Mobile App Roundup: RIM, Microsoft, Tapjoy and Persona 4

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

iOS 5 on One Third of Eligible Devices in Under a Week – Analytics firm Localytics has determined that between October 12th and October 17th, 33% of Apple devices that could run iOS 5 upgraded to it. This compares favorably with the adoption rates of iOS 4, which was on half of all iPhones within  a month of its launch.

RIM Roundup - It’s been a busy week for Canadian smartphone manufacturer RIM. Here’s an Inside Mobile Apps summary of the company’s news:

  • First up, Stuff Middle East was invited to a press event in Dubai where RIM revealed it  would be unveiling a new BlackBerry designed by Porsche. Supposed pictures of the phone were leaked in September.
  • In apology for last week’s disastrous service outage, RIM announced it will be compensating users with a selection of premium apps worth over $100. The apps are a selection of utilities and games.
  • And finally, Reuters is reporting that BASIS International, a New Mexico software company is threatening RIM with legal action over the name BBX, claiming that it infringes on their trademark for the name BBx. The lawsuit comes days after RIM announced it had created a new operating system called BBX for its next generation devices.

Persona 4 Going Social – Ultra-popular Japanese RPG Persona 4, a game considered by many to be last great game released for the PS2, will soon be a social game in Japan. Silconera is reporting that the game will be developed by Index Corporation, makers of Persona 3 Social for DeNA’s Mobage-town. The social game is not the first Persona 4 spin off to be announced; the game is also seeing an anime adaption, a fighting game spin-off and a remake for the Playstation Vita.

Professor Layton Coming to iOS, Mobage – One of the most popular new game franchises in recent history, Professor Layton, will no longer be a Nintendo exclusive. According to a press release on the Level 5 website and reports from various gaming blogs, the company is working on project tentatively titled Professor Layton Royale for DeNA’s Mobage platform, and a title called Layton Brothers: Mystery Room for iOS.

Google, Oracle Android Trial Delayed – VentureBeat is reporting that the trial between Google and Oracle over Android’s use of the Java operating language has been delayed indefinitely due to scheduling conflicts. No new date has been set.

FX Creates Shopping App to Promote Biker Show Sons of Anarchy - While most TV networks have turned to Facebook to promote their programs, FX announced this week it had developed an interactive shopping app for its show Sons of Anarchy. The app, which is called SOA Gear, will showcase products and merchandise worn by the cast members on the show, and highlight the items for purchase.

Will Smurfberries Create 30% of Capcom’s Profits? – In an interview with Bloomberg, Capcom chairman Kenzo Tsujimoto said that mobile games will make up 6.6% of the company’s profits this year, and that number will could increase up to five fold in the coming years.

Total Immersion Makes Free AR Tools Available – French company Total Immersion has released a free AR platform called D’Fusion Studio that Android, iOS, console and web developers can use to incorporate AR elements into their games and apps.

Halfbrick Needs More Bricks – According to job listings found by Gamasutra, Halfbrick, the Australian developer of the popular mobile game Fruit Ninja is expanding, adding a new studio in Sidney.

DCM Announces First Recipients of $100 Million Android Fund – DCM has unveiled the first recipients of the the Android developer specific fund it launched in April. Appia, PapayaMobile, Happy Elements, Kanbox, Loki Studios and Kakoa Corp all received investments from that ranged between $250,000 to $5 million.

Tapjoy Adds Another High Profile Executive - In a move we covered briefly in our hires post yesterday, Tapjoy has beefed up its executive roster again, bringing on former Yahoo VP Jim Jones as vice president and general manager of sales. Jones is just the latest in a string of high profile executive hires for the monetization company – in the past year Peter Dille (Sony Computer Entertainment) came on as CMO, Al Woods (Veraz Networks) came on as CFO and Larry Berkin (Symbian Foundation) joined the company as vice president and manager, Asia-Pacific.

Companies Lack Mobile Security Awareness – According to a study conducted by Deloitte, a company’s employees may be one of its most significant security risks. In a poll of more than 1,200 executives, 40% did not know if their company had any mobile security strategies or procedures, and nearly 30% believed there were unauthorized devices connecting to their company’s intranet and e-mail servers.

Microsoft OK With Being Third Player in Mobile - According to statements made in Microsoft’s earnings call by CFO Peter Klein, Windows Phone 7 is “well positioned to become the third mobile ecosystem.” According to VentureBeat’s summary of the call, Microsoft is working with Samsung to market and develop more Windows phones.

Ishibashi Joins Callaway As CEO – Callaway Digital Arts, a developer most well known for its apps for Seasame Street and Martha Stewart apps announced this week that it had appointed Rex Ishibashi as the company’s new CEO. Ishibashi, who was most recently the CEO of Ohai, will be based out of the company’s new San Francisco office.

Waze Raises $30 Million – Community based traffic and navigation app Waze announced this week that it had raised another $30 million in funding. According to VentureBeat, the app, which provides free step by step directions based on crowd sourced data, currently has 7 million users.

Enflick Raises $1 Million for Free Texting, Messaging - Canadian developer Enflick has raised $1 million in funding from Freestyle Capital, according to a blog post on the company’s website. Enflick are the makers of the app TextNow, which allows free text messages between users, and PingChat, a cross platform IM service.

[Launch] Superplay Puts Cosmonauts in Space, App Stores – California based indie developer Superplay Games has released its first title, cartoonish space shooter Cosmonauts. Available on both iOS and Android, the game is free-to-play and supported by in-app purchases.

[Launch] Family Feud Now on App Store – Another game show is coming to to iOS with the launch of Family Feud & Friends. The mobile game, which has Facebook integration, was developed by Montreal based Ludia, a division of international entertainment company Freemantle Media.

[Launch] Glu Mobile Gets Ghostly With Boo Town - Halloween themed apps are big business in October and Glu Mobile is getting into the Halloween spirit with the release of its latest game Boo Town. A free-to-play title, the game challenges players to keep the residents of a ghostly town happy. Boo Town is available in the iOS app store now.