2.社交网站myYearbook首席执行官Geoff Cook日前表示，他认为谷歌正在调整Android Market的应用排名算法，原因是他发现自己的Android应用从原来的免费社交应用榜单上的第63名，突然上升到了第11名，但在这个过程中，其应用下载量并无重大变化。他的结论是：谷歌有可能参照了DAU/MAU比值重新评估应用的市场表现，将用户黏性作为重要衡量标准对应用进行排名。但据游戏邦所知，谷歌尚未正式公布这一情况。
4.谷歌宣布推出新版Google Apps Device Policy应用，包含Android手机定位地图，以帮助用户找回丢失的手机，以及远程重新设置PIN码或者密码。这个新版本可加密保存在Android3.0（Honeycomb）平板电脑上的所有数据（游戏邦注：之前该功能仅限于手机平台）。
5.《美国医学会杂志》最近发表的一篇文章指出，玩手机游戏等电子游戏有助于促进人体健康，这一现象值得人们的“严重关注”。加州大学伯克利分校的Stephen M. Shortell博士等专家认为，手机设备的GPS、加器计、先进的无线感应器和移动热点区等功能，有利于通过地理定位追踪、行动监测和信号纪录等途径，让用户的人体行动更加活跃，从而培养更健康的生活方式。也有其他学者通过一些实验证明，基于手机的游戏或娱乐活动，能够发挥降低烟瘾或者控制食欲等作用。总之，手机健康类游戏在未来5年的发展潜力十分巨大。
6.Windows Phone 7平台手机应用数量达1.15万。据微软所称，Windows Phone Marketplace有7500款免费应用，有44%是可用户可下载的测试版本，用户平均每月下载12款应用。WP7平台目前的注册开发者已达3.6万，每周新注册开发者约1200名，Windows Phone开发者工具的下载量超过了150万次。
7.Urban Airship公司向Android平台推应用内置付费服务产品（In-App Purchasing Product）。这项服务支持开发者在Android应用中绑定应用内置付费功能，它与该公司18个月前在iOS平台推出的服务功能相同。Urban Airship的应用内置付费服务至今已促成280万笔交易。
10.Namco Bandai Games America、HandyGames、HeroCraft等手机游戏公司高管普遍看好亚马逊Appstore发展前景，但提出了希望该应用商店支持应用内置付费功能，提供更多可选择的计费系统，Game Center和增加全球发布渠道等要求。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
1.GameStop considers launching gaming tablet as the retailer looks to shift to digital distribution
It’s all tablets these days.
Still, the prospect of a retailer launching a tablet is unexpected, though that’s exactly what US-based chain GameStop is proposing, as the company looks to avoid being left behind by the rise in digital downloads.
The firm’s attitude is, if existing manufacturers don’t produce a device that fits the bill, GameStop is more than willing to.
“If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a bluetooth controller, then there’s no need to go out and develop our own,” president Tony Bartel told Gamasutra.
“But if we can’t find one that’s great for gaming, then we will create our own.”
Bartel believes tablets could act as the next big frontier for gaming, and GameStop is looking to have a hand in the industry’s transition.
It’s vital for the chain’s future that the company doesn’t get left behind as other retailers have been as the digital distribution of games becomes the norm.
“Our customers are beginning to consume games in a hybrid manner, both physical and digital, so we are becoming a hybrid company to meet their needs,” he added.
The price is wrong
But despite GameStop’s enthusiasm for the tablet market, the retailer is concerned by the pricing models adopted by publishers operating on mobile app stores.
“Our whole premise is there are a lot of people caught up in the 99 cent fray and a lot of people are frustrated by that,” said Bartel.
“We really believe that’s a chance for us to lead the tablet playing field.
“Just like people create [lower-priced, immersive] games for the PC, we think people will begin to create immersive games for a higher price for the tablets. Someone needs to offer those games, and that’s something GameStop will be the leader in doing.”（source:pocketgamer）
2.Developer spots tweak to Android Market rankings as Google looks to reward engagement
An observation by one Android developer suggests in-app billing isn’t the only change Google has made to Android Market in recent weeks.
