2）据USA Today报道，谷歌最近将其所有的云服务合为一体，打造成单个在线服务，并将其命名为Google Play。
该服务项目包括Android Market、Google Music和eBookstore，所有用户均可通过网页浏览器和Android设备访问Google Play。
该平台所有的Android应用将在未来数天进行更新，并更名为Google Play Store、Google Play Music、Google Play Movies和Google Play Apps。
但需要指出的是，该调查执行于2011年9月份亚马逊Kindle Fire和Barnes & Noble产品Nook Tablet面世之前（这两者均在2011年11月份发布），Kindle Fire如今的市场潜力不容小觑。
4）在最近的GDC智能手机及平板电脑游戏峰会上，手机游戏公司Pocket Gems首席营销官Ben Liu分享了公司免费增值游戏的成功之道。
《Tap Pet Hotel》（曾位居美国iPhone应用营收榜单第4名）这款游戏中的part rooms功能刚发布时，就有近100%的用户尝试该功能，但用户粘性（每天和每7天留存率）情况并不理想，盈利性也不甚乐观。后来团队重新迭代该功能，并成功使留存率提升了两倍，但Liu指出这个更新过程过长，耗时1个月以上。
6）据TouchArcade报道，独立开发商NimbleBit在GDC大会上透露公司下款iOS游戏名称为《Pocket Planes》，其美术风格与之前的《Tiny Tower》相似，也将呈现任天堂游戏式的视觉效果，但玩法却截然不同。
7）据techcrunch报道，OMGPOP公司近日宣布手机游戏《Draw Something》发布一个月下载量已达1200万次，DAU约710万，目前是美国App Store、Android Market免费及付费游戏榜单第一名。
该公司首席执行官Dan Porter表示，现在每小时约有50万条Twitter帖子提及该游戏。玩家在这款绘图游戏中可花钱购买不同颜色，以便快速筛选自己需要的字母或画出不同的内容。该游戏的0.99美元付费版本目前位居App Store应用营收榜单第2名，含IAP功能的免费版本则位居第9名，它是9个国家的iOS免费及付费应用榜单冠军。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
1）Mobile-first, indie gaming companies dominate with two-thirds of user sessions on Android, iOS
Independently-owned gaming companies that went mobile first are dominating gameplay sessions compared to established companies that crossed over from other platforms, according to Flurry.
These companies, which started their businesses on iOS and Android, have two-thirds of the gameplay sessions, according to the mobile analytics firm. Other companies like EA or Activision have just one-third of the gameplay sessions, and this includes companies these giants may have acquired like the Chillingo label. (For the record, I think “indie” is a little bit of a misnomer now since many of these mobile-first companies are growing up and have around 100 employees or roughly $20 million in venture funding like TinyCo.)
Flurry points to this as a sign of the health of the Android and iOS ecosystems. No single player has emerged to dominate either market, which would stifle innovation from other emerging companies.
“While we would have expected indie game developers to fare better early on in the history of iOS and Android mobile app platforms, it’s remarkable that their dominance to has grown over the last several years, with no signs of slowing,” wrote Peter Farago, Flurry’s vice president of marketing in a note.
“Indie” games saw their market share dip in beginning of the 2011 during an earlier wave of consolidation with Zynga buying Newtoy and DeNA buying Ngmoco and Gameview Studios. But independent companies pushed back and we’ve seen a few true indie game developers like Imangi Studios and NimbleBit hit some home runs over the past year.
Overall, as the raw footprint of Android and iOS reaches about 500 million active devices, gameplay sessions have quadrupled over last year. They have gone up by twenty-fold since 2010.
Games, as we’ve reported before, dominate with more than 50 percent of worldwide sessions, followed by social networking. Flurry is going to be highly unrepresentative on this front, however,because the company has no visibility into the 800-pound gorilla of all mobile apps: Facebook.（source:insidemobileapps）
2）Google unites digital services as Google Play
by James Gilmour
Google has brought all of its cloud-based digital services together to create a single online entity, which it has labelled Google Play.
The Android Market, Google Music, and the eBookstore have all been amalgamated into this one digital outlet, which will be available to all customers via web browsers and Android devices.
Speaking on Google’s official blog, director of digital content Jamie Rosenburg explained that users will be able to store up to 20,000 songs, download 450,000 apps and games, rent movies, and peruse upwards of 4 million books under this one virtual roof.
Canada and UK customers will enjoy all these services except the option to download movies.
All together now
“Entertainment is supposed to be fun. But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite – moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires… lots of wires,” the blog reads.
