每日观察：关注Ad Block Trial手机应用等消息（5.14）
3）最近有一款声称可拦截应用内置广告的手机应用Ad Block Trial在Android Market现身，该产品的广告语宣称，“您是不是总在玩《愤怒的小鸟》过程中为那些内置广告而烦心呢？本产品将可有效助你拦截这些广告。”这款应用的测试版本仅限使用三天，其开发商还提醒用户注意，该产品不可与Task Killer应用兼容。有观察者认为，假如这款应用受到用户欢迎，那就很可能影响采用广告赞助模式的开发商利益。
4）在日前的英国Go Go Games大会上，Epic Games副总裁Mark Rein在发言中表示，他认为不同平台的AAA级游戏评判标准也各有差异，比如《愤怒的小鸟》以及该公司旗下的《无尽之剑》就属于手机平台的AAA游戏。
但同时也指出，手机游戏领域也会出现像《使命召唤》这种掌机游戏所遇到的开发成本大幅提升的问题。他认为虽然手机游戏的开发技术更加高端，出现了Unreal Engine 3等先进技术，但手机游戏市场仍需在营销和推广环节下足功夫才可能更为成熟。据他所称，这一行业的市场营销投入平均占其总营收的13%（游戏邦注：例如某款产品的总收益为1亿美元，那就应有130万美元的广告支出）。在他看来，目前最手机游戏推广上投入力度最大的是苹果公司，苹果在这一领域的广告投入甚至可能超过了索尼、任天堂或微软等公司。
5）游戏网站IGN日前推出了一款运行于控制器、掌上设备和手机游戏的签到型应用程序IGN dominate。这款免费应用支持用户在Xbox 360、PlayStation 3、Wii、3DS、PC、iOS和Android平台的游戏上签到，以成为某款游戏的“统治者”——这种功能与地理签到应用Foursquare的“市长”目标相似。除此之外，该应用还支持用户搜索IGN社区好友正在体验的游戏。但令人不解的是，尽管该应用支持运行于Android平台，但却并没有推出Android版本应用，而只有一款iOS应用。
6）Android Market最近推出新型开发工具，支持开发者针对不同的Android设备创建多个版本的应用。除此之外，开发者还可以在不同设备平台使用同一种APK，但如果使用多种APK就可以通过一个特定的APK文件，向特定的手机或平板电脑发布产品。尽管这项措施并不能彻底消除Android平台的分裂性问题，但确实有助于开发者减少针对不同手机、平板电脑以及Google TV等平台开发应用的麻烦。
7）据Cult of Mac报道，最近有开发者声称因其产品采用了苹果的应用内置计费系统而遭到诉讼威胁。科学计算器pCalc编码员James Thomson表示，他在自己的pCalc Lite版应用植入了苹果应用内置计费系统，结果却被告知这种做法侵犯了专利权，但奇怪的是Thomson拒绝透露起诉他的公司名称。Thomson现在只好冻结其计划发布的最新版pCalc（该应用刚通过苹果审核）。而另一名iOS开发者Partrick McCarron近日也收到了同样的将起诉其专利侵权的威胁通知。
8）法国游戏发行商Gameloft于日前重返Android Market大本营，并宣布将在该平台发售《Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus》这款第一人称射击游戏。有观察者称，谷歌Android Market最近大规模的功能调整和更新，有可能是Gameloft回心转意的重要原因。这个信号表明Gameloft接下来有可能一改往日作法，在谷歌Android Market投放更多游戏产品。与此同时，Gameloft并没有放弃其自主运营的Android手机游戏销售平台，最近还刚向自家门店发布了《NOVA 2》。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
1）Nearly 1 in 5 smartphone owners check-in with location-based apps in US
by Keith Andrew
Their role as a commercial entity is still being defined, but smartphone owners are taking to location-based apps in their millions according to numbers taken from comScore’s latest MobiLens report.
In fact, the firm states that 12.7 million smartphone owners use check-in tools on their handsets, accounting for 17.6 percent of the entire smartphone population – or almost 1 in 5, if you prefer.
Adding on feature phone users takes that total up to 16.7 million US mobile subscribers, but it’s the apps on smartphones that are really driving the genre’s growth.
“Although still in their relative infancy, location-based mobile check-in services are seeing rather impressive adoption among smartphone users,” said senior VP of mobile at comScore, Mark Donovan.
“The ability to interact with consumers on this micro-local level through special offers, deals and other incentives provides brands with the real-time opportunity to engage consumers through their mobile device.”
In all, locaton-based apps are most popular with people between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the groups with the lowest share is the teenage market, with 13 to 17 years olds making up just 8.3 percent of the check-in userbase.
This backs up a UK based study by communications agency Dubit earlier in May, which reported that location-based apps simply do not appeal to teenagers.
Across the pond
According to Dubit’s results, almost half of all UK teenagers haven’t even heard of location-based social networks, and of those that have, 58 percent don’t see the point of them.
