Emerging Top Free Apps on iOS: Office Jerk, Talking Ben, Planetary HD

Once again, the top free iOS charts have changed dramatically as a number of unseen applications make their first appearances on the list. In fact, for both the iPhone and iPad devices, the changes took place within the top ten (top five for iPhone). That noted, most of the iPhone titles this week were older apps — four of which were games — that rose dramatically back into the lime light due to updates or involvement with FreeAppADay. As for the iPad, it was utility and convenience that proved most successful with emerging apps ranging from television to coupons.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Free Apps List

Office Jerk — There is a new top free iPhone title this week. Office Jerk is the new #1 app and the game, which was recently updated May 3rd, allows users to harass your goodie-goodie office cubicle neighbor by pelting him with everything from staplers to pies. The game’s creator, Fluik, is a younger iOS developer with a respectable repertoire of games, based out of Edmonton, Canada. Office Jerk monetizes with both advertisements and in-app purchases for virtual items and the removal of ads all together. The game has already also been downloaded well over 1 million times since its release last week.

Crazy Basketball — In at #2 this week is a rather old title called Crazy Basketball. A physics-oriented title originally oriented around shooting basketballs, the app has seen a myriad of new updates (the last was April 23rd) and game modes involving variants of other sports-like mini-games such as knocking down pins or hitting targets. Its developer is Yogamen, a small studio with eight people and just under a dozen iOS titles. Crazy Basketball monetizes via an in-app purchase of new game modes.

Physics Gamebox — Physics Gamebox is yet another older application to breach the top free iPhone app charts; all the way up to #3. Developed by FDG Entertainment, a Munich-based iOS developer and publisher roughly 10 years old, the game is another physics-centric title that tasks users with the removal of Roly-Poly bugs through the use of an over sized cannon in one game mode, while firing ragdolls through obstacles in another. Last updated April 20th, the primary reason for the game’s rise is FreeAppADay.

Virtual Lighter — iHandySoft brings the #4 app to the table with Virtual Lighter. The app is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a virtual lighter that users can flip open with virtual fire affected by the movement of the iPhone. As for iHandySoft, the company has produced a number of similar utility apps (from alarm clocks to levels) for mobile devices. They often use both free and paid versions. The application was released April 28th.

Spartans vs Vikings — Yet another game rising due to FreeAppADaySpartans vs Vikings climbs to #5. It’s a sort of strategy meets hack-and-slash type of game where players strategically move troops around a map and fight battles in virtual dual-stick control fashion. Last updated April 26th, the game monetizes itself through the use of in-app purchases. It’s developer is Triniti Interactive, an iOS developer founded in 2009 and who already hosts several iOS titles in its portfolio.

New Titles Within Top iPad Free Apps List

HBO GO — More television iPad apps appear this week, and HBO GO marks the biggest, coming in at #1 on the top free iPad apps chart. The application allows users to watch HBO shows from anywhere, so long as the user has an HBO subscription through participating television providers. Released April 29th, the app’s developer is naturally HBO, one of the largest premium television companies in the United States with more than 35 million subscribers.

Fishing Joy HD — In at #7 is a fairly new title (last updated April 24th): Fishing Joy HD. Appearing on yesterday’s top grossing iPad apps list at #23, the game is a simplistic arcade-style fishing game where users spend coins to launch varying types of nets in order to capture colorful fish. Each launch costs coins (yet coins can be earned by the catch), thus the game monetizes by selling this in-game currency through in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $69.99.  The company behind the application is iOS developer PunchBox. As Fishing Joy is their only release, little is known about the company, but they do appear to be based in China.

Talking Ben the Dog for iPad — Slovenia’s Outfit7 has another top application this week. Talking Ben the Dog for iPad is the latest toy for kids from the company. A grumpy dog and chemistry professor named Ben who lets players tickle him and make phone calls. He also retreats into his chemistry lab for various experiments (that usually go awry). The app is free, but monetizes with in-app purchases that allow players to buy extra chemicals to experiment with. Outfit7’s virtual character apps have earned the company over 100 million downloads and the company, which aims to create family-friendly franchises, is on a roll with about 15 million downloads a month.

Planetry — Released May 2nd is a very interesting new way to explore and use one’s music collection. The app is Planetary from Bloom Studio, and it currently sits on the #3 spot on the top free iPad apps list. The application takes a user’s music collection and transforms it into a 3D galaxy with playback controlled via interstellar objects. Planetary is the very first app for San Francisco-startup Bloom Studio, who hopes to create other “visual discovery apps” that involve social networks, video streaming, and location-based apps. Founded by only four individuals, the company recently raised funding from Betaworks, SV Angel, and Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield.

Groupon HD — Rounding out this week’s compilation of top free iOS apps is Groupon HD, which comes in at #9. Groupon is an application that compiles a comprehensive list of deals in a wide array of cities across the U.S. and Canada. Released April 28th, its developer is Groupon Inc., Chicago-based company that regularly provides such deals via the web. Given that Groupon has been a heavy spender on pay-per-install networks for downloads, we wouldn’t be surprised if a paid install campaign was what bumped it into the top 10.