Microsoft’s New Gaming Strategy Includes Xbox Mobile Store

Microsoft is reportedly building an Xbox mobile store, challenging Apple and Google. The Redmond company’s pending Activision Blizzard deal is key to successful implementation of its mobile gaming strategy, which was previously hinted at and now comes to light in a filing with the UK Competition and Markets Authority, which requested additional information from Microsoft as part of its analysis of the $68.7 billion deal. In its filings, Microsoft says a “next generation” game store that “operates across a range of devices, including mobile” is significant impetus for the acquisition. Continue reading Microsoft’s New Gaming Strategy Includes Xbox Mobile Store

TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

TikTok is debuting new editing tools and one of them, Photo Mode, is drawing comparisons to Meta’s popular Instagram app. “For when you’d prefer to express yourself in formats other than video, we released Photo Mode, a new carousel format available on mobile for photo content that’s ideal for sharing high quality images on TikTok,” the company writes. The launch occurs just as Instagram has begun shifting its emphasis to video, to the consternation of many users, disapproval TikTok may have noticed as it seeks to pick up market share. Continue reading TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

Google to Shutter Stadia Game Streaming Service in January

Google is shutting down its Stadia video-game streaming service in what many say is a response to leaner times. The cloud-based subscription service is going dark January 18, three years after it launched. It delivers games directly to compatible smart TVs, computers and Android phones, and is accessible to incompatible devices, such as iOS, via web browsers. While Stadia “was built on a strong technology foundation, it hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down,” Stadia VP and general manager Phil Harrison wrote in a blog post. Continue reading Google to Shutter Stadia Game Streaming Service in January

Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Pinterest has launched a new app that makes it easier for creators to live-stream content. Pinterest TV Studio for iOS and Android lets select creators stream live on Pinterest from multiple devices, in order to achieve different camera angles. Initially available in limited release, creators must obtain a special code from Pinterest in order to unlock the Studio functionality. As part of its latest quarterly earnings, announced April 27, Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silverman said the company grew global revenue 18 percent year-over-year, “despite a challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.” Continue reading Pinterest Launches TV Studio App for Creator Live Streaming

Amazon Kids+ Skips Ads for First Free Mobile Game Releases

Amazon Kids+ is debuting its first free original mobile games. Ad-free mobile games based on the Amazon Original children shows “Super Spy Ryan” and “Do, Re & Mi” are now available for any smartphone user, even those who don’t subscribe to Amazon Kids+. The company says it “wanted do something special for kids and parents who use smartphones.” The games are the result of a two-year development effort by “the Amazon Kids+ mobile games team,” according to Amazon Kids+ global head of content Natasha Lipovac. Amazon has been very active in the children’s arena. Continue reading Amazon Kids+ Skips Ads for First Free Mobile Game Releases

Researchers Discover Malware on Apps in Google Play Store

Google has removed dozens of apps from the Google Play Store after finding they were harvesting data from millions of Android phones. The spyware creator, Panama’s  Measurement Systems S. de R.L., has been linked with a Virginia defense contractor that has done work for U.S. national-security agencies in the areas of cyberintelligence, network defense and intelligence intercepts. Researchers found the errant code embedded in apps for Muslim prayers, speed-trap detection, QR-code reading and other popular consumer programs that have been downloaded more than 10 million times. Continue reading Researchers Discover Malware on Apps in Google Play Store

Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Nimo Planet is garnering buzz for its entry in the smart glasses field. Designed for productivity, the $799 Nimo mixed reality eyewear is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor that has been described as turning the spectacles into “a mini-computer that sits on your head.” Relatively light at 120 grams, the lenses can display up to six 720p screens, suggesting it as a potential laptop replacement for traveling workers. The frame arms feature touch support and support voice commands. The glasses aren’t designed for intensive apps like Adobe Photoshop, but for basic productivity like word processing and project management. Continue reading Nimo Planet Smart Glasses Target Productivity During Travel

Google Debuts Game Developer Tools for Android, PC, Cloud

Google this week announced a host of new features at the Google for Games Developer Summit, a free virtual event designed to help developers get the most out of its platforms. Developers that have more than $5 million in annual consumer games spending will be able to tap a new Google Play Partner Program for Games. A “play as you download” feature for Android 12 users will let itchy-fingered players get to gaming sooner, and an “immersive stream” for games will let developers leverage cloud gaming service Stadia’s underlying technology. Continue reading Google Debuts Game Developer Tools for Android, PC, Cloud

