Mobile App Roundup: Newsstand, Infinity Blade, Outfit7, Synthetic and a Critical Valve


By Kathleen De Vere Comment

iOS Newsstand App Gets Big Content Boost - Publishers are bullish about iOS 5’s Newsstand App. In an interview with Tech Crunch, Mark Edminston, the CEO of digital publisher Nomad Editions felt confident the app will increase the visibility of digital publications. Other publishers clearly agree; this week Mag+ announced its support (bringing 12 titles including Popular Science, Maxim and Outside), as did The Daily, Meredith Corporation (Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Fitness) and the New York Times.

PayPal Adding HTML5 API’s - In an announcement at the X.commerce Conference, online payment giant PayPal revealed it will soon be launching API’s for HTML5 that will enable developers to integrate in-context, in-app payments into their products. While details are slim so far, the PayPal blog indicates that many developers have asked for the feature, which would theoretically allow content providers to bypass the payment systems set up by Apple, Facebook and Google.

Ice Cream Sandwich May Be Unveiled October 19th During Re-Scheduled Event – After a last minute cancellation (brought on by the sudden passing of Steve Jobs), Samsung and Google have begun to invite the press to an event in Hong Kong on October 19th, which TechCrunch is speculating will be the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich OS for Android devices and the latest Samsung Nexus device.

Next Platform for Infinity Blade: The Arcade - Canadian company Adrenaline Amusements has revealed it’s bringing Infinity Blade to arcades and amusement parks as a standalone machine, featuring a 46” touchscreen. The company already makes a similar unit that for Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja.

Outfit7 Bring on Singh for “Hyper-Growth” - Outfit7 has revealed it has hired Narry Singh to act as the company’s executive chairman. Singh was most recently the chairman at The Intellidex Group, and is joining the company as it enters a period of “hyper-growth and global expansion” according to a press release. Before recently losing its chief executive Andrej Nabergoj, Outfit7 also had brought on Paul Baldwin, formerly of Gazillion Entertainment and Eidos to act as chief marketing officer.

iPhone 4S Totally Sold Out Online - After racking up 3 million pre-orders over the weekend, Time is reporting that the iPhone 4S is totally sold out on the websites for AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint. The Apple website lists the availability of the device at one to two weeks.

GameFly Adds Social Features to Android App – GameFly has updated its Android app, making its social networking components available to all mobile users. Android users can now create a profile and browse the profiles of other members, follow other users, comment on posts and connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts to the GameFly app, features that were previously only available to iOS users.

Rovio Not Flying Towards IPO, Waiting For More Money – In an interview with Bloomberg, Rovio’s chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka has revealed the company is in no rush to file an IPO, and is considering 2012. Vesterbacka also boasted that his company would debut at a valuation of more than $1.2 billion. “We’re happy with our valuation but we think it’s probably a bit north of that,” said Vesterbacka. However, we’re hearing that Rovio’s third quarter earnings fell short of expectations and that the company had been in acquisition talks with Zynga and EA that fell apart.

Instant Gratification no Longer Cool According to Synthetic - Hipster app developers Synthetic, makers of the ultra-retro, intentionally unpredictable Hipstamatic app have announced their latest product, the Hipstamatic D-Series. In an exclusive interview with Pocket Lint, the developers revealed the app will force users to take an entire roll of 24 pictures before they can see the results… just like an old, non-digital camera. The app will be free and will be available in app stores later in the month.

T-Mobile Customers Can Now Rent Apps With WildTangent - Washington State based games service Wild Tangent has brought its games rental platform to Android customers, but only those on T-Mobile. Players access the WildTangent app through the T-Mobile Mall and can choose from 40 games, with rental prices starting at $0.25 for 24 hours.

More Children Playing Games, Especially Mobile Games – The latest report from market research firm NPD has found that since 2009 the percentage of kids aged 2-17 in the US increased by 1.54%, but the population of children 2-17 who played video games increased by 12.6%. According to the report, approximately 91% of children in the US play games, and 38% of them play mobile games – a significant jump over 2009 numbers, when only 8% of children played mobile games.

CrowdStar Funds Six New Mobile Startups – CrowdStar’s StarFund has invested in six developers, awarding each approximately $250,000 according to information provided to VentureBeat from the fund’s managing director Jim Mills. The fund was started in July by CrowdStar and YouWeb to fund the development of mobile games with mass-market appeal.

Valve Head Critical of Apple’s Approach to Gaming – Valve president Gabe Newell has some concerns about what Apple is doing to the gaming industry. The Seattle Times reports that during panel discussion at the WTIA TechNW conference Newell mentioned he was concerned for the state of the industry due to the growing popularity of closed-garden style distribution platforms like iOS. Newell also speculated Apple’s next move would be to disrupt the console market. “I suspect Apple will launch a living room product that redefines people’s expectations really strongly and the notion of a separate console platform will disappear,” he said.

[Launch] Z2Live Updates MetalStorm Game With Ability to Stream to TV – Seattle-based developer Z2Live released a major update to its MetalStorm franchise that lets players stream the games’ 3D graphics to an TV via an Apple TV. There’s also a single-player campaign mode now.

[Launch] Game Insight Launches Rock the Vegas for Android – Russian developer Game Insight is expanding its Android offerings with an all new game, Rock the Vegas, a game that challenges players to create and build a gaming empire from scratch. A city-building game with social and gambling elements, Rock the Vegas is available now in the Android Market.

Korea’s Gamevil is also putting out another release in the RPG category with ADVENA. It’s a genre the publicly-traded company knows well with its Zenonia franchise. The game lets users control more than one character. They can organize raids with three characters and use five classes of melee with several types of fighters, casters and healers.