Mobile app news roundup: Russian hacks, Chinese revenues and aggressive adware

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

App Store hacked to allow free in-app purchases — A Russian hacker has found a way to circumvent Apple’s App Store security and allow users to get in-app purchases for free reports 9to5mac. The process does not require a user to jailbreak their phone, but does require users to install two certificates and change their DNS record. The workaround sends information about device and the purchase back to the Russian developer.

IMDB’s apps pass 40 million downloads — IMDB’s mobile apps have been downloaded more than 40 million times on iOS and Android Since they were launched last year, reports the company. This week the company revamped the apps, adding message boards, check-ins and other social features.

Many free app contain aggressive Adware — Mobile security company Lookout reports more than 5 percent of free apps come bundled with adware — aggressive software that accesses personal information and changes a device’s setting without asking for a user’s permission first.

Chinese iOS developers don’t see much money – Chinese iOS developers earn just $0.03 per download reports Tech in Asia, citing high piracy rates in the country and a general unwillingness to pay for apps as the reason Chinese developers have a difficult time monetizing at home. According to the Chinese-only App Annie report Tech in Asia translated, Japanese developers earn the most, taking home $.040 per download and U.S. developers take home $0.28 per download. The worldwide median is $0.19. It also reported that the top 10 developers in China generate 90 percent of their revenue overseas.

Urban Airship partners with GamesAnalytics – Urban Airship and GamesAnalytics have entered into a strategic partnership. Under the terms of the deal, game developers and publishers will be able to offer push notifications based on behaviors identified by GamesAnaltyics’ Predict platform.

PlayPhone’s social gaming network grows to 45 million users — PlayPhone’s mobile-social gaming network has grown substantially in the last six months, growing to 45 million users and 4.1 million monthly active users according to VentureBeat.

Chinese smartphone market grows 164% year-over-year — China is now the biggest smartphone market in the world, according to Apple Insider. Smartphone shipments in the country were 33.1 million units in the June quarter, up 164 percent year-on-year. Apple’s share of the market was 17.3 percent.

Tencent invests in Chinese ROM maker — Tencent may be the latest Chinese company to produce its own branded Android phone says Tech in Asia, which reports the company has invested $7.9 million (50 million RMB) in Lewa Tek, a Chinese startup that develops its own version of the Android ROM.

3 billion Blackberry app downloads – The beleaguered RIM reports its app store Blackberry App World has now surpassed 3 billion downloads.

DeNA’s Mobage gets friendly with Facebook — DeNA’s popular Mobage gaming service now allows users to log in with their Facebook accounts reports industry watcher Dr. Serkan Toto. Toto speculates the move was prompted by low user interest in the Mobage network outside of Japan.

Slice updates app to version 2.0 — Mobile shopping app Slice has overhauled its iOS and Android apps to version 2.0, adding new personal finance features in addition to its shipment tracking functions.

iVentureCapital launches games-only advertising network TrafficCaptain – German company iVentureCapital has launched its own advertising network TrafficCaptain. The game-only network will be for mobile, social and online games, and will focus on Western European and North American titles.

Kendo UI adds tablet support — Telerik has added support for tablets and server-side wrappers for ASP.NET to its HTML5 and JavaScript development framework.

Gamevil adds $10 million more to partner fund – South Korean publisher Gamevil has added $10 million more in funding to its publishing partner fund. The fund has been used to publish previous Gamevil hits such as Air Penguin and Cartoon Wars, both of which were extremely popular on Android.

[Funding] Eruptive Games nets $1 million for hardcore mobile games — Vancouver Eruptive Games has received $1 million in funding from Russian game developer Plarium, Kevin Colleran and Guitar Hero creator Kai Huang, according to TechCrunch.

[Funding] The Echo Nest closes $17.3 million fourth round – Music service provider The Echo Nest has closed a $17.3 million fourth funding round according to VentureBeat. The new funding was lead by Norwest Venture Partners. The company has now taken more than $27 million in total funding.