Mobile App Roundup: f8 Review, Profitable Pizza, In-App Purchases and More

The F8 Roundup — Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg took to the stage at the annual F8 Developers Conference to announce a mountain of changes to the world’s most popular social network. We’ve rounded up of a couple additional highlights from F8, following our coverage here and on Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games.

  • The Daily Will Now be the World’s First iPad/Facebook Newspaper – Newscorp’s digital news publication The Daily is becoming a little less exclusive, opening up its content to Facebook users with a new social news app that will incorporate real-time reporting from The Daily’s staff, access to stories and special features, celebrity gossip and tech coverage.
  • Slacker Radio Combines Hops of Facebook Bandwagon with Big Promotion – Subscription based personalized radio service Slacker is encouraging Facebook users to add Slacker to their new timelines with a giveaway campaign called 100 Days to Get Personal. All who enter will be give a free month of the service, and will be entered for a chance to win prizes ranging from Sony 3D TVs to a meet and greet trip with some of the world’s most popular recording artists like Katy Perry and Coldplay.

Appy Entertainment Finds Free to Play Very Profitable — California developer Appy Entertainment is celebrating this week, after revealing that their iOS hits FaceFighter and Trucks & Skulls have grown well since the company transitioned to a free to play business model in the second quarter of 2011. According to Appy, their titles have been downloaded more than 10,000,000 times and downloads are up 340% since Appy transitioned to freemium monetization. Revenue has also surged, up 100% in the last 12 weeks. Facefighter has also been a hit on Android, garnering 650,000 downloads since its launch.

In-App Purchases Account for Three Quarters of iPhone Revenue — Analysis firm Distimo has found that 72% of revenues on the iPhone app store are generated via in-app purchases. According to Distimo’s annual study, free to play games supported by in-app purchases accounted for 48% of iPhone app store revenue, a further 24% came from paid apps with optional in-app purchases and 28% of revenue came from pay-to-download apps. The company also found that users are downloading more apps than they did in 2010, but the distribution is not even — free to play apps saw a 24% increase in growth, while paid apps only saw a 7% increase.

CrowdTwist Raises $6 Million in Venture Capital — Startup gamification company CrowdTwist has raised $6 million to expand its platform. CrowdTwist was formed in 2010 to help non-game applications implement reward systems and enhance engagement.

The Dominos App is Both Convenient and Profitable — Dominos has proof that combining pizza, iOS and convenience is a very good thing – only three months after its debut, the Dominos Pizza app (which lets users order pizza directly from their iPhone or iPod Touch without a log in) sold $1 million worth of pizza in a single week. The app has been a success from day one; according Dominos, the app facilitated its first $1 million worth of pizza a mere 28 days after launching in June, and sales have been trending upward since.

Mango is Coming to WP7 Very Soon — This week Microsoft announced it would start rolling out the highly anticipated Windows Phone 7.5 update, otherwise known as Mango, within the next two weeks. According to VentureBeat, the update will add more than 500 new features and will be paired with firmware updates to ensure the update is compatible with user’s handsets. The update is focused on giving WP7 users an experience in line with Android and iOS, adding features like an integrated Twitter and LinkedIn, support for new languages, and the ability to create custom contact groups.

Kongregate Enhances Android Experience with Upgrade — Online games hosting site Kongregate’s Android service has updated to version 2.0, adding social features and the ability to earn GameStop rewards points as they play. The update added access to the Kongregate website’s chat and messaging service and the ability to directly challenge their friends through the app’s new leaderboards.

RIM’s Stock Prices Fall to New Low — An underwhelming second quarter shook investor confidence in Canadian smartphone pioneers RIM after they revealed that they had sold 3 million fewer BlackBerries from quarter to quarter, and the Playbook, RIM’s iPad competitor had sold only 200,000 units in Q2. After the announcement, RIM’s stock sunk to its lowest level in 5 years.

Yelp Depends on Google for 75% of its Traffic — During testimony at the Senate’s Judiciary Committee hearings investigating if Google’s search engine dominance is anti-competitive, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman revealed some very interesting statistics. Stoppelman said that about 50% of the review service’s traffic came through organic search on Google with people eventually finding their way to the site, and 25% started on Google with the specific inclusion of the keyword “yelp”.

[Launch] Disney Creates New Character for New iOS Game Where’s My Water — Disney Mobile has released a new iOS game called Where’s My Water featuring Swampy the alligator, an all new Disney character specifically designed for mobile games. Where’s My Water is a physics based puzzler that challenges players to direct water through layers of earth and obstacles and into Swampy’s bathtub. The game features 80 levels and costs $0.99.

[Launch] New Startup Klip Debuts Video Sharing App — There is another option for sharing video on the go – Klip, a brand new service that focuses on discovering and sharing high quality video. The app lets users either shoot “klips” or import them from their camera, they can then add hashtags and then share them via Facebook, Twitter, email, YouTube or in the Klip community. The app also makes use of flexible video streaming, adapting the quality of the video to the bandwidth available.

[Launch] Fleetly Aiming to Combine Fitness and Gamification on Mobile Phones — Vancouver based startup Fleetly has launched a new fitness app that allows users to track the exercise they do and turn their workouts into a game. The Fleetly app works by tracking the exercises its users do, benchmarking their fitness level and if it detects a plateau, give suggestions on how to improve performance. Users get a numerical rating assigned to their fitness level, which can be compared with their peers or with other Fleetly users. According to the developer, early adopters are using the app 16 times a week on average.

[Rumor] Japanese iPhone Market Monopoly to End — TechCrunch has found out that Nikkei Business Online is reporting that Japan’s second largest carrier, KDDI au will be joining mobile carrier Softbank in rolling out the iPhone 5. While neither Apple or KDDI have confirmed the report, if it is true, it means Softbank will lose a lucrative monopoly on Apple devices in Japan, a deal that has seen it sell 7.5 million iPhones since 2008 when the iPhone 3G made its debut in Japan.