Mobile app roundup: DeNA, HTC’s Windows 8 phones, Apple and more

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

DeNA, Gloops partner for international expansion — DeNA has entered into a comprehensive business alliance with Japanese mobile-social game developer Gloops that will see 10 Gloops games land on the Mobage network, five in 2012 and five in 2013. Unlike previous games Gloops has made for Mobage, all 10 titles will be targeted for North American and European markets. One of the titles will be based on what DeNA refers to as a “popular American franchise.”

15 percent of iOS devices upgraded to iOS 6 after 24 hours — Map woes aside, iOS device owners appear to be enthusiastic about iOS 6. Mobile cross-promotion network Chartboost reports 15 percent of all iOS devices were running the operating system within 24 hours of its launch.

HTC unveils two Windows 8 handsets — HTC has revealed what its two Widows 8-based handsets, the 8X and the 8S will look like. The midrange targeted 8S comes in four colours and features a 4” touch screen, 5 megapixel camera, 720p video recording, 4GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM and a Qualcomm S4 1GHz dual core processor. HTC’s flagship 8X phone is also comes in four colors, but has a 4.3” touch screen, a Qualcomm S4 1.5GHz dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video, a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera and 16GB of storage.

Pocket adds text-to-speech Listen feature – Content curation app Pocket now supports text-to-speech through its new Listen feature. Currently only available to Android users, the new feature allows users to have the app reach saved articles to them out loud.

Horn drops to $2.99 — Phosphor Games’ critically acclaimed title Horn is on sale for $2.99 until Sept. 27. The game is also now localized into 11 languages.

Thumb hits 1.2 million users – Social opinion sharing app Thumb now boasts 1.2 million members. According to the company, the average user now spends more than five hours a month using hte service.

Amazon releases its own Maps API — Amazon’s Maps API is now available for interested developers. Currently in beta, the Maps API is designed for developers who are currently using Google’s native Android Maps API, and allows for interactive maps with custom overlays.

Apple shares rise on iPhone 5 — The fast selling iPhone 5 has pushed Apple’s share price above $700 for the first time. At the time of writing, Apple shares were selling for $698.70 in after hours trading.

[Acquisition] Shutterfly grabs up mobile print app developer Penguin Digital — New York-based Shutterfly has acquired Penguin Digital, the developer behind iPhone photo printing app MoPho. MoPho’s technology will be rolled into Shutterfly’s own printing apps, according to TechCrunch.

[Launch] Hotel Transylvania app hits iOS – Playfirst’s latest game, Hotel Transylvania Dash, a licensed game based on the Sony Picture’s animated movie Hotel Transylvania, is now available in the iTunes App Store.

[Launch] The Bard’s Tale hits Android – inXile has brought its classic humorous RPG The Bard’s Tale to Android. The game is available in Google Play, the Amazon Appstore and third-party app store TegraZone for $5.95.

[Launch] Ricky Gervais gets into app market with JustSayin’ – Popular comedian and Office-creator Ricky Gervais is lending his star power to social conversation app JustSayin’. The app allows users to record conversations and post them to their social media profile to enable voice-based communication. The app is available on iOS.

[Funding] Square closes $200 million fourth round — Mobile payments processor square is now valued at an estimated $3.5 billion after closing an enormous $200 million Series D round of funding. Citi Ventures, Rizvi Traverse Management and payments partner Starbucks all participated in the round.

[Funding] Scopely raises $8.5 million in venture funding – LA-based mobile social gaming company has raised an impressive $8.5 million in venture round funding from Anthem Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Greycroft partners and others reports VentureBeat.

[Funding] GENWI gets $2 million for mobile publishing push – GENWI, the startup aimed at working directly with publishers to create mobile apps, has raised $2 million in additional funding from Floodgate and Elevation Partners.