push API. The former allows for third-party apps to opt in to receive notifications when authenticated users check in, while the latter allows for notifications when there is a check-in to a venue run by a third-party app’s user.

Gowalla Announces Guides — Gowalla has shown off the latest version of its app: Guides. Upon checking in, users can view information regarding that particular location or contribute to the guide themselves. The more users check in, the more information they can view.

Buy Mobile App Features With Verious — Launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt, Verious is an interesting new online marketplace in which users can search for and buy pre-built mobile application components (e.g. a color picker, a slideshow component, or translation services).

Red RobotRed Robot Labs Raises $8.5 Million — Location-based mobile games developer Red Robot Labs has announced $8.5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Shasta Ventures. Its first game, Life is Crime, launched on Android a few weeks ago.

MeLLmo Raises $30 Million — MeLLmo, a mobile business applications developer, has raised a round of funding this week worth $30 million from Sequoia Capital. Moreover, Sequoia Capital partner, Greg McAdoo, will join MeLLmo’s board of directors.

GameStop to Create Gaming Tablet — Game retailer GameStop has announced that it has plans to launch its very own branded gaming tablet. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the tablet will make use of the Android OS.

Verizon Relaunches Android App Store — Through the help of Chomp, Verizon Wireless is relaunching its Android app store, Verizon Apps, reports VentureBeat. Using Chomp’s app search engine, users will be able to search for new apps based on type.

Unity Wins Best Development Environment Award — Unity Technologies has announced that its Unity game development platform has won the award for “Best Development Environment” at this year’s CEDEC (Computer Entertainment Developers Conference) in Japan.

[Legal] Samsung Files Apple Complaint in France — In the global Apple vs. Samsung patent war, Samsung has filed a complaint against Apple in Paris. The complaint states that Apple has violated three of its technology patents regarding a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).

[Legal] AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Goes to the President — 15 Congressional members are asking President Obama to settle the matter. In a letter written by Heath Shuler, they coax the President to approve the merger as it will, as reported by TechCrunch, expand high-speed wireless networks, generate new jobs, and boost the country’s GDP.

OLogicDemo Conference Mobile Highlights — The VentureBeat-affiliated conference of Demo, which acts like a showcase for new emerging technologies and companies’ products, occured earlier this week. At Demo several new mobile technologies and applications were featured. Below are some of the highlights detailed on the tech blog.

  • Open Mobile App Directory — OMAD grants users with a means to find applications, from one site, from several app stores, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. It also states that it has “greater community participation.”
  • Text Message Weight Loss Motivation – SMS startup Poosh has launched a new text message mobile service that will help motive users to exercise by sending text messages one to three times a day from “elite athletes.”
  • Coaxing Kids to Read — MeMe Tales is a new mobile reading application for kids that will grant more than digital stories, but the ability to play reading-related games or publish their own stories.
  • Easy Mobile Prototypes — Web-based FieldTest is a concept that allows users to take any image and assign interactions to create a functioning mobile app perfect for prototype presentations, pitches, demos, or testing.
  • More Social Group Messaging — SmartDonuts is a new group messaging app from Inscos that allows users to more securely chat with groups of friends as well as join other groups based on their interests.
  • Voice-to-Text MessagingQwip is a startup that offers and app of the same name that allows users to record short messages and converts them to text that can be used on Qwip, in private messages, or social feeds.
  • New Social & Mobile Golfing App — Teepsy is a new Facebook and mobile app that allows users to brag about their golf game. Additionally, it lets users sign up for discounted tee times at certain golf courses. Players can earn badges for their golf accomplishments and track their scores.
  • Build Tablet Websites — A startup out of Brooklyn, ClrTouch, displayed that lets users create a tablet-based website directly from their tablet.
  • Power Robots With Smartphones — One interesting demo came from OLogic and its Automated Music Personality (AMP). The robot follows users around and will play music from one’s smartphone or MP3 player. It also comes with a iOS or Android app that lets users control it.
  • Earn Discounts With Gimmie — Gimmie is another new startup and its product allows users to use their mobile phones to scan QR codes for things like rebates, coupons, and so on to receive a discount instantly.

[image via VentureBeat]

Angry Birds Hits New Milestone — Rovio Mobile’s game Angry Birds has reached a new milestone today as general manager Andrew Stalbow announced the game has been downloaded 350 million times and sees 300 million minutes of play a day.

PETA Sends Letter to TinyCo — TinyCo, the mobile developer behind Tiny Zoo received a letter from PETA coaxing them to make their next version of the game about rescued animals in sanctuaries rather than in cages. They state that the concept of confining animals within small enclosures is cruel and sends the wrong message to young players.

[Launch] Itsmy Games Launches Games for Web — Mobile and social games developer, itsmy Games, has announced that it has launched its catalogue of over 100 free-to-play titles as mobile web apps. Each game makes use of HTML5 and can be played partly offline.

