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This Week at 148Apps: February 4-February 8

Posted by Chris Kirby on February 9th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad

This week at 148Apps.com all eyes were still pointed at Firemint's upcoming Real Racing 3. Site founder Jeff Scott writes, "Sister site Pocket Gamer editor Richard Brown discovered that Real Racing 3 is showing up in Game Center. The good news is that means it’s been approved by Apple and it can’t be long before the release now. While it’s not out yet, this does bring up something interesting. Something I noticed in the Game Center achievements lends a little to the accuracy of rumors and theories I’ve been hearing that Real Racing 3 will be released as a free to play game.

Last week we took you through a three part series about the history of the App Store icon, Real Racing. Rob Rich covered the history and design of the first two games in the series. He also covered time-shifted multiplayer and other new features expected in Real Racing 3. An excellent series and well worth a read. One thing we didn’t cover is how the game will be monetized as it has yet to be announced. That monetization method is likely to have huge implications on how the game is received by the fans of the series."

Want more? Read more at 148Apps.

GiggleApps.com writer Amy Solomon contributed a review of Whack A Bone: "Whack A Bone is a wonderful app for iPad that is truly an educational delight, teaching about the anatomy of bones found in the human body.

Nicely sectioned into groups, users will learn about the bones that make up one’s core, such as cranium, sternum or vertebrae which is grouped here into three different categories – cervical, thoracic and lumbar, as well as the arm and leg bones, each consisting of its own section as well.

To play this pirate-themed anatomy game, place the bones from the different sections back to their rightful places inside a skeleton with the direction of a talking parrot whose attitude kids will find witty and fun."

Read all about Whack A Bone at GiggleApps.

And what week would be complete without a KickStarter Spotlight on AndroidRundown.com. This week, writer Joseph Bertolini focuses on Freedom Planet: "It has been a while since we have really taken an in depth look to one of the fields in which KickStarter has benefited the most; indie game developers. As most everyone knows, indie game sales have exploded over the last few years; bolstered by better distribution methods like Steam and a more willing Sony and Microsoft. It goes without saying that a strong indie market is one of the most important factors to a great gaming industry. Recognizing this, our choice for this week’s KickStarter Spotlight is Freedom Planet, a game that will harken strongly back to the days when Sonic and MegaMan were dominating the console market."

Follow up on this Kickstarter Spotlight on AndroidRundown.

Another week down, but another one right around the corner! Keep track of the latest happenings by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. You'll be glad you did! See you next week.

100% Indie - Chillingo's Next Big Thing

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 6th, 2013

Chillingo in partnership with Samsung have announced their plans to develop a new indie-focused game developer portal, 100% Indie. While on the surface the message is to create a resource to inspire game developers to create great games, the end goal is to promote Android game submissions for the Samsung Apps market.

Chillingo co-founders Chris Byatte and Joe Wee are spearheading the new initiative to inspire mobile game developers which they have declared is Chillingo's "next big thing." The 100% Indie program will be a website dedicated to bringing inspirational and informative articles to experienced and new game developers alike. Content for the 100% Indie site will come from more than just game developers though with filmmakers, musicians, and other creative types expected to contribute to the site to create a library of content all focused on helping developers make better games.

The end goal with the website is to draw the interest of developers by providing them with inspirational materials while hopefully persuading them to submit Android games to the Samsung Apps market. Fairly aggressive revenue share has been announced that ramps up, in tiers, to the industry standard 70% two years after launch of the program.

"Developers will receive 100% revenue from March 4, 2013 – September 3, 2013, 90% revenue share from September 4, 2013 – March 3, 2014, 80% revenue share from March 4, 2014 – March 3, 2015, and after March 4, 2015 on Samsung Apps, developers will begin receiving the industry-standard 70% revenue share."

Developer submitting games to the Samsung Apps market through the 100% Indie program won't need to be exclusive. Those same games can be released on there other Android app markets as well. It should also be noted that games submitted through this program will not go through the normal process Chillingo follows to help fine-tune the game. Chillingo will be doing just "light curation" to the games submitted in the program.

It must be pointed out that Chillingo isn't very well known for their Android support. Until the past quarter they had just dipped a cautious toe into the Android pool. But Chillingo still feels that they are in a perfect position to build the Samsung Apps catalog with games. "[Chillingo has] great relationships with great developers. Lots of our developers are cross-platform and have experience in Android" notes Mr. Byatte.

The 100% Indie portal launches today at http://www.100percentindie.com with the program kicking off officially on March 4th.

Link: Even Samsung Fans Want an iPhone 5

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 18th, 2012

From Loop Insight today: Samsung got some unexpected answers to their question of "What electronic device would you want with you on a deserted island" on their Facebook page. Lots of people responded, the iPhone 5 would be their deserted island device.

Credit to Samsung -- at least the didn't go all crazy and delete the answers.

Why is the iPhone 5 Boring? It Needs To Be; Usable is Boring.

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 17th, 2012

In spite of preorders of over 2 million iPhone 5s in less than 24 hours, the iPhone 5 is boring. Yes, it's true. It's boring. But, it needs to be. You see, boring works, boring is usable.

First, what is boring about it? It improves on every single aspect of the iPhone 4S. Some features are considerably better. LTE data speed is astonishing. The overall speed of the device, faster than any Android phone, is amazingly responsive. The screen expands for the first time ever in a uniquely usable way. So why then, is it boring? Because it's Apple.

Apple has a track record of revising their products in ways that don't vastly change the device in any single iteration. And that's the case here. The device is amazingly more usable, but it's not that different. Well that is until you start using it. Those writing that it's boring don't have the device yet.

You have to remember that there are a few fundamental things that set Apple devices apart from other device manufacturers:

Apple doesn't add features people won't use.

Apple doesn't add features they can't control.

Apple makes stuff that just works.

Apple innovates through revising what works, not bulk overhaul.

Many in the media expect every company to add "amazing" new features with every revision. There's a problem with that though, most of those amazing features are unintutive, uneeded, and unwanted. But, those features take up words and make writing about the devices easier. The reality is that no one uses these oddball, yet somehow banner features like the stuff Samsung adds with every new product revision. Whizbang features do not equate with usable features. Apple is more pragmatic than that and add features that work and that people will use.

What's the summary of all this? The iPhone 5 is fastest, most usable, feature rich, and amazing, yet boring phone ever.

I can't wait for my boring new iPhone.

Opinion: Five Things Apple Needs to Overcome for the iPhone 5 to Succeed

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 11th, 2012

Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 5 at a press event this week in San Francisco. The release of the iPhone 5 should follow shortly after that, perhaps as early as September 21st. Without any consideration of the new hardware, there are already a few hurdles that Apple will need to overcome to allow the iPhone 5 and successive devices to reach their full potential.

Took a Samsung to the knee

The problems with Samsung are really two-fold. The most immediatly pressing are the rumors that Samsung will attempt to file an injunction to stop the sale of the iPhone 5 if that device supports LTE. With their pride still quite hurt from losing their latest patent battle in the US with Apple, they are looking for a way to regain a bit of pride. What better way than to mark it's territory and stop the iPhone 5 from being released by filing for an injunction based on their LTE patent portfolio.

On the flip side, Apple also has quite a few LTE related patents, recently purchased and the ones they already had. This should stop a judge from allowing the injunction, but you never really know with technology and judges. If this happens, expect a bit of a stock hit.

The long term problem with Samsung is their step-by-step duplication of Apple innovations. This will take Apple a long time to overcome in the courts, though recent court rulings have been both for and against Apple. It's a long road, and unfortunately will slow down both companies, and others in the industry. The only real winners in the fight will be the lawyers, as usual.