Mobile App Roundup: Playfish, INQ, iAds, & More

PlayfishPlayfish Starting Mobile Studio in Montreal — Social games developer Playfish is expanding in the mobile realm. The EA-owned company is planning on launching a new studio in Montreal, where it will focus on creating mobile renditions of its top social games.

iAds Fill Rates Drop — According to TechCrunch, iAds may not be as good as Campbell’s suggested last week. “Several developers” are confirming a significant drop in fill rates  (percentage of ad inventory actually filled with an ad) for iAds since the New Year. Two of these said developers noted a drop from 18% to 6%.

INQINQ Releases Facebook-focused Phones — INQ has launched the INQ Cloud Touch and Cloud Q, two devices heavily centered around Facebook, says Engadget. To highlight some key features: News feeds are directly on the phone’s home screen with stories focusing on content rather than author; users can quickly view the walls of their “Closest Friends;” the phone’s calendar updates with friend birthdays and events; and interestingly enough, the music player is now Spotify, suggesting a potential close integration between it and Facebook in the future.

FTC Asked to Investigate Mobile-Social Games — According to EngageDigital, Representative Edward Markey of the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has written a letter to the FTC asking for an investigation on free-to-play monetization in games on mobile devices. The concerns regards promotion and delivery towards children in games such as with Smurfs’ Village and incidents where children end up spending large sums of money, unknowingly, through virtual currency purchases.

Glu Mobile Announces Q4 Revenue — Glu Mobile announced its Q4 earnings this past week. The company noted $15.6 million in GAAP revenue for the quarter (down from $19.1 million in GAAP from Q4 2009) with a total GAAP revenue for the 2010 fiscal year at $64.3 million (down from $79.3 million in 2009).

Apple TV May Support Online Gaming — In a tip to Engadget, Apple TV may soon support online gaming. Evidence stems from new code found in the iOS 4.3 beta 3 firmware noting “ATVGames” and “ATVThunder” pointing to some form of controller, leaderboards, a game scheduling mechanic, and store front.

AppstoresAppbistro Launches — White label app store platform, Appbistro, has launched this week, including a focus on mobile app stores. As noted back in October, publishers will have the ability to create their own app stores.

Facebook Working on Native Apps? — In discussing the onset of HTML5 (or not), TechCrunch reports that Facebook has been internally testing a native iPad app recently — something it has yet to release to the public.

Bad Piggy BankRovio Mobile Notes Some Bad Piggy Bank Facts — To help clarify some of the facts about Rovio Mobile’s Bad Piggy Bank payment system, the company has released a handful of facts for its users. Most importantly, the new SMS functionality on Angry Birds Andriod is only used for the payments system; should Bad Piggy Bank not be supported by one’s operator, no purchases, thus charges, can be made. As it stands, the system is currently only available in Finland for Elisa customers.

[image via Rovio Blog]