DragonVale[Launch] Backflip Studios Releases iOS Game DragonVale — Backflip Studios has released its newest free-to-play game, DragonVale in the U.S. The game is social game in which players manage a virtual space to raise and care for baby dragons.

[Launch] Pocket Gems Releases Tap Zoo on Android — Mobile games developer Pocket Gems has announced the launch of free-to-play game Tap Zoo for Android-based smartphones and tablets. The release also marks the one-year anniversary of the top grossing game on iOS within which it has spent 48 weeks in the top ten.

[Launch] Aviary Releases Photo Editing SDK — Aviary is a media editing company that has released a new SDK this week that allows developers to add photo editing features into any iOS or Android application.

[Launch] Translating Mobile Apps — TechCrunch came across an interesting new mobile app platform from Tethras. The platform is intended to help developers translate and localize their iOS and Android apps for a multitude of different languages.

[Rumor] iPhone 5 Launching October 15th — Stéphane Richard, CEO of France Telecom has stated that “the iPhone 5 will be released on 15 October,” reports TechCrunch.

Top Emerging Android Apps: Tower Defense, Pygmies, Ringtones & More

There are several new applications to the top paid and top free Android lists this week. While not all are new releases, content updates have either aided in the growth of these apps or simply helped to solidify their usual top positions. As for the top grossing apps list, the upper levels did not show much change, but new highlights did make their way in late in the list, be they old or new releases.

New Titles Within Top Paid Android Apps List

Robo DefenseRobo Defense — Robo Defense is a long-running tower defense game that has always been ranked relatively high on the top paid Android apps list. Consisting of five maps with unlimited upgrades and difficulty settings, the app is currently ranked at #10. Part of its ranking is due to a September 13th update that added in a new level dubbed “Sky Tower,” new achievements, and the new “Flare” tower. Curiously, and despite its rank, the $2.99 game’s number of installs have been in general decline over the past month. It is developed by Lupis Labs Software, a small mobile developer whose only intellectual property on Android is Robo Defense.

Pocket God — Ngmoco, the mobile game developer acquired by Japan’s social game publisher DeNA, is the publisher of Pocket God (it was developed by Bolt Creative). The game is all about playing the god of an island full of pygmies, torturing them in unique and creative ways. Though the game’s install rate has been in decline for most of the last month, it has begun growing slightly in the past few days due to a new content update on September 10th. The update includes new godly powers, three new mini-games, and a special new pygmy who “wreaks havoc and babbles about tiger blood.” Currently, Pocket God costs $0.99 and is ranked at #13. Also, Ngmoco has reportedly acquired social developer Lionside.

Shazam Encore – Music comes in at #18 with the $4.74 application, Shazam Encore. Last updated September 8th, with the ability to tag television shows and commercials, the title is used primarily to quickly identify music simply by holding one’s Android device up to speakers playing a song. Along with this tagging capability, players can listen to previews and can quickly make purchases via Amazon. Additionally, the free version of Shazam is ranked at #29 and was also updated on September 8th. Both are credited to Shazam Entertainment Limited, a London-based mobile apps developer with titles spanning several devices including Android, iOS, and Blackberry. Shazam‘s offices also span New York and Seoul, Korea.

TapatalkTapatalk Forum App — Quoord Systems Limited is Chinese mobile developer out of Hong Kong and the creator of today’s #27 top paid Android app, Tapatalk Forum App. Tapatalkis a popular social application that allows users to access various web forums via their Android device. Along with this core function, it supports photo uploads, downloads, the saving of account information, and private messaging and alerts. Costing $2.95, the app’s install rate has been relatively steady over the past few weeks. Its last update was September 9th which added in the ability to reply without quotes in private messages and support for “very large font.”

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus — Moving back into the realm of games comes Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus at #31. The title is a modern military first-person shooter in which players dive into combat across several battlefields around the world (e.g. the Middle East, Europe, and South America) within a single player campaign. Alternatively, they can compete in both local and online multiplayer matches that support up to 10 players. Black Pegasus is developed by the roughly twelve-year-old,  international studio Gameloft. Currently, the game costs $6.99 and was last updated September 12th to support a greater variety of Android-enabled devices.

New Titles Within Top Free Android Apps List

MP3 Music DownloadMP3 Music Download Pro — MP3 Music Download Pro is sitting at #15 today on the top free Android apps list. Experiencing a dramatic rise in installs over the last week or so, the application is a music app that allows its users to search for and download free music, lyrics, and album cover art to their Android handset. Additionally, the app allows for up to three downloads at a time as well as the ability to play and delete music from one’s library, or set it as a ringtone. Last updated September 14th, MP3 Music Download Pro’s development is credited to Yu Liu. Unfortunately, no further details on the developer are noted.

