Former Zynga execs launch mobile shopping app Boxed

Image via Boxed

Image via Boxed

Former executives from Zynga, Adap.tv and Flurry have announced the launch of Boxed, their new venture that aims to bring warehouse club savings to customers’ pockets, first on iOS.

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Insider Q&A: Plants vs. Zombies 2 designers David Paul and Jeremy Vanhoozer

Image via PopCap

Image via PopCap

Plants beware, there’s a new zombie limping your direction and this time he’s armed with chickens.

That’s right, when it comes to PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time, the sequel to one of the most iconic and addictive mobile games ever released, the game’s design team took the zombies places the plants just didn’t see coming.

“With the Chicken Farmer, you basically have a bunch of chickens strapped to a zombie with barbed wire,” explains art director David Paul. “Then once you do enough damage to him, the chickens bum rush you. We’ve nicknamed that, ‘The Chickening.’”

Not to be outdone, the plants have some pretty poisonous plans of their own.

“Lookout for Bonk Choy,” laughs Paul. “Design wanted something that could do a lot of damage really fast but was paper-thin as far as damage was concerned. We went through a lot of iterations, but finally settled on something that literally punches the crap out of things. I think a lot of people are in love with that character.”

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Andy Van talks iPro.DJSampler

Image via iThirtySeven

Image via iThirtySeven

When Australian DJ/music executive Andy Van was looking for a tech wizard to help make his sampling app jump from concept to the iPad, he negotiated with companies across the world from France to Germany to the United States. But when he contacted the creator of a synth app he started playing around with one day, he knew he’d finally found the right programmer.

“I looked up who made the app, and it turned out they were in Australia. Even funnier, when I called to find out where they were from, they were only three kilometers away from my house,” says Van with a laugh. “So I searched all around the world only to find someone right around the corner.”

And now, after almost a year and a half in development, Van’s iPro.DJSampler app is finally available, offering a music tool that DJs from across the world are already starting to incorporate into their routines thanks to the ease of use and intuitive design that helps add everything from robot voices to drum loops to the sounds already booming inside the club.

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Mobile payment company Bango partners with Mozilla for Firefox OS carrier billing

firefox-650Image courtesy Mozilla

Mobile payment and analytics company Bango has announced its partnership with Mozilla, bringing the company’s operator billing options to the Firefox Marketplace, and eventually to smartphones running Firefox OS. Bango’s system allows users to pay for their apps and other digital content purchases with their phone bill, rather than credit cards.

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Insider Q&A: Machine Zone’s Gabriel Leydon

 

Image via Machine Zone

Image via Machine Zone

What’s it like to rule the world?

That’s the question Game of War: Fire Age attempts to answer, as players build kingdoms and align with mobile gamers from across the globe in order to make the most dominant iOS empires possible.

And while the storyline might sound familiar in the free-to-play, realm-building MMO space, the innovation here lies in the translation.

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Tempo AI announces $10 million funding round, aims to become a personal assistant app

TempoLogo02182013144820

First launching in February, smart calendar service Tempo looks to improve calendar management beyond scheduling and organizing. Creators of the application, Tempo AI, have announced a $10 million funding round in Series A lead by Relay Ventures and Sierra Ventures. The funding is intended to improve the app’s artificial intelligence to become less of a smart calendar and more like a personal assistant.

Tempo spurred from research institute SRI International, origin place of iOS voice command assistant Siri. Its involvement with Siri’s development explains its vision of becoming a proactive calendar organizer and ubiquitous personal assistant platform.

Besides scheduling and organizing events on the calendar, Tempo looks to surface context for scheduled events such as driving directions to a meeting, conference call numbers and contacts email addresses all with one click. Since being released in February, the company compiles learnings from users behaviors within the app, building its model around it. Ideally, it wants to provide its users with what they want, before they even know they want it.

Speaking with company CEO Raj Singh, he pointed out that the funding group has extensive experience in the voice command and personal artificial intelligence space. Rather than simply investing in a smart calendar app, investors are highly interested in the apps data learnings. Singh emphasized that the winner of the smart calendar space needs to focus on the data and how people were interacting with the calendars. He drew comparison to online search engines in the 90s paralleling Yahoo’s focus on UI contrasting against data-focused Google. And we all know how that went.

3,800 developers bought Facebook mobile app install ads driving 25M downloads

mobile-developmentFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on today’s first quarter earnings call that mobile app install ads were “one of most important new ad products” the company offers.