“Today we’re eliminating all that hassle with Google Play, a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books, and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet.”
One stop shop
According to Google, all the individual Android apps which previously provided these services will be updated over the next few days and rebranded as Google Play Store, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies, and Google Play Apps.
To mark this momentous occasion, Google will be running a “7 Days to Play” sale, in which one app, book, album, and movie will be discounted each day.（source:pocketgamer）
3）Tablet wars: iPad restricts Android tablet market share to five per cent
by Zen Terrelonge
Tablet wars: iPad restricts Android tablet market share to five per cent
Apple destroys competition with almost three-quarters of the market.
Tomorrow Apple will hold a conference for what is expected to be the unveiling of the iPad 3, but in the meantime, research from Forrester shows the popularity of Apple’s tablet, which dominates with a 73 per cent share of the tablet market.
While Android-powered tablets are the second most used after iOS, no Android tablet maker has more than a five per cent share against the iPad with Samsung on five per cent, Motorola on four per cent and Acer on three per cent.
Unless, of course, you include the now defunct HP TouchPad, which was reduced to $99 on its way out, helping it to secure six per cent of the market.
However, the data was found in September 2011, before Amazon and Barnes & Noble had released their respective Android-powered Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet (both launched in November). This is a significant point to highlight, given that the Kindle Fire currently occupies the number two tablet spot after selling a reported four million devices.
In a telephone interview, Sarah Rotman Epps, analyst, Forrester, said: “Tablets are about services. That is where Amazon has succeeded where others have failed.”（source:mobile-ent）
4）GDC 2012: Pocket Gems’ Ben Liu on launching games fast and iterating even faster for App Store success
by Jon Jordan
The best performing free-to-play mobile developer in 2011 was Pocket Gems.
It had the #1 and #4 top grossing iPhone apps of 2011 in the US with Tap Zoo and Tap Pet Hotel.
Kicking off the second day of the Smartphone & Tablet Gaming Summit at GDC, Ben Liu, Pocket Gems’ COO spoke about how the majority of its development is done post-launch.
Entitled ‘Hit Reset: Release is day one of the development cycle’, he said the company’s focus is, “How can we make a game feel as fresh and new as the day it was launched?”
Liu said its basic development cycle is to release earlier and then iterate quickly.
“As soon as we feel we have the kernel of the gameplay, we want to release it and see what the reaction is,” he said.
“In terms of Tap Zoo, we’ve created a new game out of what was very pure zoo gameplay.”
Once a game is live, Pocket Gems tries to release one new feature every two weeks and new content every week.
“New staff are surprised how fast we operate,” Liu said.
Tools for the job
Technology-wise, Pocket Gems uses an in-house engine for all its games, hence it’s been iterated over 14 projects.
“Server-wise, we can make changes on the fly to all game art and data, plus we have our own world-beating analytics tools. These are the foundation of our company.”
In the case of Tap Zoo, additions over time include the ability to cross-breed animals, collect different animal types, have multiple zoos plus a mission structure so players can make their own way through the game.
With Tap Pet Hotel, Liu focused on the feature of party rooms for multiple pets.
When it was launched, close to 100 percent of users tried the feature, but repeat engagement (1 day and 7 day retention metrics) wasn’t so good and monetisation wasn’t great either.
Hence, the team iterated the feature, especially in terms of the gifting method, which resulted in a two-fold increase in retention, although the update process took over a month, something Liu said was too long. （source:pocketgamer）
5）Apple Adds “Catalogs” Category In App Store In Advance Of iPad Event
Apple appears to have just added a new top-level category in the App Store: catalogs. With taxonomic equivalence to “News” and “Games,” it’s a fairly major addition and could signal a new direction into which the iPad may be venturing.
There are already catalog apps available: single-store apps like Ikea’s, and multi-store aggregators like Catalog Spree (the creators of which, naturally, first noticed the new category). But the new category means one of two things: Apple is pushing for more e-tailer presence in iOS, or there are just too many catalog apps clogging up the lifestyle section.
The category itself is empty at the moment, and it doesn’t appear in some versions of the app store. In iTunes, clicking the category leads to a broken page.
My first thought was the latter of those two options, considering there are quite a number in the App Store already, currently under the “Lifestyle” category. Going through them, some are now tagged catalog instead of lifestyle, mostly ones with “catalog” in their name or description. The Abercrombie and Fitch app, by comparison, while it does promise “jeggings, in every color imaginable,” is not labeled nor described as a catalog, though it seems to be one. But adding a whole new category just to reduce the noise in a naturally-noisy category like “lifestyle” seems like overkill.