MyxerMoving down to #22 is the app of Myxer from Myxer. In terms of the Myxer app, it allows users to peruse an enormous collection of free ringtones or MP3s for their Android phone. In addition to this, ringtones can be customized as users are able to cut out specific sections of a track to be used as one. Custom recorded ringtones can also be made. As for the company itself, Myxer is a mobile technology firm founded in 2005 that grants it users (stated as being over 48 million) access to a catalog of both free and premium pieces of media content; the former of which is boasted at over 11 million. Growing slightly in recent days, Myxer was last updated September 8th. One of the key features added in this last update was the ability to browse, preview, and customize ringtones from songs.

Yahoo! Fantasy Football ’11 — As with last week, more Fantasy Football rises up the top free Android app charts. In at #28, growing dramatically with the start of the NFL football season, is Yahoo! Fantasy Football ’11. The application is a mobile companion for the online Fantasy Football sports game, allowing users to check updates on the go. Updates include live scoring, match-ups, player stats, and so on. Along with this, players can manage their fantasy team at any time. As the title would suggest, the app is developed by California-based, global corporation Yahoo! Inc., who already hosts several mobile versions of Yahoo! web programs such as Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Weather. Yahoo! Fantasy Football ’11 was last updated September 8th.

LookoutLookout Security & Antivirus — Lookout Mobile Security is a San Francisco-based firm, funded by investors such as Khosla Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners, and Accel partners, whose products center around protecting smartphones from things such as viruses, malware, and spyware. Today, its Android product, Lookout Security & Antivirus, ranks in at #36 on the top free Android apps list. Growing relatively steadily in the past month, the application provides over 10 million users with the ability to not only protect their devices, but allows them to create backups on myLookout.com for later restoration, if needed. In addition to this, the app allows users to locate a lost or stolen phone through Google Maps whether or not GPS is disabled on the device, and can also activate an alarm even should the phone be on silent. Lookout was last updated on September 9th, adding in-app billing for an annual subscription to Lookout Premium.

Prize Claw — The final highlight for the top free charts is also one that climbed the top free iOS list during the summer, Prize Claw. Ranked at #45, Prize Claw (last updated September 2nd) is a digital version of arcade and carnival prize machines in which players attempt to snag various items with a mechanical claw. Here, they do so in order to complete different collections. Other features of the game include the ability to collect coins, to upgrade the machine’s claw, or power-ups to make grabbing those elusive prizes slightly easier. The creator of the game is Dallas’ Game Circus, a free-to-play game maker for mobile whose titles are intended to be accessible to all audiences. Game Circus is also the studio behind top grossing Android app, Coin Dozer. Prize Claw has been growing rapidly since its last noted updated.

New Titles Within Top Grossing Android Apps List

My CountryMy Country & Paradise Island – There are new updates this week for the #1 and #5 top grossing titles, My Country and Paradise Island from Russia’s highly successful mobile game’s studio, Game Insight. Both games are social business management sims in which players must develop their own country and resort island respectively with tasks ranging from economy and transportation to entertainment and tourism. Both were updated on September 9th and 8th with new features. My Country has added in a new slew of items to construct called the “World Tour” pack which consists of monuments from around the world as well as German language support. Paradise Island, on the other hand, has added a new notification system, as well as Facebook and Twitter integrations. Both titles are free-to-play and monetize through in-app purchases.

Madden NFL 12 — Madden NFL 12 was featured on the top paid Android apps chart a few weeks ago, but since its release, the football game has risen all the way up to #2 on the top grossing list. Developed by Electronic Arts, the $6.99 game features the National Football League’s most current player rosters as well as a new feature that lets users pause game action for a moment in order to position their players so that they can best stop plays or avoid defenses. Moreover, players can also draw up their own plays, dubbed “Hot Routes,” for passing, running, and defense. Despite Madden’s #2 ranking, the total installs for the game have begun to decline rapidly in recent days. It was released August 30th.

Third Blade — Moving all the way down to #30 comes the newest game from Com2Us, Third Blade. The free-to-play title was last updated September 9th, and is an action, hack-and-slash style of game in which players battle their way through hordes of monsters using one of three different combat styles (dual wield, one-handed blades, and two handed blades). As players play, they can build combos and upgrade weapons to become more powerful, and through in-app purchases, can buy even more upgrades or skills. As for Com2Us itself, the company is a long running Korean mobile and online games studio, whose other games include Homerun Battle 3D and Inotia3: Children of Carnia.

Pretty Pet SalonPretty Pet Salon — In at #35 is an older game, Pretty Pet Salon. In the game, players manage an overly cute business in which owners bring in their pets to be cleaned, groomed, and pampered. Players must manage all of these guests with a limited number of cleaning stations before they get impatient and leave in a Dinner Dash style. The application is free-to-play, but monetizes through in-app purchases. It is credited to cross-platform smartphone publisher, Animoca, but is developed by Hong Kong-based Outblaze. In fact, Pretty Pet Salon is one of Outblaze‘s most successful titles, even though the company produces new games on a weekly basis. This strategy has resulted in roughly 30 million installs across all of its games (which are most successful on Android).

