Friday Mobile Roundup: PopCap, Mobile Market Growth, Google Docs & More

By Christopher Mack Comment

Owain WeinertPopCap, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Nine-Year-Old Make iPhone Game — Nine-year-old Owain Weinert is getting is wish come true, as between he, PopCap Games and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the new iPhone RTS of Allied Star Police will be making its way to iOS in the near future. As part of his wish, Weinert is the lead designer for the game. Weinert is diagnosed with pre-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Rovio Gives Some Different Numbers To The New York Times: In a profile of the game for the Fashion section, the company says it has 40 million active users and 75 million paid and ad-supported downloads. That’s different from the company revealed in China this week, when it said it had 140 million downloads.

The New York Times Does a Brief Rundown of Instagram’s Ecosystem: Keepsy, Postagram and Hatchcraft — all makers of physical goods based off photos served through the API — are profiled.

4th & Battery Launches First Game — In more PopCap news, its new studio, 4th & Battery has launched its first iOS title, Unpleasant Horse. The title is a somewhat ‘edgier’ platformer in which players jump from cute horse to cute horse, sending them plummeting to their doom.

ABI Research Says There Will Be 44 Billion App Downloads By 2016: We’re somewhere above 13 billion mobile app downloads to date (with 10 billion on iOS as of January and 3 billion Android as of quarter-end), but this research firm says the world will add another 31 billion downloads over the next 5 years.

Mobile Phone Shipments Are Up By 20 Percent, Says IDC: Vendors shipped 371.8 million units in Q1 2011 compared to 310.5 million units in the first quarter of 2010.

Google Docs Comes to Android — Google has finally released a native Android app for its popular Google Docs. Not only can users more easily edit and read documents on the go, but the new app also comes with new features such as Optical Character Recognition, which converts images into editable documents.

Video ChatVideo Chat Now on Android — Google announced a new update to Google Talk on Android this week. Starting with the Nexus S, the company will roll out voice and video chat over the next few weeks. Launches First Cross-Platform Game — According to VentureBeat, long running web portal, is launching its first cross-platform title, Miner Speed for iOS. The match-three game is available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Gameloft Ports Starfront to Android — Android owners are getting a taste of real-time-strategy today as mobile developer Gameloft is bring its iOS title, Starfront: Collision to the device. Though similar to StarCraft in many respects, the RTS is actually a great translation of the genre onto mobile.

ZwappZwapp Socializes iPhone Apps — Zwapp is a new iPhone application that compiles all of the apps one has on their iPhone. It then connects users with all contacts, Facebook friends, and Twitter friends, allowing users to see what they are using and downloading.

OpenFeint Debuts in China — Social mobile gaming platform, OpenFeint has launched in China this week with the help of The9. The platform is dubbed The9 Game Zone for Android devices, and according to TechCrunch, is one of the reasons why Gree agreed to purchase OpenFeint last week for $104 million.

Mobile Phone Market Grows 20% in Q1 — Research firm IDC has reported interesting numbers regarding the mobile market, noting that it Q1, 2011 has grown 19.8 percent year-over-year. The growth is due, primarily, to smartphones. According to its Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, 371.8 million were shipped in Q1, 2011 (310.5 million for Q1, 2010).

iPhone 4 Sales Top Android — Largely due to the Verizon iPhone, NPD Group is reporting that the iPhone 4 is the third-largest handset brand in the United States with 13 percent of the market. Samsung (23 percent) and LG (18 percent) were on top. The numbers come from Q1 of 2011.

White iPhoneWhite iPhone 4 Now Available — Many have been waiting for it, but if Apple’s homepage is to be believed the white iPhone 4 is finally available.

BlackBerry Partners Fund Lauches BlackBerry Developer Challenge — The BlackBerry Partners Fund has launched its fourth annual BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. The competitions will put $3 million in prizes up for grabs. Details regarding the competition can be found here.

Apple Purchases — According to TechCruch, Om Malik received an unidentified tip today that Apple may have purchased the domain name of for roughly $4.5 million. The domain is owned by Swedish company Xcerion.