Mobile app news roundup: Angry Birds, Apple and Postsecret

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

1 in 37 apps downloaded on Christmas Day was Angry Birds – 6.5 million copies of Rovio’s Angry Birds were downloaded on Christmas Day according to AllThingsD. The 6.5 million download total includes both free and paid copies of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio on Android and iOS. According to statistics from Flurry, 242 million apps were downloaded on Christmas day, meaning that 1 in every 37 apps downloaded — 2.7 percent of all Christmas Day downloads — was an Angry Birds game. In other Rovio news, Angry Birds is now available on Samsung’s Bada OS.

Apple cracks down on piracy – Apple has begun to issue takedown notices to app piracy services like Apptrackr in an attempt to reign in piracy according to Cult of Mac. For users with jailbroken iPhones, there are a variety of unofficial app stores and services that allow users to download pirated applications.

Mobile developers to get their own industry association – Jon Potter, former executive director of the Digital Media Association, is starting an industry association for mobile application developers. The Application Developers Alliance will make its debut at CES.

Barnes & Noble considers spinning off NOOK - Barnes & Noble announced this week it is investigating separating its profitable NOOK business from its unprofitable physical stores. According to figures release by the company, holiday sales for NOOK devices were up 70 percent year-over-year and digital content sales increased by 113 percent.

Apple may move to quad-core chips for next-gen iPads, iPhones - 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s next generation of devices will be quad-core. According the site, the iOS 5.1 beta’s processing-core management software (the version currently being tested on the third generation iPad and iPhone 5) supports quad-core processing.

PlayFirst sees best month ever for mobile revenue – PlayFirst had some good news to report this week, announcing that December 2011 was its biggest month yet for mobile revenue. The company also announced plans to move into Android development. The San Francisco-based company exited the social games market in 2011 and laid off an unspecified number of employees in December.

China Unicom customers get free iPhone 4S with 3-year contract – China’s second largest wireless carrier, China Unicom is offering its customers a free 32 gigabyte iPhone 4S when they sign a 286 yuan ($45 dollar) a month three-year plan. According to Business Week, China Unicom is offering the deal to win over high-end customers, as it is the only Chinese carrier to offer the iPhone.

RIM cuts PlayBook prices, may being looking for new chairman - Canadian smartphone maker RIM has dropped the price of multiple models of its slow-selling PlayBook tablets to $300 until Feb. 4. In December the company wrote off $485 million after marking down the value of its unsold Playbook inventory. Meanwhile, the Financial Post reports that RIM’s embattled co-chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are under intense pressure from shareholders to step down as co-chairmen. RIM boardmember Barbara Stymiest is rumored to be the preferred candidate to replace them.

PostSecret yanks iPhone app – PostSecret has pulled its popular app from the iTunes store after the site’s founder, Frank Warren found it impossible to properly moderate the contentin the app. Users were able to upload “secrets” to the app completely anonymously, a feature which a small minority of people  abused to post pornographic, threatening or “gruesome” content.

Brisk partners with Star Wars franchise for mobile game – Lipton Brisk brand iced tea has teamed with Lucasfilm to release a branded game called Brisksaber. The app, which is available on both iOS and Android, is promoting the 3D release of “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” in theaters.

60Beat introduces iOS game controller - Mobile app and accessories company 60Beat has released a console-style game controller for iOS devices called the GamePad. The device costs $49.99 and is currently compatible with only two games.

iOS devices did the most web browsing in 2011- According to figures from NetMarketShare, iOS devices were responsible for the majority of mobile web browsing last year, accounting for an average of 52.5 percent of all traffic.

[Release] Samsung’s cross-platform mobile messaging app available for iOS – ChatON, Samsung’s free mobile messaging app is now available in the iTunes store. The app allows users to send messages to one another and bypass text messaging fees, similar to Blackberry’s BBM or Apple’s iMessage, but supports cross-platform chat between Android, Bada and iOS.

[Release] Minicraft arrives on Android - Minicraft, the game created by Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus Persson at the Ludlum Dare 48 hour game making competition is now available for free in the Android Marketplace. The game was ported to the system by independent developer Folstad Consulting.

[Release] Life is Crime now available on iOS – Red Robot Labs’ top-grossing Android app Life is Crime is now available on iOS. The free-to-play location-based mafia game has racked up nearly 1 million downloads on Android.