7 Little Words — The final new face to highlight is the August 10th-updated word game of 7 Little Words. Developed by Blue Ox Technologies, a young mobile games developer from Maine, who has also been featured on the top free iOS charts, 7 Little Words is a puzzle app in which players are given seven words to to discern from seven clues and 20 letter groups. Monetizing through in-app purchases, the game has seen steady growth for the past month, with only a small bit of decline in the last week or so. Currently, it is ranked as the #37 top grossing Android app.

New Hires in Mobile: EA Mobile, Gameloft, Glu Mobile & More

Based on information presented on LinkedIn and from other sources, the slow mobile hiring continues with nine active companies, and with most only hiring one or two new team members. In terms of bigger hires, the only one of notice was Martynas Gudonavicius who comes to InMobi as its new regional development manager. Aside from this, Kun Wang, of Glu Mobile, moves up to director of production (Beijing) from his prior role as a producer.

We know there are many more mobile game and social app developers that are actively growing, so if your company is hiring new people or making a notable promotion, please get in touch with us here: mail (at) insidemobileapps (dot) com. We’ll get your news into an upcoming post.

Who else is hiring? The Inside Network Job Board presents a survey of current openings at leading companies in the industry.

Here’s this week’s full list:

EA Mobile

  • Vivian Andreeva, Software Engineer — EA Mobile hires three new team members this week. Andreeva was previously OS development – tablet product delivery at Research In Motion.
  • Michael Tu, QA Tester — Also joining EA Mobile is Tu, a former student social media coordinator for Herzing College.
  • Crissa Rohlfing, QA Contractor — Rohlfing was formerly a quality assurance analyst for Mobile Post Production.

Gameloft

  • Jeremy Elford, Art Manager — Gameloft only hires a single individual. Elford was previously a lead and concept artist for Cohort Studios.

Glu Mobile

  • Kun Wang, Director of Production — In an internal shift, Wang moves up to director of production at Glu Mobile (Beijing). Prior to this, he was a producer.

GREE International

InMobi

  • Martynas Gudonavicius, Regional Development Manager — Joining InMobi is Gudonavicius, a former sales director – CEE at Adform.
  • Adam Pobiak, Art Director, Europe & Middle East — Also now a part of InMobi is Pobiak. Pobiak was previously a senior designer for MySpace.

Millennial Media

  • Hannah Whipps, Account Management Intern — Millennial Media hires on Whipps this week. She was formerly an admissions coordinator at Genesis HealthCare, Brightwood Skilled Nursing.
  • Peter Goode, Traffic Manager — Goode also joins InMobi. Goode was most recently a curator at the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

Rovio Mobile

  • Ville Räisänen, Marketing Asset Specialist — Rovio Mobile shows activity this week, hiring on Räisänen, a former marketing materials specialist at RealNetworks.

Storm8

  • Sarah Gillen, User Relations Specialist — Gillen joins Storm8. She was previously a game master and customer service for Frogster America.

TinyCo

  • Timothy Wong, Sourcer — TinyCo hires on one new team member. Wong was most recently a technical sourcer and recruiter for IDEAConnectors.

Emerging Top Free Apps on iOS: Paid Apps Go Free and Television Grows on iPad

Entertainment and past paid apps are rising up the top iOS charts today. Both Booyah and Gameloft have made one of their titles free-to-play, and while the latter’s is only temporary, both moves have pushed the games to the top of the free iPhone charts. On iPad, however, television is moving to the top with apps for NBC, TNT, and TBS breaching the top ten.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Free Apps List

AsphaltAsphalt 6: Adrenaline – The new #1 free iPhone app is also #1 on iPad: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline. Though it hasn’t been updated since July 20th, the racing game from international publisher and developer Gameloft has risen dramatically due to being made free for an undisclosed amount of time. The game features a multitude of world-class cars (e.g. Aston Martin) for players to race on tracks from around the world. A former top paid app, the monetization of the game is now based around in-app purchases for virtual currency and items.

Early Bird — Next up is the game of Early Bird. Ranked #2, this app was also once a top paid application as well. It is a puzzle game in which players try to guide a bluebird to its worm-meal using simple finger swipes. That in mind, the challenge is to work their way past a variety of obstacles, pitfalls, and moving platforms. Early Bird’s growth is also partially attributed to a September 13th update that added in 24 new levels, and a new in-app purchase ($0.99) for “The Phoenix,” which is meant to help pass levels in which the player is stuck and resembles Angry Birds’ Mighty Eagle virtual good. Early Bird is developed by California’s Booyah, a social and mobile games developer founded in 2008, and whose titles include MyTown, DJ Rivals, and Nightclub City.