Geoff Cook, CEO of social networking site myYearbook, believes the search giant has adjusted the the store’s ranking algorithm, causing apps to move up and down the tables when, in reality, the level of downloads has remained the same.
Rules of engagement
After witnessing his Android app shoot from #63 to #11 in the Top Free Social Category, Cook checked the daily install numbers only to discover no significant change.
The explanation for this seems clear: Android Market is now factoring in engagement when ranking applications.
Citing the performance of the myYearbook software and his game Tic Tac Toe, Cook asserts that a complex ratio of DAU to MAU is underpinning the Android Market’s new algorithm, rewarding an app’s stickiness as highly as its initial take-up.
Such a modification would certainly make sense for Google, given the introduction of in-app billing last week, though the company is yet to offer official comment.
With Android developers facing perennial problems with piracy and a customer base unwilling to pay premium prices, the DLC model is regarded as a quasi-saviour, so measures taken to promote in-app purchases and long-term engagement could well be welcomed.（source:pocketgamer）
3.Google’s Andy Rubin: Nothing has changed with Android’s openness
He’s about a week late, but Google’s Android head Andy Rubin has finally responded in a blog post to claims that the platform is becoming less open now that Google is reportedly exerting more control over how manufacturers use Android and is delaying the availability of Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” to smaller developers.
Rubin’s defense of Android’s open source status is to be expected, since it’s one of Android’s biggest advantages over Apple’s closed iOS platform.
Rubin stresses that Google is operating the same way it always has with Android: It remains committed to releasing the platform’s source code when it’s ready, and he says that Google is following the “anti-fragmentation” program that has been put in place since the very first version of Android.
“We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” he wrote, referring to the massive number of device types and form factors that Android now supports. He also denied that Google is working to standardize on a single Android chipset (rumors pointed to Google working with ARM).
Rubin goes on to say that the Android team is still working to bring Honeycomb’s features to phones and that its code will be released to the community once that happens. “This teporary delay does not represent a change in strategy. We remain firmly committed to providing Android as an open source platform across many device types,” he said.
Still, Rubin didn’t respond to earlier claims that Google is prioritizing certain manufacturers (in this case Motorola and other Android 3.0 tablet makers) over others. That’s likely been happening for some time, especially since Google has been tapping different manufacturers for its flagship Nexus One (HTC) and Nexus S (Samsung) phones.（source:venturebeat）
4.Today Google announced a new version of its Google Apps Device Policy app for Android. New features include the ability to locate a lost or stolen Android device on a map, and remotely reset the PIN or password. The new version also includes the ability to encrypt all data stored on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets (previously, this feature was limited to phones).
Google also announced a new Android app called Google Apps Lookup. It enables Google Apps users to search their company directory from Android and quickly make calls or send text messages to colleagues.
Given that Microsoft and RIM will offer free hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server as part of Microsoft Office 365 it makes sense for Google to expand its security offerings.
Device security is a hot space. Earlier this year, Motorola and Samsung both announced enterprise security initiatives for Android. Many new and established device management vendors such as Good, Mobile Iron and Zenprise also offer enterprise-level Android security and management.（source:readwriteweb）
5.JAMA: Time to take mobile health games seriously
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published a paper that argued health-focused video games, including those for mobile platforms, now deserve “serious attention.”
The commentary by Dr. Leighton Read of Alloy Ventures and Seriosity, Inc. and Dr. Stephen M. Shortell from the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley chronicles the popularity of video games and the promise that the popular form of media holds for teaching the public to make healthier choices. While people doing jumping jacks in front of their Xbox may prove entertaining, the real news is how Read and Shortell see mobile devices playing a big role in the healthy gaming world.