Of those that do use apps to check-in, Facebook Places was the most popular, taking 30 percent of the market. Foursquare came in on 5 percent in second place.
According to Dubit’s head of research, Peter Robinson, users in the UK are yet to see a purpose to such apps.
“When Facebook Places launched much of the criticism was focused at its lack of gamification,” he said. “It just didn’t look fun.”
Nonetheless, for those that have made the leap, comScore claims Android is the platform of choice, making up 36.6 percent of all check-in service users in the US, ahead of iOS on 33.7 percent and BlackBerry on 22 percent.（source:pocketgamer）
2）OpenFeint Expands Free-To-Play Mobile Gaming Platform OFX To Android
by Leena Rao
Last year, OpenFeint launched the private beta of OpenFeint X (OFX), which offers indie developers the ability to create Zynga-like free-to-play games including microtransactions and virtual goods. Until now, the platform has only been available for iOS devices, but today, the company is expanding to Android phones with the private beta launch of OFX for Android.
OFX allows developers can create social games with a chat wall where players can interact with each other, a newsfeed showing recent in-game activity, and game nudges. OFX also offers the ability to build and run a full virtual goods store, stocking and selling virtual currency and goods, access detailed analytics, and include a game-specific currency wallet.
For games selected to participate in the private beta, OFX will use Google’s IAP to process payments. Future updates will include support for alternative payment providers, like direct-to-carrier billers. （source:techcrunch）
3）Android app claims to block in-app ads – including Angry Birds
by Stuart Dredge
Android app claims to block in-app ads – including Angry Birds
Ad Block is currently available in a trial version on the Android Market.
A number of games developers are adopting ad-supported strategies on Android, so they won’t be happy to hear of a new app that aims to block their ads.
Ad Block Trial went live on Android Market overnight with this blurb: “Are you tired of advertisement when you are playing Angry Bird? [sic] This App could help you to block advertisement.”
The trial version of the app can only be used for three days, and the developer warns that it won’t work if people have used the Task Killer application.
How does it work? Once Ad Block has been activated, the user can specify which apps they want to block ads in. When those apps are then launched, Ad Block disables the handset’s internet connections, before switching them on again once the app is closed.
This probably isn’t threatening Rovio’s Angry Birds revenues on its own, but if ad blocking starts to catch on, it will be interesting to see what Google’s reaction is.（source:mobile-ent）
4）Go Go Games: If you’re not making triple-A mobile games, you’re going to be in trouble says Epic’s Rein
by Jon Jordan
Continuing coverage of the Go Go Games mobile conference in Gateshead, UK, Mark Rein, Epic Games’ veep, talked about how the company best known for games such as Gears of Wars and its Unreal Engine 3 technology, was thinking about mobile gaming.
As might be expected in this context, he was big on the power of triple-A titles to dominate the market – indeed the title for his talk was To Infinity Blade and Beyond: Why Triple-A isn’t Going Away.
“Triple-A is different on different platforms,” he argued. “Angry Birds is triple-A for mobile.”
Similarly, Infinity Blade, developed by Epic subsidiary Chair Entertainment, was designed specifically to push the concept of triple-A on mobile devices.
“We wanted to keep the costs reasonable with a 10 man team, working for six months,” Rein said.
“But we also wanted to set the visual quality bar for iOS, and release a great experience at a premium price ($5.99).”
Scream if you want to go faster
But as the gap between budget and top-end titles such as Call of Duty and Gears of Wars has increased on console, he warned the same thing would happen and quicker on mobile.
“DirectX 11 is coming to mobile. We already have the power of Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chips, but its Kael-El chip doubles performance and be available in late 2011. The Wayne chip will offer 10 times performance in 2012, while Logan in 2013 will give 25 times performance.”
Hence, arguing that while PC and consoles will always have a 10-fold performance advantage over mobile due to power and heat management, the same tools (like Unreal Engine 3) now support all devices, enabling developers to release broadly similar content – scaled down for mobile of course – across them all.
Don’t be shy
There are some potential obstacles to this trend though.
Rein said the mobile games industry need to mature quickly in terms of its marketing and promotional campaigns; something especially vital as quality and budgets increase.
“There’s limited reach, with little TV or traditional marketing so companies are mainly using price elasticity, freemium models, or incentivised offerwalls to gain audience,” he said.
Pointing to a general industry average marketing spend of 13 percent of gross revenue (i.e. $13 million of ad spend for a product grosssing $100 million), he questioned which mobile companies would be the first to spend big on TV.
Of course, there is one company already spending big – Apple.
“Apple spends millions of dollars advertising mobile games, games that look good and push the platform,” Rein said.
“It’s probably spending more money marketing games than Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft.”（source:pocketgamer）
5）IGN Dominate is a Foursquare for console, handheld and mobile games
by Stuart Dredge
App lets people check in to their favourite games no matter what platform they’re playing on.