Tangled — Tangled is a puzzle game that is also noted to be free for a limited time (usually costing $0.99). The game features several orbs connected by lines that players must untangle so that the lines do not cross. Also aiding in its growth is a September 13th update that added in three new puzzle packs of varying difficulties. This is on top of the game’s already existing 30 puzzles. Though it is normally a paid application, Tangled also hosts several in-app purchases for new puzzles and level unlocks. Its developer is credited as Billy Lavoie, whose other iOS applications include Tangled 2 and Tangled 2: Doodle. Tangled is currently #3 on the top free iPhone apps list.

LarryTalking Larry the Bird — Outfit7 may have lost its chief executive recently, but the mobile developer of talking animal apps has seen several million downloads during his time as CEO, and those numbers continue to climb with the #4 free iPhone app, Talking Larry the Bird. Talking Larry the Bird is one of those interactive virtual avatar applications. Like other Outfit7 apps, users can poke, talk, or record video with Larry. Additionally, Larry the Bird comes with a digital piano keyboard which can be played to prompt him to whistle along in key. Talking Larry the Bird is one of Outfit7′s older titles, however, having been updated last November. That said, the growth is due to the application being made free for a limited time. It is also ranked #8 on iPad.

Line Runner – Robert Szeleney is credited to several top free “line-style” games on iPhone. The most recent of these to rise is the August 1st-updated game of Line Runner. Featured on FreeAppADay, Line Runner is a simple challenge of running as far as one can, jumping over or rolling under ever increasing numbers of obstacles without getting hit. The game also adds extra challenge via OpenFeint leaderboards. Though it is free, the game monetizes through an in-app purchase for a little stick figure blood at $0.99. As for Szeleney himself, he appears to be part of Austrian company, Djinnworks. Line Runner is currently sitting at #5 on the top free iPhone apps list.

New Titles Within Top iPad Free Apps List

NBCNBC – Media and entertainment giant NBC Universal is the creator of today’s #2 free iPad app, NBC. A television oriented application, it allows users to watch full episodes of NBC programming from their iPad device, a feature added in the recent September 8th update. Additionally, NBC allows for users to browse video highlights and photos from their favorite shows, along with mini-games, trivia, schedules, and the ability to interact with other fans.

Six Towers HD – Moving back into the realm of games comes Six Towers HD. Ranked at #3 on the top free iPad apps list, the game was only recently released on September 10th. A puzzle game with a simple concept, players must organize a series of eight columns into six. Each brick in the column is numbered and colored, thus the final six columns must be in ascending order and of the same color. However, bricks can only be placed in empty slots or atop  another brick that is sequentially adjacent (e.g. a “2″ can only be put atop a “1″ or “3″). Once again, the credited developer is the enigmatic AlphaWeb Plus LLP, but the game is linked to a Russian games portal called Bashni.

TNT for iPad — The television network of TNT (of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., A Time Warner Company)  is stepping into the top free iPad app charts as well with its #5 application, TNT for iPad. Released only September 8th, the entertainment title has risen quickly. As one would expect, TNT for iPad provides users with mobile access to any of their preferred TNT programs (and movies). It also includes episode guides, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage. As an added bonus, the application also incorporates the ability to set schedule reminders for upcoming shows. The app also hosts social integration via networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

TBSTBS for iPad — Coming in at #6 is, for the third time today, more television. This time it is the “very funny” network of TBS who has recently launched (September 8th) TBS for iPad. Like the previous two television applications, TBS for iPad offers its users full access to television programming from the network. That said, access is only granted after authenticating one’s cable or satellite provider. Beyond the TBS comedies, however, users can also view clips, episode guides, more behind-the-scenes video, and also set schedule reminders. TBS is also part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., A Time Warner Company.

Dolphin Browser HD — The last highlight of the day, sitting at #8, is also a feature from FreeAppADay, Dolphin Browser HD. Last updated September 12th, the app is a mobile web browser designed around touch controls. Dolphin also supports a sidebar for bookmarks, tabbed browsing, and word finds. The developer behind Dolphin Browser is credited as MoboTap, a mobile technology company whose focus is around improving mobile web experiences.  Additionally, the San Francisco-based company recently raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Emerging Top-Grossing iOS Apps: Popular Apps Spike With New Content Updates

The top grossing apps list are spread thin this week with many of the top 50 consisting of older titles that have long since been inhabitants of them. Nevertheless, new faces did emerge with the past week and those that have been seen before have had a great deal of updates adding new game modes, items, and features.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPhone Apps List

Crime CityCrime City – Since its release, Crime City from social games developer Funzio (whose last round of funding was worth $20 million) has been doing consistently well on the top iOS charts. Now, the game hits #4 partially due to a September 8th update. The role-playing game in which players work with friends to take over properties, complete missions, and build their own criminal neighborhood now allows players to customize their avatar to the way they see fit; an evidently popular request from game players. Additionally, the update added in several new items and areas. In terms of monetization, the game is a free-to-play title that utilizes in-app purchases for both virtual and earnable in-game currency.