The authors see promise in mobile gaming thanks in part to GPS, accelerometers, advanced wireless sensors and mobile hotspots, which could revolutionize healthy gaming through location-based activity tracking, movement monitoring and even vital sign recording. While Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution get kids moving in front of the TV, the authors point to a more mobile option:
Zamzee. This startup is using a unique approach to getting 11- to 14-year-olds to be more physically active with the combination of a mobile pocket activity monitor and an online rewardsystem where healthy changes mean real life gift cards and virtual prizes. Another mobile game mentioned in the paper is “Lit to Quit.” Columbia University is trialling this mobile smoking cessation game where users blow into their iPhone microphones to reduce their cravings for cigarettes. Cornell University has teens sharing mobile phone photos of portion sizes and ingredients with their friends in the Mindless Eating Challenge. Indiana University has students participating in an “alternate reality” game promoting healthy eating and exercise. Health insurance provider Humana has also been playing along with their Games for Health initiative featuring a brain exercise game that has users searching out colors (and taking mobile phone photos) in their surroundings as well as a walking game that lets users power a virtual gold prospector with every real-life step they take throughout the day.
While health-based mobile games are still very much an emerging trend, opportunity is knocking for those getting into the game. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for whom Dr. Read has consulted, is promoting and evaluating games aimed at health through their Health Games Research Initiative. And, the authors noted that the $10 billion set aside in the Affordable Care Act for disease prevention and health promotion over the next 5 years could be directed at companies with proven successful mobile health games.（source:mobihealthnews）
6.11,500 apps on WinPho 7
New stats from Microsoft say 36,000 developers are now registered on the platform.
There are currently over 11,500 apps available on the Windows Phone Marketplace, of which 7,500 apps have a fee and 44 per cent are available to users as test versions.
Microsoft says that the average phone owner downloads 12 apps per month.
There were 6,000 apps in the store in January.
It also confirmed that Windows Phone developer tools have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times since their first publication.
Around 1,200 new developers are registering each week.（source:mobile-ent）
7.Urban Airship’s In-App Purchase for Android Goes Live
This post is part of our ReadWriteMobile channel, which is dedicated to helping its community understand the strategic business and technical implications of developing mobile applications.
Urban airshipThis morning, Portland-based Urban Airship commercially launched its In-App Purchasing Product for Android. The company describes the service as a “last mile” offering for developers that simplifies the process of integrating in-app purchasing features within Android applications. The new service is similar to Urban Airship’s in-app purchases services for iOS, which launched just 18 months ago. Since then, the company has enabled over 2.8 million transactions.
Urban Airship says it designed its in-app service for Android while participating in Google’s in-app beta test program, developing its features alongside Google’s in preparation for this launch.
In app android gnocchi
The new In-App Purchase for Android service offers the following features:
* Dynamic content: The Android Market limits application size to 25 MB, but apps using Urban Airship In-App Purchase can grow beyond that. Developers upload paid and free content to the Urban Airship servers, and those servers deliver the content to the end user when it’s needed.
* Security: Urban Airship validates all purchase receipts before delivering content to the application.
* Versioning and updates: Urban Airship tracks updates to purchasable content and notifies users when updates are available. Developers can fix bugs in their updates without shipping an additional app update.
The program complements UA’s recently launched Push for Android service, launched in March, which offers an alternative to Google’s default solution, C2DM. You can learn more about that service here.
Urban Airship supports a large number of developers on the iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms, and serves over 100 million mobile devices. To date, it has delivered over 2.6 billion push notifications in total, at a rate of 15 million push messages per day. Year-over-year, the company says the number of notifications it sends out has increased by 1,555%.
With in-app purchases, as noted above, Urban Airship has delivered over 2.9 million transactions, and its customers make an average of 8,000 in-app purchases per day.（source:readwriteweb）
8.This is why Google’s Android will beat Apple’s iPhone
Regular readers of GAMESbrief will know that I expect Apple to repeat its doomed experiment of the 1980s/1990s when it believed that tight integration of software and hardware, superb design and an iron control of the platform would win the desktop computer battle.
It is repeating the battle so far. Here’s how I expect the script to go:
Apple creates a market by making it easy to find mobile content, to pay for mobile content and to develop mobile content
Apple continues to exert powerful control over the platform and the content, limiting the ability of developers to do what they want, of consumers to find what they want and business to make money by releasing cross-platform games.
An open competitor (probably Android from Google, but possibly Windows, Symbian or HTML 5) allows consumers and developers to explore and experiment
No one knows what the killer app will be. But by being open, Android (or another open platform) allows the free market to explore, experiment, fail and iterate until it gets it just right.