Gaming website network IGN has launched a social app called IGN Dominate, which offers Foursquare-style check-ins for console, handheld and mobile games.
The free app lets people check in to games on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, 3DS, PC, iOS and Android, with the aim of becoming the ‘Dominator’ of individual games – the equivalent of Foursquare’s mayors.
The app serves up a feed of friends’ check-ins, and aims to act as a way to discover new games based on what those friends – and the wider IGN community – are playing.
Curiously, given its support for Android, there is no Android version of the app yet – it’s iOS only. The app is available globally, and was published by IGN’s parent company Fox Interactive Media.（source:mobile-ent）
6）Android Market will soon allow developers to upload different app versions for different Android devices
by Andrew Kameka
Android fragmentation problems? Poppycock! Google has just confirmed that it is releasing new developer tools that should give developers – and consumers – a way to alleviate some of the stress that comes from Android growing so fast and to so many device types..
At the Google I/O 2011 breakout session “Android Market for Developers,” Eric Chu announced that developers will soon be able to design multiple versions of their apps that can work better with certain Android phones or tablets.
Beginning in June, Google will launch Multiple APK, which will allow Android developers to support apps on different screens, versions, and compression formats – all under one name in the Android Market. A developer will update the many versions of an app, and then the Market will automatically deliver the Motorola Xoom version to Xoom’s, Galaxy S II version to those phones, and so on. Developers can still have a single APK and use the manifest to show on a variety of devices, but Multiple APK gives them the optn to target specific phones/tablets with a specific APK file.
Anyone who browses the Android Market may recognize that there are frequent complaints saying “Doesn’t work on HTC EVO” or “Forces closes on Motorola Cliq.” Despite frequent diagnostic
reports and many attempts to address those problems, developers may often have trouble fixing issues related to one phone’s processor, software, or screen size. Changing the app to work with Hummingbird processors used in Samsung Galaxy S phones may then break connectivity with Snapdragon processors on the HTC EVO 4G. Multiple APK removes the need to have one file work across all devices; developers can have multiple versions when necessary.
While this does not erase fragmentation concerns for developers, it does give them more options for addressing problems associated with creating apps for so many different phones, tablets, Google TV’s, and the subsets of issues that arise from that process.（source:androinica）
7）iOS devs smacked with In-App Purchase patent suit warnings
By Chris Davies
Apple and Samsung may be playing out their own patent lawsuit battle, but the IP minefield has just gotten very real for independent iOS app developers too. A number of developers have reportedly been threatened with patent infringement for using Apple’s own in-app purchasing system, Cult of Mac reports, targeting individuals rather than Apple itself.
Scientific calculator pCalc coder James Thomson – who uses in-app purchasing for those wanting to step up to the full version from the free pCalc Lite – was first to be hit with a warning. “Just got hit by very worrying threat of patent infringement lawsuit for using in-app purchase in PCalc Lite. Legal docs arrived via fedex” he reported on Twitter. “I’ve been told that I am infringing their patent, they want me to license it, and I have 21 days” he further explained.
Thomson would not name the company which has threatened to sue him, instead handing over all details to Apple’s legal team. However, he was soon followed by fellow iOS dev Patrick McCarron, who also received a warning about patent infringement.
Thomson has frozen plans to release the latest version of pCalc – which ironically had just been approved by Apple – and is waiting on the Cupertino legal beavers to tell him what the next step will be.（source:slashgear）
8）Gameloft might sell even more games in the Android Market [Opinion]
by Andrew Kameka
Gameloft returned to the Android Market yesterday, announcing that Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is available for sale. The first person shooter can lead to excitement on it’s own merits, but it’s arrival also signals that Gameloft may make more trips to Google’s official Android app distribution channel.
Is Modern Combat being in the Android Market a freak occurrence? Hardly. This is Gameloft dipping its toes back in the Market waters and seeing how much business sense it makes to dive in. I spoke with a couple of Gameloft reps following yesterday’s announcement and learned that the company is intrigued by the strides Google has taken to prevent piracy and provide more options for distributing apps to different devices. Those concerns were part of the reason that Gameloft previously sold apps only through its own store. After our conversation, I got the impression that Gameloft coming to the Android Market more often is a very strong possibility.
Gameloft is not abandoning its self-run storefront. Yesterday’s launch of NOVA 2, which is still available only in the Gameloft store, shows at much. And we’ll probably see some games launch as device exclusives. However, it’s good to see that the company is reconsidering its stance on the official Android Market. Aside from Dungeon Hunter and Asphalt 5, two games that we raved about, the bulk of Gameloft’s library has not been available in the Android Market. That also meant it didn’t provide the protection of re-downloading to different devices owned by the user, standard billing, and not being available to many because of frustrating download errors.
I’ve gone on record saying that Gameloft produces some of the best Android games but the store was too much to deal with those results. The Android Market is much easier to use, so games like Modern Combat are better served. Here’s a trailer of the game, and a link to the Android Market if you want to purchase the game.（source:androinica）