Plants vs. Zombies – Casual games maker PopCap Games recently hosted a sale for all of its games this past weekend, which has helped to boost Plants vs. Zombies up to #8. However, the popular tower defense-style game, in which players use various projectile-spouting flora to defend against a horde of undead — is also growing due to its recent content update on September 8th. PopCap has added in nine new mini-games for players that can be bought in Crazy Dave’s in-game shop. Along with new Game Center achievements, the app also now hosts special items in the shop that will earn players extra coins (Sunflower’s Golden Chest, Marigold’s Coin Pot, and Stinky’s Secret Stash) that can be purchased for $0.99 in-app. Plants vs. Zombies is also a paid app at $2.99. It’s $6.99 iPad version is ranked at #26, but has not yet received the same update.

CityVille Hometown –The #14 application on the top paid iPhone apps list is another familiar face, CityVille Hometown. A past top grossing app as well, the city building game that tasks players with managing a town and its economy of income, resources, and housing has now received new content as of September 10th. Along with new limited edition items, the game now boasts a new inventory system, the ability to rush crop and building production, new Chinese and Japanese language support, and the most sought after feature, acquiring neighbors from an in-game community rather than through just Facebook. CityVille Hometown’s developer is social company, Zynga, who reportedly purchased Astro Ape Studios last month to improve its mobile app development efforts. Hometown is currently #45 on iPad.

Zombie HighwayZombie Highway — Zombie Highway is another older application that was last updated September 8th. The title was made free-to-play last week, for an unknown amount of time, shooting it up the top free app charts, as high as #1. The title is a driving game in which players attempt to survive as long as possible while zombies leap onto their car and attempt to tip it. Players defend by scrapping them off on debris or with old-fashioned bullets (though ammo is limited). Now, the title is #29 on the top grossing list as it has added in a means to unlock content through in-app purchases that range from $0.99 to $3.99. It is credited to developer RenderPaz Studios, a California-based company centered around mobile games and founded just last year.

Justin.tv — The final iPhone highlight of the day comes in at #40 with the August 10th-updated application, Justin.tv. The company of Justin.tv is a web media outfit that allows its users to stream live video over the web in over 250 countries. The iOS application, which costs $4.99, allows players to do the same, but from their iPhone. Additionally, users can watch around 2,500 live channels from Justin.tv, chat with other viewers, and share what they’ve liked via social feeds such as Facebook and Twitter. Justin.tv was also a top paid application from yesterday.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPad Apps List

MachinariumMachinarium — It was the top paid app yesterday, and now the $4.99, award-winning game of Machinarium is #2 on the top grossing iPad apps list. The game is an iPad 2-only adventure and puzzle style of game in which players control an exiled robot that must sneak back into the city that kicked him out (Machinarium) in order to save it, its people, and his robot girlfriend. With an almost storybook-style of art, the play is centered around finding and collecting key items as well as logic-based puzzles and problems to solve. It is credited to a small indy studio out of the Czech Republic by the name of Amanita Design. Currently, Machinarium is its first noted game on iOS, but the 2003-founded company has produced several other independent games. Machinarium was released only September 8th.

Monster Pet Shop — As of September 8th, Capcom’s social and mobile studio of Beeline Interactive (who reported $15.5 million in the revenue last quarter) is rising up the top grossing charts with the #26 title, Monster Pet Shop. Free-to-play and monetizing through the in-app purchases of virtual currency, the application is a virtual pet style of game in which players raise different varieties of monsters – caring for them, playing with them, and feeding them — until they are ready to be sold. Players must breed and raise creatures based on customer requests to make a sale, and must experiment to figure out the best way to care for each individual monster personality. Monster Pet Shop is also ranked #22 on iPhone

Kate Arrow – Deserted Wood HD — In at #33 is the adventure and hidden object game of Kate Arrow - Deserted Wood HD. Yet another notch in the adventure game belt of casual games maker and publisher Big Fish Games, the title puts users into the shoes of Kate Arrow. Kate must travel into the jungle in order to find her grandfather as well as deliver a mysterious artifact to an indigenous tribe of people that saved his life in the past. Released September 8th, the game follows Big Fish Games’ typical monetization method for its adventure apps, meaning that it is free-to-download, but costs $6.99, in-app,  to unlock in full. Also, per the company’s standard, the price is reduced 30 percent as an introductory cost.

MadPadMadPad HD – Remix Your Life — Another new app breaches the top 50 grossing iPad apps list at #44. Released September 8th, MadPad HD is the latest musical machination of California’s social and mobile application maker, Smule. MadPad allows players to take images and sounds from everyday life and puts them together into a visual soundboard. From here, players simply tap on the images to play corresponding sounds and can then remix them into their own composition. Once finished, creations can be shared via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or email. A top paid app from yesterday, MadPad HD currently costs $2.99.