Consumers Downloaded a Record 230 Billion Apps Last Year

Consumer mobile app spending hit $170 billion in 2021, according to the State of Mobile in 2022 report released by App Annie. Charting expenditures across iOS, Google Play and third-party Chinese Android app stores, the figure represents 19 percent year-over-year growth, almost flat (down from 18 percent growth in 2020). While last year, consumers installed more apps than ever, the growth rate itself is slowing. Last January, App Annie reported year-over-year download growth of 7 percent from 2020, which has dropped to 5 percent for 2021. However, in all, consumers downloaded a record 230 billion apps in 2021. Continue reading Consumers Downloaded a Record 230 Billion Apps Last Year

Mobile Apps Trigger $133 Billion in 2021 Consumer Spending

Global consumer in-app spending is predicted to reach $133 billion in 2021, up nearly 20 percent from the prior year, according to market analytics firm Sensor Tower. Mobile games account for 64 percent ($89.6 billion) of the projected spend. While game revenue continues to grow, share of overall spending will by the end of 2021 have declined by 6.7 percent from 2020, due to “the persistent growth of non-game categories such as entertainment, which received a large boost from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” TikTok is 2021’s most-downloaded app, according to the study. Continue reading Mobile Apps Trigger $133 Billion in 2021 Consumer Spending

Netflix Debuts Five Games on Android for Global Subscribers

Netflix has released its first slate of mobile games. Available to the global Android market, the inaugural five titles are “Stranger Things: 1984” and “Stranger Things 3: The Game,” both developed by Texas-based BonusXP; “Shooting Hoops” and “Teeter (Up)” from Vancouver-headquartered Frosty Pop; and “Card Blast,” created by England-based Amuzo in conjunction with L.A.’s Rogue Games. The titles were released Tuesday for download on Google Play, then began rolling out on the streamer’s app. Netflix is offering the games as a value-added for subscribers, without advertising or in-app solicitation. Continue reading Netflix Debuts Five Games on Android for Global Subscribers

Pixalate Raises $18.1M to Combat Click Tricks and Ad Fraud

Analytics firm Pixalate has announced $18.1 million in growth capital for connected TV and mobile advertising initiatives. The new round brings total capital raised to $22.7 million for the 9-year-old firm, which specializes in fraud prevention, privacy protection and legal compliance via offices in Santa Monica, Palo Alto and London. The move comes as Pixalate rises to meet the challenges of enterprise clients fending off bot attacks, ad fraud and other malicious threats. Malware incursions by intruders like Puppeteer siphon tens of millions of dollars in annual ad revenue, according to Pixalate. Continue reading Pixalate Raises $18.1M to Combat Click Tricks and Ad Fraud

South Korea to Let Consumers Select App Payment Provider

South Korea is on the verge of becoming the first country to initiate legislation that would provide consumers with the choice of which app payment provider to use. The Telecommunications Business Act, which is “almost certain” to pass a vote in the assembly, could end the “effective duopoly” of Apple and Google. It would also enable companies like Epic Games to transact directly with users and avoid hefty commissions charged by those two companies. In the U.S., Apple and Google face legislative actions and an Epic Games lawsuit. Continue reading South Korea to Let Consumers Select App Payment Provider

Apple Makes Changes for App Developers, News Publishers

Facing increased regulatory scrutiny, Apple announced significant changes to its App Store, enabling developers to inform customers about ways to pay outside the App Store and expanding prices they can offer for subscriptions as well as in-app purchases and paid apps. The company settled a class-action lawsuit with software developers and is expecting a judgment in a suit filed by Epic Games over many of the same issues. Apple’s move is the biggest it’s ever made in response to developers alleging anticompetitive behavior. The company separately announced plans to cut its commission rate for publishers on Apple News. Continue reading Apple Makes Changes for App Developers, News Publishers

Senate Measure Could Impact Developers, App Store Models

The U.S. Senate introduced the Open App Markets Act to give consumers more control over their devices; stop app stores from ‘disadvantaging’ developers and allow them to inform consumers about lower prices and offer competitive pricing; improve the ability of startup apps, third-party app stores and payment services to compete; require devices to allow ‘sideloading’ of apps; and continue to protect privacy, security and safety of consumers. If voted into law, the Act could end Apple and Google’s monopoly over the app ecosystem. Continue reading Senate Measure Could Impact Developers, App Store Models