It may be, then, that the catalog space is going to be pushed as a more important commercial partner – and that nice new screen would be a nice carrot to dangle in front of retail companies. If the iPad catalog can look just as good as their glossies, and impulse purchases can be made directly from the app, retailers might be able to swallow the heavy profit-sharing insisted upon by Apple.（source:techcrunch）
6）NimbleBit’s Pocket Planes soars over tiny towers on iPhone this summer
by Joe Osborne
The Tiny Tower creator looks to strike iPhone game gold once again. Pocket Planes is the NimbleBit’s next iOS game, revealed to TouchArcade at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San
Francisco. According to the website, this free-to-play game is markedly different from its predecessor, despite employing the same adorable, classic Nintendo-like art style.
In Pocket Planes, players will run their very own airline from a small-time operation into a global commercial flight empire akin to Virgin Airlines. (Though, we seriously things will go “Galactic” in Pocket Planes.) Players will have to ferry passengers around the globe in 100 percent customizable planes to real-life locations across a cute little map of the Earth.
Of course, the game will contain microtransactions, though NimbleBit promises TouchArcade that it will balance the money-making scheme so that it retains the fun factor for those who refuse to pay up. Based on this in-depth preview of the game, Pocket Planes sounds far more complex than Tiny Tower ever was, something NimbleBit is admittedly worried about.
That said, everyone knows the name Tiny Tower, thanks to both a “Game of the Year” nod on the App Store in late 2011 and … recent events. As excited as we are to see the next big NimbleBit game, we almost wish the developer would have waited a bit longer to reveal Pocket Planes. You know, so it could have a healthy head start? Pocket Planes is due out this summer.（source:games）
7）A Picture’s Worth 12 Million Downloads: Draw Something Is #1 on iOS and Android
Draw Something proves that if you provide an outlet for imagination, the whole world will play. One month after launch, OMGPOP’s CEO tells me its Pictionary-style mobile game now has 12 million downloads, around 7.1 million daily active users, and is the #1 free and paid game on both the U.S. App Store and Android Market (Google Play). If Draw Something can hold our attention now that it’s got it, the game could become the most popular thing on mobile since those disgruntled birds.
To get just how ridiculously popular Draw Something as become, here’s how it stacks up against the growth of Temple Run, Words With Friends, Instagram, and Pinterest:
The last blockbuster mobile game Temple Run only hit 7 million DAU after five months in the App Store, and for that it needed 20 million downloads
Words With Friends is one of the few games with more users at 8.9 million Facebook-logged in daily users, but it’s been out for over 18 months and those DAU are spread across both mobile and Facebook
It took Pinterest 5 months to reach 10 million U.S. monthly uniques (according to comScore)
Instagram hit 1 million users after three months, and 12 million after 14 months. Considering all of Draw Something’s downloads were in the last month, it technically already has 12 million monthly active users though some may be the same people on different devices
Of all those comparisons, OMGPOP’s CEO Dan Porter explains Draw Something is most similar to Instagram because it’s powered by creativity:
“This isn’t about a game like Angry Birds or Temple Run, which are awesome games but are single player and designed experiences. And this isn’t like a social game like Words With Friends which is also an awesome game, but played on a fixed game board. This is about communication. It is a structure or a platform for users to communicate back and forth through drawings and shared personal experiences.”
And users aren’t just trying the game out and forgetting about it. Porter tells me it has become a bona fide cultural phenomenon, with over 500,000 tweets per hour about the game. Soon the game will cross half a billion drawings. Similar to how Words With Friends rode up the charts on the back of a tweet by John Mayer, tweets by semi-celebrities Rosie O’Donnell, Tennessee Titans Safety Robert Johnson, and Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore have propelled growth.
Draw Something is making gobs of money too. Players pay for extra colors, to reduce the number of letters they choose from when guessing what a drawing is, or to draw a different word. The $0.99 paid version is the App Store’s #2 highest grossing app and the free version is the #9 highest grossing through these in-app purchases alone. The success spans the globe, as Draw Something is the #1 free and paid iOS app in over 9 countries.
As Porter told AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka last week, OMGPOP is rapidly building a team around the game, has moved off of Amazon to its own servers, and is hoping the network effect of its user base will help it fend off clones.
By listening to user feedback and integrating more social elements Draw Something could get even bigger. The top 3 feature requests from users are the options to chat, create profiles, and follow friends so you can play and share drawings with them.
While much of social gaming devolves into a series of scheduled clicks, it’s inspiring to see that we can still get excited about using our brains to create something on our own. Developers, don’t be afraid to make us think.（source:techcrunch）