Martha Stewart Living Magazine for iPad — The last highlight for iPad comes in at #48 and is the digital magazine, Martha Stewart Living Magazine for iPad. Created by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the app is a digital rendition of the popular magazine and features everything from cooking to decorating tips. Considering the season, the focus is now currently on topics centric to autumn and Halloween. To monetize, the app offers the ability to purchase individual issues for $3.99 as well as subscribe for $1.99, $11.99, or $19.99 on a monthly, six month, or annual basis.

Emerging Paid iOS Apps: Smule, Amanita Design, Kairosoft & More

Several new games are rising this week on the top paid iOS list. Racing, music, and puzzle games all made appearances with few first time appearances from older applications. It is also worth noting, that while not highlighted today, several PopCap Games titles also showed significant growth due to a weekend-long sale.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Paid Apps List

MadPadMadPad – Remix Your Life — The first app of the day comes from California-based iOS developer Smule. Known for its mobile and social musical applications, its latest release (September 8th) of MadPad seeks to find the music in life. Costing $0.99, the music app is ranked #14 on iPhone and #10 on iPad. What it does, is allow players to record sounds from every day life. Images are taken of the objects that make the sound, and via a visual soundboard, players remix all of them into a beat of their creation just by tapping the screen.

Race illegal: High Speed 3D — Moving down to #19 comes the latest release credited to EA division, Chillingo, a long running, independent games publisher. Race illegal: High Speed 3D is the latest racing game to rise up the top charts. The game is a fairly standard arcade-style racer hosting five different race modes, a story mode, and quick, single races. The game has been out since September 8th and is also already ranked #4 on iPad.  Race illegal currently only costs $0.99.

NFL RivalsNFL Rivals — The continuation of last week’s flood of football games continues with the #21 title, NFL Rivals from NaturalMotion Games. NFL Rivals is a football game similar in design to Icebreaker Hockey in which players attempt to score touchdowns without being tackled, or, on the flip-side, attempt to stop a touchdown. Additionally, leaderboards are based on the different NFL teams and depending on how all users cumulatively perform with that team, will determine its place on the Rival leaderboards. As for NaturalMotion itself, the company is a games developer and publisher out of England and is known best for its Backbreaker series and the Endorphin animation engine that simulates realistic animations on the fly. NFL Rivals costs $2.99.

Grand Prix Story — More racing concepts rise on the top paid iPhone charts, though now it is of a more retro variety. At #27, Grand Prix Story (released September 8th) isn’t a traditional racing game, but more of a racing management game. Costing $2.99, the game tasks users with the management of a racing team as they must find and train new drivers, acquire sponsors, and create new vehicles and parts leveling them up as they all as they play. Offering both English and Japanese game modes, it is credited to Japanese developer Kairosoft, who’s retro-style business management games have found themselves in the top paid charts several times before.

Justin.tv — The first older app appears at the end of today’s top iPhone highlights. Ranked #35 is Justin.tv. The application runs $4.99 and allows users to connect to Justin.tv on the go, viewing a variety of live streams, chat, and share via social feeds. Credited to the same name of Justin.tv, the company is a web service that allows users to stream live video in over 250 countries with support for live chat. Justin.tv was last updated August 10th.

New Titles Within Top iPad Paid Apps List

MachinariumMachinarium — There is a new #1 game for iPad, the $4.99 title of Machinarium. Noted as an award-winning game, the title is an adventure game in which players control an exiled robot who must find a way back into the city of Machinarium to save it. The play is primarily based around logic-style puzzles and the collection of key items. That said, the game is currently only available for iPad 2. The developer behind the app is a small independent studio from the Czech Republic called Amanita Design. While Machinarium is its only iOS game, the company has been around since 2003 and has produced several indy games. Machinarium was released September 8th.

Chess — Old games emerge again at #23 with Chess. It is created by Mastersoft Mobile Solutions, a privately owned and funded company whose iOS titles typically involve thinking games of some sort. As for Chess itself (last updated August 22nd with a new chess set), the game is, well, Chess, but is designed to support both beginner and grandmaster players. In fact, the title utilizes a chess engine that is noted to have finished 4th in the World Microcomputer Chess Championships. Chess costs $0.99.

DrawRace 2 HD — Next up is a game that squeezed its way into last week’s top grossing iPad apps list, DrawRace 2 HD. Once again, it is a game credited to publisher Chillingo, but is developed by Finnish studio RedLynx; a company that develops games on both core and mobile platforms. Sitting at #28, the application is a top-down racing title in which players can race through a single player campaign of over 180 challenges and skill-based mini-games. Additionally, players can compete against one another — driving supercars to rally cars — with pass-and-play multiplayer or online challenge modes. Though DrawRace is a paid app at $2.99, the title also monetizes through in-app purchases that unlock game content. The game was released September 1st.

MathBoardMathBoard — Education takes a seat at #36 with the $4.99 MathBoard. The educational application is intended to help teach basic arithmetic to children, randomly generating problems ranging from addition to square roots using a configurable number range of -10,000 to 10,000. The app also allows for timed quizzes and a built in problem solver. MathBoard is developed by palasoftware, an iOS developer of several math and spelling-based educational apps.

