Disney Interactive has announced the release of its first Snow White mobile game, Seven Dwarfs: The Queen’s Return. The game gives players the chance to head back into the fairytale world of Snow White, as they’re tasked with rebuilding the Enchanted Forest to rid the land of a curse cast by the Evil Queen.
At today’s Microsoft unveiling event for the new Xbox One game console, corporate vice president of Xbox Live Marc Whitten revealed that its second-screen companion app Xbox SmartGlass reached the 10 million downloads mark and that it integrates with the Xbox One, calling it a “native” part of the Xbox One.
Microsoft first revealed Xbox SmartGlass at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo and its currently available on smartphones, tablets, Windows 8 PCs, for use with the Redmond, Wash.-headquartered corporation’s Xbox 360 game console, displaying companion content for entertainment content like films and games.
With the Xbox One, users can now watch live TV via an HDMI pass-through, meaning a cable or satellite box or similar device can connect directly the Xbox One. An HDMI-out port acts as a middleman for the signal between the cable device and TV. Since users can now watch live TV, the SmartGlass can be turned into a remote control of sorts that will allow any other input device a user desires to use SmartGlass for. Fore example, a user can change channels with a no-look flicking motion. The Xbox One will also let multiple users connect to the console with SmartGlass for multiplayer and shared experiences. Aside from that, not much else was mentioned about Xbox One and SmartGlass integration.
Applicasa raises $1M in seed funding — The Israeli mobile backend service provider turned mobile game management platform secured $1 million in seed funding from the founders of casino gaming company 888.com.
Samsung to “wait” on a Windows RT device in the U.S. — Samsung’s senior vice president Mike Abary told CNET at CES 2013 that the Korean electronics manufacturer will not be releasing its Qualcomm-powered RT device in the U.S. quite yet, saying the company does not see enough demand for the device. Abray did not rule out releasing a different Windows RT device in the future.
Groupon Payments now available on Android — Daily deal company Groupon has added its mobile payment and Square competitor Groupon Payments to its Android Groupon Merchants apps. Groupon Payments, which was already available on iOS, uses a credit card reader attachment to allow merchants to charge their customers on their mobile devices.
Amazon introduces availability badges — Amazon announced new badges with which developers can identify the availability of their apps. The badges, which are available in German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and English make clear whether an app is “Available at Amazon” or “Available on Kindle Fire.” Developers can find out more on how to use these badges to promote their apps here.
Hothead Games launches Big Win Basketball — Game developer Hothead Games announced the launch of its latest mobile game Big Win Basketball, the latest in its lineup of Big Win sports games, available now on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
eBay iOS app update streamlines selling, buying — The significant update to eBay’s iOS app will now assist sellers in choosing the right category and price for their items. The app also offers better photo editing tools, speedier checkout, search enhancements and more. You can download the app here.
Fitocracy now running on Android — Fitness app Fitocracy which tracks your workouts, shares your results and more is now available on Android via Google Play.
Aeria Games launches Immortalis — Browser and mobile game developer Aeria Games announced the launch of its role-playing and card collecting mobile title Immortalis. The game is a licensed and localized from developer Pokelabo’s (recently purchased by GREE) Japanese Guardian Battles which has been a top 20 grossing game since it launched in late November.
Samsung and HTC Windows 8 devices coming this summer — Microsoft announced that U.S. carrier Sprint will sell Windows 8 Devices from manufacturers Samsung and HTC.
HTC reports 91 percent drop in income year-over-year in Q4 2012 — The Chinese phone manufacturer reported an unaudited net income of $34 million for Q4 2012, its lowest profit in almost a decade.
FlipToast seeing 30 minutes of use a day on Windows 8, believes potential of the platform outweighs its growing pains
Windows 8 may be an unproven platform, but the the opportunity to get in the ground floor still makes it an attractive one according to FlipToast founder Shivani Khanna. Originally a desktop service, FlipToast is the first social aggregation app to be released for Windows 8, a platform FlipToast views as its hope to crack the crowded mobile market.
“When Microsoft first launched Windows 8 the only social apps on the platform were Socialite, Facebook and Twitterama,” says Khanna. “They were looking to get someone dedicated to social to work on their platform. They asked us if we were interested in being the first social app. This was a lucrative proposition.”
“The pros from the developer’s perspective is that you don’t have that much of a learning curve,” she says. “The cons are definitely adoption.”
Although FlipToast has struggled to ensure its app will make an impact on Windows 8, overall early numbers are promising. Khanna reports FlipToast is seeing an average of 30 minutes a day on its application, a number than includes users on mobile, tablets and desktops.
“If I had to build an app today I would probably pick Windows 8 because there’s an advantage of being first to platform,” she says. “Microsoft has a lot of money and they’re spending $1.5 billion marketing this thing. They know how to drive adoption. Ballmer predicted 500 million devices will be running windows 8 by the end of next year. Even if we got 1 percent of that market, that is still a huge number for small developers like us.”
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