Mobile App Roundup: Lawsuits, Foursquare Updates, Android Statistics & More

RIM To Launch Streaming Music Service — According to CNET, Research in Motion is looking to launch its own digital streaming music service for its smartphones and tablets that will be cheaper than other similar services. The service would be integrated into BlackBerry Messenger and thus far, RIM says it has signed deals with at least one of four major U.S. record companies (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music).

Vodafone Announces Android Mobile Billing — Vodafone has annonuced that Vodafone UK and Vodafone Germany will now support the purchasing of Android Market apps through mobile billing. Purchases can be charged directly to a user’s phone bill or prepaid account with the service initially being available to users that purchased their device through Vodafone online and retail channels.

Andy Miller Leaves iAds — According to All Things D, the iAd VP is leaving the company to become a general partner at Highland Capital. It’s another setback for the mobile advertising network Apple acquired when it bought Quattro.

Gameloft Announces New Orleans Game Studio — Mobile developer and publisher Gameloft announced Monday that it will be expanding with a new office in New Orleans. Based on what the company has told Joystiq, the office will hire approximately 150 employees.

Restaurant City Hits iOS in Canada — The popular Facebook game of Restaurant City has hit iOS as a free-to-play game. Dubbed Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition, appears to only be available in the Canadian App Store at this time.

Chatterfly Releases Loyalty App — TechCrunch came across an interesting new mobile app from Chatterfly. The iOS and Android app of the same name allows businesses to provide users with a digital loyalty system (like a digital version of paper punch cards that are marked every time one visits a certain venue). Rewards can be earned by users for making purchases or sharing on a social feed. They can then be redeemed at the business or for Chatterfly rewards.

Game Insight to Release Crime Story on Android — Social-mobile games developer Game Insight has announced their newest title slated for release on Android, Crime Story. The upcoming game, will allow users to build out a criminal empire, defeat enemy crime lords, and conquer uncontrolled regions of the city. The game is scheduled for release later this month.

Thunderstone Game Franchise to Launch on Social & Mobile Platforms — Zabu Studio and Alderac Entertainment Group have announced that its strategy card game franchise, Thunderstone will be making its way to Facebook, iOS, and Android. The game will be initially free, with users purchasing new cards in-app.

Zorro Comes to Mobile — PixoFactor Entertainment has announced the launch of its newest side-scrolling action game, Zorro: Shadow of Vengeance. A rebooted version of the Zorro franchise, the title is now available on iOS and Android.

German Court Suspends Galaxy Tab Injunction — The patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung continues. According to TechCrunch, Apple blocked the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the European Union, but this week, a court in Germany partially lifted the injunction until the August 25th appeals hearing. That said, German users can still only purchase the device from Samsung’s South Korean parent company.

HTC Sues Apple Over Patent Infringements — More patent lawsuits are about as HTC is now suing Apple in a Delaware District Court over three different patents. In short, the patents list everything from personal computers to mobile communications devices as “Accused Apple Products,” that infringe upon HTC patents, and thus the company is seeking infringement compensation, triple that for compensatory damages, and a possible injunction against making, selling, and importing “accused products” in the U.S. After this fiasco, now Apple has brought the caseto a Netherlands court, according to VentureBeat, in order to try and ban all of the Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

AT&T Attempts to Stop Arbitation Block on T-Mobile Merger — Last Friday, All Things D reported on an attempt to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger through arbitation. Bursor & Fisher law firm has thus far filed eight suits across the U.S. and has signed up over 1,000 customers to fight the deal.

South Korean Users Sue Apple — Worries over location tracking are not over it seems, as Bloomberg has reported that about 27,000 South Koreans are suing Apple with a class-action lawsuit over the location tracking of their devices. The suit is seeking a total of $25 million ($930 per person).

Average Android User Spends an Hour on Apps & Web — Analytics company Nielsen has reported a new set of statistics noting that the average Android consumer in the United States spends 56 minutes a day utilizing their smartphone. Additionally, 67 percent of their time is used on apps, while the remaining 33 percent is on the web. To further break down these numbers, the top 10 Android apps make up 43 percent of total app usage.

Verizon’s Android Share Drop — Chitika released a report this week that since the iPhone 4 launch, Verizon’s Android market share in the U.S. has dropped from 51.4 percent to 41 percent. AT&T currently holds 8.7 percent, T-Mobile has 16 percent, and Sprint hosts 25.7 percent.

Android Malware Disguised as Google+ — Once again, there is more malware on Android, reports TechCrunch. Trend Micro has noted a new malware application that disguises itself as Google+. A variant of ANDROIDOS_NICKISPY.A, the app records phone calls, gathers GPS locations, and text messages, sending them to remote servers. Thus far, the app is only installed on devices that have visited a malicious website, but can be removed by simply uninstalling the app.

Apple to Build 26 Million Next-Gen iPhones — Though exactly what iPhone it might be is still suspect, DigiTimes has reported that Apple has increased production for a next-gen iPhone, the 3GS, and iPhone 4 by 12-13 percent. The production is over 56 million units with 26 million being for the next generation device; all for release later this year.

Empire Avenue Now Supports Foursquare & Instagram — The social game where players buy and sell friends in a virtual stock market, Empire Avenue has announced a new update. The game now supports Foursquare and Instagram. Now, every check-in, photo, tip, comment, and follower, will improve players’ virtual stock value. Empire Avenue also recently announced the raising of $1.2 million in funding.

Foursquare Allows Official Event Check-Ins, Tip Lists, & Photos — Users of Foursquare can now check-in at official events including sporting events, movies, and concerts. Foursquare has partnered with ESPN, MovieTickets.com, and Songkick to make this happen. Additionally, users will be able to access event information, showtimes, and so on.

Earlier in the week, Foursquare also added a “Tip Lists” feature that allows users to create lists about locations (such as a top list) as well as allowing for pictures to be displayed in line with an activity stream.

Hewlett Packard Discontinues webOS Phones and TouchPad — Leading up to its Q3 conference call this week, HP announced that “it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.” Moreover, CNNMoney reports that its stock traded down 23 percent after the announcement.