Veggie Love Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens — In at #37 is one for the health lovers: Veggie Love Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens. As the title would suggest, the $0.99 application is a compilation of over 50 healthy recipes, shopping lists, and even a built in, self-setting timer. The rise of the app, however, is due to its September 6th update that made Veggie Love Cookbook cross-platform for iPad. It is created by the Meredith Corporation, one of the largest media and marketing companies in the United States. Better Homes and Gardens is only one of its magazine brands.

This Week’s Headlines From Across Inside Network

Here are all the latest headlines from around Inside Network this past week.

IMA LogoInside Mobile Apps

Tracking the convergence of mobile apps, social platforms, and virtual goods.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Friday, September 9th, 2011

ISG LogoInside Social Games

Covering all the latest developments at the intersection of games and social platforms.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Friday, September 9th, 2011

IF LogoInside Facebook

Tracking Facebook and the Facebook platform for developers and marketers.

Sunday, September 6th, 2011

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Mobile App Roundup: Unity, Patents, Samsung Galaxy & More

UnityUnity Technologies Partners with GREE — Unity Technologies has made its way to Japan through a partnership with mobile-social games platform, GREE. Through the partnership, GREE will be allowed to distribute a limited number of licences for the development platform, at no cost, to its Japanese development partners, thus aiding Unity in its expansion into the Japanese gaming market. Unity has also announced the opening of Unity Technologies Japan in Tokyo where it will serve as a sales, localization, and support center.

Microsoft Signs New Patent Deals — Microsoft has signed two new patent deals with ViewSonic and Acer to licence its patents for smartphones and tablets. Microsoft will now receive a licensing fee for each Android device shipped by either manufacturer.

Mobile PaymentsMobile Payments Infographic — Mobile Payments Today released an infographic summarizing just what mobile payments are. Additionally, it notes that mobile payments, by 2015, will account for anywhere from $670 billion to $1 trillion worth of global transactions.

Amazon Grants Developers Cloud Service Credits — In order to garner further applications for its Amazon App Store, Amazon is giving Android developers that submit an app $50 in credit for its Amazon Web Services suite, reports TechCrunch. Available services include, but are not limited to, Amazon ElastiCache, CloudFront, SimpleDB, Simple Storage Service, and so on.

[Legal] Apple Sues Samsung in Japan — More lawsuits form the Apple vs. Samsung front come out of Japan this week, reports Reuters. The former has filed a suit against Samsung’s Galaxy devices in a Tokyo District Court and seeks to ban sales of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab 7 within the country.

[Legal] Samsung Galaxy Ban Remains in Germany –   In another part of the world, a German court has upheld its ban (which was partially lifted a few weeks ago)  of sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. Tab sales will not be banned in other European Union countries, however, says Bloomberg.

[Legal] Sprint Sues AT&T to Block T-Mobile Merger — More lawsuits arise as Sprint filed a federal lawsuit, in the District of Colombia, to try and block AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile as a violation of “Section 7 of the Clayton Act.” Sprint litigation VP, Susan Haller states “with today’s legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.”

SmozzySmozzy Allows Web Access Without Data Plans — TechCrunch came across an interesting Android app by the name of Smozzy that allows users to access the Internet without requiring a data plan. Working only in the U.S. and on T-Mobile phones, the app utilizes SMS to send requests to Smozzy servers, and responses are sent back via MMS. It works virtually the same as a browser, but is a bit slower.

[image via TechCrunch]

[Update] Foursquare Adds New Languages — Foursquare is expanding its userbase. In a recent update, the popular location-based app has added language support for Bahasa Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Thai.

[Launch] SGN Releases Warp Dash — SGN has just released its newest game for iOS, the $0.99 Warp Dash. The futuristic game is dubbed an “endurance racer” in which players rocket down a procedurally changing course for as long as they can using accelerometer controls. A trailer of the game  is available here.

MadPad[Launch] Smule Releases MadPad on iOS — Musical iOS game maker Smule has released a new and creative application on iOS called MadPad. $0.99 on iPhone and $2.99 on iPad, the application grants users a means to record everyday sounds and let them remix them via a video soundboard.

[Launch] DJ Game Skills Hits iPad — Another music game hits iOS this week in the form of the $5.99 iPad game, Skillz. The title is developed by Playpen Studios and is a rhythm game in which players mix music on a DJ turntable.

iPhone 5 Production Increases — According to DigitTimes, Taiwanese suppliers are increasing production of new Apple smartphones. OEM maker, Foxconn Electronics, is already, supposedly, producing 150,000 units a day. The iPhone 5 is expected to be announced in late September and available for sale by mid-October.

[Rumor] GameStop to Carry iOS Devices — 9to5Mac is reporting that it has received word, “from several sources,” that retail store GameStop may be offering iOS devices in the near future. Such is likely as GameStop has already begun accepting trade-ins for old iDevices.

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