Mobile App Roundup: iTunes Rewind, OnLive and GREE

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Apple Picks its Favorite Apps of the Year - Apple has selected Instagram and Nik Software’s Snapseed as its top iPhone and iPad apps of the year in its iTunes Rewind showcase. Apple named NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower as its iPhone game of the year and EA’s Dead Space was the iPad game of the year. Rovio’s Angry Birds was the top selling paid app of the year, Facebook was the most downloaded free app and Pocket Gems’ Tap Zoo was the Highest Grossing app of the year.

OnLive Takes Console Games Mobile – OnLive has released a new multiplatform app that allows users to stream console video games onto almost any mobile device. Almost all of OnLive’s library is compatible with the new app, but most titles will require players to purchase a separate wireless controller. OnLive has adapted 25 of its titles for touch controls.

Twitter Releases New App – Twitter has released a new version of its iPhone app to accompany its redesigned website. The new app is simplifies the Twitter user interface into four tabs: Home, Connect, Discover and Me. In other Twitter news, TechCrunch is reporting that Twitter’s iOS integration has boosted the social media service’s monthly signups by more than 25 percent.

Consumers Slow to Adopt Geo-Location Apps - According to a study by Forrester Research, awareness of geo-location apps like Foursquare has increased 14 percent year-over-year but usage of those apps has only gone up by two percent. Out of the 37,000 people surveyed, just two percent of respondents indicated they used any geo-location app on a weekly basis according to VentureBeat.

MoPub to Power Mobage’s Advertising - Mobile ad startup MoPub has signed a deal with DeNA subsidiary ngmoco:) to power the the  much of the advertising in the growing Mobage Network. MoPub also announced its platform was compatible with the popular game engine Unity, which now has more than 750,000 developers in its fold.

Will Zynga’s Next Game Be ForestVille? - Fusible has discovered that Zynga’s next game may be called ForestVille. The company has registered several domains for the as-yet-unannounced game and for a brief time there was a Facebook page for the game that described its premise, but it has since been taken down.

A Million Apps - There are now more than a million individual apps in the world. Apple’s App store accounts for 60 percent, Google’s Android marketplace follows with 35 percent of all apps and RIM and Microsoft make up for the rest. On average, 2,000 new apps are added to the market every day according to Mobilewalla, the company that conducted the study.

Indie Devs Pledge Profits for Charity – 12 independent developers have pledged to donate 25 percent of their game profits to charity. From now until the end of December purchasing apps created by Galcon, Imangi Studios, One Man Left, Godzilab, Pixelocity Software, Acceleroto, Sykhronics Entertainment, GRL Games, Magicule, Celsius Game Studios, Retro Dreamer or Fargoal will contribute money to either Doctors Without Borders or Child’s Play, a charity that donates toys and money to children’s hospitals. $1300 has been raised so far.

EA Pushes the Limits of Freemium – VentureBeat is reporting that EA’s new iOS game Theme Park is pushing the boundaries of the freemium model. The game is free to play, but some attractions can only be unlocked via an in-app purchases that cost as much as $60 dollars. The game is not yet available in the US.

Playfirst Lays off Employees – Diner Dash publisher Playfirst has laid off an unspecified number of employees according to Gamasutra. It’s unknown at this time how many employees were affected by the layoffs.

RIM Loses BBX Fight – New Mexico based developer Basis International has won its fight with BlackBerry maker RIM for the BBX name, forcing RIM to change the name of its new operating system to BlackBerry 10. In October Basis International took its case to the US courts, claiming BBX infringed on its trademark of the term BBx.

GREE Teases First Games for New Social Mobile Platform – GREE has revealed more details about the initial lineup of games it will be offering on its upcoming mobile social network. According to a new Japanese GREE portal site, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, Namco Bandai and Taito will all have games on the new platform.

[Launch] BBC iPlayer Now Available Outside of the UK – The BBC’s popular iPlayer, a service that allows residents of the UK to stream BBC programs online for free up to 30 days after they’ve aired, is now available in the US and Canada as a free app for iPad and iPhone.

[Launch] Chrono Trigger Comes to iOS - Square Enix‘s classic game Chrono Trigger is now available on iOS for $9.99. Andriasang is reporting that an Android version of the game will be available before the end of the year.

[Launch] Rebels & Rulers Coming to Android - San Jose-based PlayPhone will be releasing the Chinese MMORPG Latent Dragon before the end of the year. It will be renamed Rebels & Rulers when it debuts on the Android marketplace. PlayPhone originally announced it struck a deal to bring the game to its network in July.

[Funding] SwiftKey Raises $2.4 Million in Series A – London based company TouchType, maker of the popular Android predictive typing app SwiftKey, has raised $2.4 million from a round of funding lead by Octopus Investments. The company will be using the money to hire new employees at every level and to increase its presence in the US and Asia.

[Funding] Poshmark Nets $3.5 Million for Clothing Swaps – San Francisco-based clothing swap startup Poshmark has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from the Mayfield Fund, SoftechVC and SV Angel. Poshmark’s service allows users to buy and sell used clothes in an app-based marketplace.