Mobile App Roundup: Apple, New SDKs, Mobile Payments & More


By Christopher Mack Comment

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO — In case you somehow missed it, the head of Apple, Steve Jobs, has announced his resignation as CEO of the company this week. Apple has confirmed that its current COO, Tim Cook will be taking his place. Jobs, however, has been elected as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

RecessLunch Money Launches Mobile Game Monetization Platform — A new startup by the name of Lunch Money has announced a new platform SDK that will help mobile app developers both monetize and distribute their games, as TechCrunch covers. Presented via its iOS game, Recess, the initial features for the platform include a social leaderboard and token system that works similarly to an analog arcades (tokens are needed to play various free-to-download games).

Motiga Creates New Multiplayer Mobile Game Server — Startup Motiga has announced the creation of a new technology to allow small development teams to create multiplayer games for mobile. Called the Motiga Infinite Context Engine (MICE), its capabilities will premiere at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend with Motiga’s upcoming game The LeftOvers.

Nextpeer Launches Multiplayer SDK — Nextpeer is also launching a new SDK for mobile developers. Through it, developers can transform single player games into multiplayer ones, support tournaments, and allow for leaderboards. Currently, the SDK is only for iOS but Android is next. A Nextpeer virtual currency is also in the works.

Google Previews Google TV — Google released a preview version of its new Google TV Android SDK. The SDK will allow developers to create and optimize Android applications for use on the Google TV platform, which will be available when it is updated to Android 3.1.

Crimson Steam PiratesBungie Aerospace Announces Crimson: Steam Pirates — Bungie Aerospace was created to help small independent developers launch social and mobile games, and its first title will be revealed at PAX this weekend. The game is a freemium title, Crimson: Steam Pirates for iPad. Developed by Harebrained Schemes, it’s turn-based and has players command a variety of steampunk pirate vessels.

Dwolla Launches Proximity-Based Mobile Payments — Mobile payments platform Dwolla has released a new beta feature by the name of “Proxi” on iOS. Proxi allows users to send and receive mobile payments based on their proximity to another connected device without the need for NFC technology.

Intuit GoPayment Reader Comes to Verizon Stores — Intuit and Verizon Wireless announced a partnership that will bring the former’s GoPayment mobile card reader to over 2,300 Verizon retail locations in the U.S. GoPayment is a mobile credit card reader that connects to a phone or tablet headphone jack to accept payments and works for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

Boku Expands Direct Carrier Billing — Mobile payments company Boku is expanding its direct carrier billing in France. The payment option will now be available to users of Bouygues Telecom and SFR.

SoundHound Partners With Spotify — Creator of the music identification and discovery app for iOS and Android, SoundHound, has announced a partnership with Spotify this week. Through the deal, European SoundHound users will gain access to Spotify’s 15 million music tracks.

Taptera Raises $2 Million — Enterprise iOS applications maker Taptera has raised $2 million this week in a Series A round led by Terence Garnett with participation from and various angle investors. Garnett is also slated to join Taptera’s board.

ZiteCNN May Buy Flipboard-Style App Maker Zite — Based on information from Techvibes, news corporation CNN is in talks with Zite regarding a potential acquisition. Though details are sparse, the price could be between $20 million to $25 million. Zite is the maker of the personalized iPad magazine app of the same name.

Ustream Shuts Down Live Mobilizer, Partners with Mobile Rodie — Ustream is shutting down its Live Mobilizer development platform and partnering with Mobile Roadie, reports TechCrunch. Through the partnership, Ustream broadcasters will be able to work with Mobile Roadie and create mobile apps for their live channels.

RIM to Add Native BBM & Email to PlayBook — According to Bloomberg, RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook is set to get a software upgrade next month that will finally add a native email program and BlackBerry Messenger. Additionally, RIM may also still be launching an Android player for the device this year.

Samsung Galaxy S II Coming to the States — The Samsung Galaxy S II is finally making its way to the U.S. However, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the new device will not launch on Verizon. It will still be available through AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

GowallaGowalla Removes Virtual Items & Notes — Gowalla is attempting to improve its user experience by removing both the app’s virtual items and note taking features from check-ins. The removal is simply because less than half a percent of Gowalla users were making use of them.

[Launch] RIM Launches BBM Music App — Research In Motion has announced the launch of its new BBM Music application. For $4.99 a month, users can collect up to 50 songs on their “BBM Music profile,” but can access the songs of all of their friends as well.

[Launch] Hulu Comes to Vizio Tablet — Hulu Plus has made its official debut on Android, TechCrunch reports. The application is currently available on the Vizio Tablet.

Microsoft PatentsMicrosoft Touchscreen Gesture Patent Attempts Become Public — Several patent applications from Microsoft became public recently. The patents focus primarily on touchscreen gestures for a tablet device, including motions such as pinch and expand, dual tap, and hold and drag. That said, the patents are merely public and have not been granted.

[Legal] Dutch Judge Bans Samsung Devices — In Apple’s patent suit against Samsung, a Dutch judge has found that Samsung is in violation of Apple’s European software patent regarding scrolling within mobile photo galleries. According to FOSS Patents, an injunction against the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace phones has been made, and the sales ban will begin October 13th.

Windows Phone Hits 30,000 Apps — The Windows Phone has reached a new milestone, as TechCrunch covers. The platform now has 30,000 applications. Additionally, Microsoft has opened up the Windows Phone Marketplace to developers for new Mango OS app submissions.

[Rumor] iPhone 5 Available Through Sprint — The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the iPhone 5 is set to launch in mid-October and that it will be sold by Sprint. Additionally, Reuters is reporting that Apple is also working on an 8GB iPhone 4 to be sold at discount.