Category Archives: App Store
Newtoy is the company behind the popular Games With Friends brand on the App Store, featuring Chess With Friends and the extremely popular Words With Friends. If you’re on Twitter, you probably already knew that Words With Friends was popular (it’s all over the service), but you might not have realized just how popular.
Newtoy’s own David Bettner took the stage here at GDC Online 2010 in Austin, Texas for a panel and said that the game has had 10 million downloads so far. That’s allowed him, his brother Paul, and their cousin to take Newtoy from a company of three people working on laptops in a library (though they admittedly had a lot of good experience as developers at Age of Empires dev Ensemble Studios) to a 30-person game studio with a bright future in what Bettner calls “turn-based asynchronous mobile gaming.”
And that stat isn’t the only interesting one that Bettner shared. Of those 10 million downloads, half have played the game in the last month. The Words With Friends app has two million daily active users and five million monthly active users. And of those users, 60% were brought in to the game by their friends (which makes for a very viral cocktail), and a whopping 40% play the app ten times or more per day.
Bettner says the app has gotten so big
One of the best reasons to come to a conference like GDC Online (which I’m at this week in Austin, Texas) is touching base with others in the iPhone and iPad community and sharing your favorite apps with each other.
I’ve been hooking as many people as I can on Pocket Frogs (I just passed 50% of awards completed, and the app just added Game Center integration in a new update), and my colleague Jeff Scott of 148Apps recommended Blue Defense: Second Wave! to me. Blue Defense is a top-down shooter with an iPhone twist — instead of moving your ship around as it shoots down enemy ships in 2D, you tilt your iPhone (or just touch the screen) to aim a planetary cannon, taking out ships as they come to you.
The tilt interface is very intuitive, and there are even some fun multitouch functions. You can split your fire by double-tapping anywhere to create fixed aiming sights, or even grab and drag away from the planet to shoot a gigantic screen-clearing gun.
Einstein once said, imagination is more powerful than knowledge. I now see the entire truthfulness behind his saying for iCandyApps has just released an app called Pic Bubbler that enables you to see anyone naked by using a technique called bubbling. Confused how it all works, still? Read the explanation after the jump!
Bubbling works like this: you take a photo of someone in a swimming suit (i.e. they should be partially clothed) and then you apply spidery web-like bubbles to cover the non-naked parts.
This then allows your polluted and morally corrupt brain to imagine the bubbly non-naked bits with naked ones which gives you the feeling of seeing a naked person, even though the person really isn’t naked.
I’m here in Austin, Texas this week for the Game Developers’ Conference, and Limbic Software’s Arash Keshmirian kicked off the iPhone gaming track this morning with a panel about how the company found success with their TowerMadness tower defense game. Limbic’s story is similar to a lot of others that we’ve heard before — the app released to little fanfare, but a few solid tweaks, strategies, and even lucky breaks after release led to lots of sales and lots of development lessons.
“What really started the company,” said Keshmirian, “was when we decided to make the game free.” Like many other developers, he and his team found that having a huge audience is extremely important on the App Store. Releasing a free version created opportunities for in-app purchases and monetization through ads, and it even drove sales of the paid version of the app. Keshimirian shared a number of other interesting facts about what they’d found on the App Store during development as well.
The first one was that
Every time a new gadget is launched, folks over at iSuppli are the first to calculate the actual cost incurred by the manufacturer to source and assemble the entire hardware.
Continuing its usual tradition, they have done the same thing to Apple’s newest kid on the block, the Apple TV – and the results are a wee bit surprising, should we say?
Unlike the older generation of Apple TV whose production cost was horrendously high at $237, the cost to manufacture the latest version has been bought down drastically. From $237 to $64. How does that sound?
iSuppli has detailed the prices of the core components of Apple TV. It lists the Apple A4 chip as the most expensive component inside the latest version of Apple TV. Apple’s own SoC costs $16.55 and is followed by the 8 GB NAND flash memory chip that Apple has source from Toshiba. It costs a princely $14 each. This is still way lower than the cost of the Pentium processor and the chip that were used on the previous generation Apple TV, which cost around $45 and $28 each.
iSuppli also adds that the