Apple has a 10% market share appealing to a limited base of fanboys, investors, journalists and game developers, so it continues to get the majority of the coverage despite its small market share.
Google launched anothe salvo in its open strategy recently when it released AppInventor, an easy to use App Maker that allows uses with no prior programming experience.
Detractors will say (quite rightly) that this will unleash a wave of dross on Android Market, making it harder for good quality content to stand out.
But that is to miss the point of the open strategy. There are two ways to run a platform (or indeed a country). One is the “we know best” strategy of central command, where everything is fed upwards, approved and authorised. The other is the anarchic freedom of the democracy (suitably fettered by a limited set of rules and, importantly, the requirement that those ideas, businesses or apps that fail to attract sufficient attention and profits go bust).
Google’s App Inventor shows how clearly they believe in open. It’s hard to imagine Apple under Steve Jobs releasing such a project.
Go play with it. Let me know what you think.（source:gamesbrief）
9.17% of US teens own an iPhone, and 37% plan to buy one says Piper Jaffray’s survey
If Piper Jaffray’s annual survey of 4,500 teenagers in the US is anything to go by, Apple need not worry about the drop in iPod sales. Those parental wallets are now springing open to pick up iPhones.
The firm’s numbers suggest that 80 percent of teenagers own an MP3 player (86 percent of those opting for iPod), down from 90 percent last autumn.
However, this fall in share is coupled with the fact that 53 percent of teens now use their mobile to listen to music.
Apple for all
In that market, iPhone’s share of the pie is on the up and up. Piper Jaffray claims 17 percent of teens already own an iPhone, with 37 percent planning to buy one within the next six months.
Tablets are also gaining a foothold in the teen market.
22 percent claims to already have access to one, while a further 20 percent are looking to buy one before the end of the year.
Piper Jaffray doesn’t ascertain just which brands of tablet are proving most popular, but with estimates suggesting iPad enjoys more than an 84 percent share of market, Apple’s device is likely the dominant player.（source:pocketgamer）
10.Great launch, but publishers also want IAP, alternative billing, Game Center, and global rollout for Amazon Appstore
Apparently, it’s not just me who’s bullish about the arrival of the Amazon Appstore for Android – even though it’s still only available for residents of the US.
The arrival of the largest online western retailer, with over 130 million customers on its book, into the Android market, has been praised by game publishers too.
“Amazon is great at selling products and it will add a lot of value,” said Gamevil’s US head Kyu Lee, which has six games on the store.
“We’re very excited about the Amazon Appstore for Android,” echoed Namco Bandai Games America’s executive producer, mobile, Jonathan Kromrey, which also has six games available.
“It’s a perfect system to get mobile applications and games to the mass market,” concluded Christopher Kassulke, CEO of HandyGames – 16 games available.
Are we there yet?
But, like impatient children, the Android community isn’t completely satisfied. As well as rolling out the store to other countries – something Amazon is committed to but hasn’t announced a timetable for – there are other features on the wishlist.
Alexey Sazonov, sales and marketing director of Russian publisher HeroCraft is keen to see the Appstore offer additional payment methods, for example.
“This would make sense in territories in which Amazon doesn’t currently have a large presence with its online store,” he points out.
It’s a theme taken up by Namco Bandai’s Jonathan Kromrey, who’d also like to see Amazon match Google’s release of an official in-app purchase solution.
“We hope for frequent updates to meet the demand from our players, support for in-app purchases, and a system like Apple’s Game Center, with real-time multiplayer server support,” he says.
Building the open platform
For Gamevil’s Kyu Lee, a bigger install base is key.
“We’d like to see the market expand with more clients pre-installed on devices,” he adds.
But they’re all agreed that as an addition to the open Android ecosystem, the Amazon Appstore will be a very positive thing for everyone.
“Amazon Appstore is important because it helps the Android ecosystem evolve,” says Lee.
“The Android platform did not evolve due to Google’s efforts alone, but due to the values that the carriers and manufacturers also placed on the table.
“The carriers provided their best marketing and services, and the manufacturers provided their best handsets. Amazon is great at selling products and it will add a lot of value.” （source:pocketgamer）