COO Sheryl Sandberg pointed out that 3,800 developers used the product to drive a total of 25 million app downloads in the App Store and Google Play. Forty percent of the 100 top-grossing apps for Android and iPhone have advertised on Facebook, Sandberg said.

CFO David Ebersman said that mobile app install ads actually lead to a lot of incremental revenue, as many of these developers are newly spending on the Facebook platform, not just reallocating existing budget to a newer format.

Read the full story on our sister site, Inside Facebook.

InMobi’s new App Publish distribution platform publishes to more than 130 Android app stores in a few clicks

inmobi

Mobile advertising network InMobi today announced the launch of App Publish, a free distribution platform that can publish an app to more than 130 Android app stores, with just a few clicks. This new product is a result of InMobi’s acquisition of mobile content management and distribution company Metaflow Solutions back in July 2012.

As Inside Mobile Apps readers and AppData users know from reading our weekly updated charts, Google Play is an important but also highly competitive platform, making discovery a challenge. Alternative channels like T Mobile, Mobango, Slide Me, and the many app stores based in territories like Korea and China can, cumulatively, drive billions of downloads. But different territories around the globe have different legal requirements, different platforms have different aesthetic and informational requirement, and managing these variables across many app stores can be quite a challenge.

InMobi’s App Publish platform offers to make this process much easier by allowing developers to launch and manage their apps on more than 130 app stores globally, all from a single dashboard.

“Once you’ve saturated Google Play, which is always the first stop for a developer, there’s a whole lot of other stores and many of the new guys aren’t aware of them,” InMobi director business development and former CEO of Metaflow Solutions Charles McLeod told us in an interview. “Maybe they know Amazon or Samsung, but there’s 200 other stores. We allow developers to get into these places that are just too costly, complex and time consuming. They get extra monetization, bigger reach, bigger communities.” Once the app is published, developers are also invited to use InMobi’s ad platform and its lifetime value platform InMobi LTVP.

If you’re publishing a free app, McLeod told us that, at least for the moment, the platform is completely free to use and doesn’t mandate any SDK. However, if you’re publishing a premium app, meaning it has a upfront purchase, InMobi takes a 20 percent cut of the net revenue. Over time, with some customers and large volume, that cost will decrease.

“You don’t have to signs 100 different contracts to get on these app stores,” vice president of marketing Shrikant G. Latkar told us. “We can give you that today. You can get 10 to 30 percent additional downloads for free, and it will take you 15 minutes on our website to sign up and submit. We even take care of translation.”

The translation is done via Microsoft translate, which McLeod admits is a quick and dirty way to do it, but it does the heavy lifting and is enough to get the app published. App Publish will also put developers in touch with vetted third parties that can help with more thorough localization, which has shown to greatly increase engagement.

InMobi has more than 800 employees, offices in 25 locations, a reach of more than 600 million unique users across the world, and deliver more than 100 billion ad impressions a month.

The Inside Network Job Board: KIXEYE, DeNA, SponsorPay and more

The Inside Network Job Board is dedicated to providing you with the best social media job opportunities across social and mobile application platforms. Here are this week’s highlights from the Inside Network Job Board, including positions at: KIXEYE, DeNA, SponsorPay and more.

jobsmarch19

12 Gigs

Big Vikings Games

BrightRoll

DeNA

IsCool Entertainment

KIXEYE

PaeDae

PopCap Games

POPSUGAR

SponsorPay GmbH

Sympoz, Inc.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Wooga

Tapjoy hires Jeff Drobick as CPO

tapjoy-logo

Mobile advertising and publishing platform Tapjoy today announced it hired Jeff Drobick as Chief Product Officer. Drobick was formerly President and CEO of Geeknet Media and eBay Vice President of Information Management & Delivery.

“Jeff’s combination of bidded ad platform expertise and the proven delivery of data-rich applications will have a significant impact on our product roadmap and how we serve our clients and partners,” Tapjoy President and CEO Steve Wadsworth said in a statement. “The CPO role is vital at any technology company, particularly in a sector that moves as rapidly as mobile. This addition also speaks to the incredible opportunity ahead for Tapjoy, as we refine and focus our product roadmap and position the company for our next phase of growth.”

We last heard from Tapjoy when it announced its partnership with Kontagent, a mobile app analytics company known for its kSuite platform. The partnership with Kontagent allowed the two companies to release the app analytics platform, the Kontagent Partner Edition, for all developers and advertisers working with Tapjoy.

Tapjoy also recently brought on CFO and Executive Vice President at Acxiom Corporation Warren C. Jenson to the company’s Board of Directors.

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