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23 Dec 12 Today’s Google Play surprise: The Polar Express


A lot of our readers haven’t exactly been thrilled with the surprises that Google Play is rolling out to celebrate the new year, and we can’t exactly blame them.

Yesterday, the surprise was the app version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas. At least developer Oceanhouse Media went the extra mile to put all of its other Dr. Seuss apps on sale as well. Still it’s not the $0.25 apps that a lot of folks wish it was.

Today’s deal is the Caldecott Award-winning picture book The Polar Express, discounted to $2.99 from its normally hefty price of $18.95. There’s no denying that this is a substantial discount, but given some of the other sales that big names like Square Enix are offering themselves, it seems like these may not be the deals that most users want.

If you do like today’s deal, and want to pick The Polar Express up while it’s still discounted, hit the Google Play link in the sources section below.

What do you think? Does it warm your heart to see the discount on The Polar Express? Or would you rather see deals like those we saw this time last year?

SOURCES Google Play

sprint-100-american-express-card Deal: $100 American Express Reward Card available with every Sprint smartphone purchase: Galaxy S3, EVO 4G LTE, iPhone and others google-play-happy-hotelidays Google Play counting down to 2013 with a new deal every day Google-Longest-Day-Deals Google Play’s Longest Day Deals is on, dozens of apps and games discounted google-play-free-live-stones Today’s Google Play surprise: Free Live Stones

Kristofer Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it’s called when someone makes videos. In his free time, he likes to make music, read and write short fiction.

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22 Dec 12 Apple App Store vs Google Play: trends and statistics

google vs apple app store

Distimo, an app market data and analytics company, has released a very interesting report into this year’s performance of the Apple App Store and Google Play. They’ve collected a ton of data on various aspects of each store: total revenue, the most popular download types, rate of growth, and a load of other stuff. So, let’s break down their report and look at some of the really interesting points.

Just how big is the app market?

According to the report there are now over 700,000 different applications available across both the Apple and Google platforms, and with the total market estimated to be worth around $22 billion we can safely assume that it’s a pretty huge market. It appears to be growing pretty quickly too, with the increasing adoption of tablets over traditional PCs, more and more users are getting their applications from app stores rather than traditional retailers.

The United States is still the largest market, followed by Japan, the UK and Australia. Google Play appears to be doing exceptionally well in Japan, where it sells almost as many apps as it does in the US, and it’s also doing incredible well in South Korea.

What are the most popular apps?

Distimo have collected the total number of app sales into various categories. We can see that gaming is by far the most popular, in terms of downloads, and generates the most revenue out of all the different app types.

google vs apple revenue by category

This isn’t really surprising when you consider the popularity of games like Draw Something or Grand Theft Auto. In fact, you can even check for yourself — if you browse the highest grossing apps on Google Play, the entire list is pretty much full of games. Widgets and entertainment are the second largest categories, with news being one of the smallest.

The trend seems to be that most apps are moving towards in-app purchasing, such as games that are free to play but let you buy upgrades. 69% of all apps generated their revenue from these types of transactions in 2012. Interestingly though, 35% of the revenue from the top 10 publishers was made by up front, one off fees, so in-app purchases don’t necessarily appear to be the most profitable way of generating revenue.

Who makes the most money?

Well, Apple definitely win this round; they more than quadruple the average daily revenue of the Google Play store. On an average day in November this year, the Apple App Store managed to pull in $15 Million, while Google Play only managed an average daily revenue of $3.5 Million. Those are still quite astonishing daily figures, but Google appears to be quite a long way behind its rival.

It also appears that Google Play is the slightly more expensive of the two. Perhaps lower prices on the Play store would encourage more customers to part with their money.

However when you look at the growth figures, over the past 4 months (August to November) Google grew at a rate of 43% in the world’s 20 largest counties, where as the Apple App Store only managed a 21% growth over the same period. When we look at the whole year, it appears that Apple managed growth of 51%, but sadly Distimo doesn’t have any figures to compare this figure against for Google.

When we look at growth on a region by region basis, the two platforms are showing slightly differently growth rates among their top five countries.

google vs apple region growth

It is worth noting that the US doesn’t appear in the top five growing regions for either Apple or Google, suggesting that the market is already much more saturated compared with Europe and Asia.

And the winner is?

It looks pretty clear that Apple is still the current market leader in terms of the overall app market, and it still has some very strong growth figures to back up their already impressive market share. But, as has always been the case with Android, the competition is catching up.

There are also still a few things to consider for the future. Firstly, given that the adoption of Android is growing rapidly, thanks in part to Samsung’s huge install base, this will no doubt trickle into Google’s share of the app market in the coming year. There’s also the tablet market to think about. Apple had a big head start with the iPad, and Android devices have only recently seen popular adoption by regular consumers.

Time will tell whether Google Play will ever match up to Apple’s revenue generating ability. From the stats it looks like Google has a lot of catching up to do, but with an ever growing install base it wouldn’t surprise me if we see even more impressive growth figures come the end of 2013.


google-play-store-apple-apps-garageband-imovie-iphoto-keynote-numbers-pages Fake Apple apps hit the Google Play Store: iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand and iWork suite Book Store Google Play Books and Movies now available in Russia, a week after Apple iTunes store launch apple-android 25 app developers take home 50% revenue from total App Store and Play Store sales, study says 2012-october-monthly-store-revenues-app-store-google-play-store Google Play revenue up 311%, but still four times less than Apple’s App Store

Long time Android user and supporter of anything open-source, Robert is a BSc graduate with an enduring fascination for technology. Glued to his Galaxy S2 there’s very little tech news which slips past him unnoticed.

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21 Dec 12 Pudding Monsters now available through Google Play

Pudding Monsters
A few weeks ago we reported that Zeptolab was preparing a new puzzle game, Pudding Monsters. Yesterday, the title officially landed in the Google Play store.

While the fun and cartoon-like styling of Pudding Monsters feels similar to Cut the Rope, the gameplay itself is actually quite a bit different. Your goal is to help little blobs of pudding connect so they can be large enough to rescue their friends and escape. Like Zeptolab’s Cut the Rope, the game also has optional stars that you can collect.

This game is about figuring out what does and what doesn’t work as you attempt to perfectly complete the puzzles in each level. Again, this game is rather different from Zeptolab’s last hit, but it does seem to be equally addicting. While puzzle solving can be hard, the game is geared towards casual players as well and offers in-game hints and help if you are truly stuck.

The game also has several unique monsters all with their own abilities and functions, which add to the puzzle experience.

So how much will Pudding Monsters set you back? The HD version is just $.99, or you can always try out the free version first. For those with multiple platforms, the game is also available on iPad and iPhone.

What do you think, interested or not?


SOURCES Google Play

amazing-alex-google-play-rovio Amazing Alex available in Google Play from Angry Birds creator puzzle-and-dragons Puzzle Dragons hits the Google Play Store, blocks rooted devices Dragon Eternity Free to play MMORPG Dragon Eternity from Game Insight coming soon to Google Play Pudding Monsters ZeptoLab unveils its lastest game, Pudding Monsters

Andrew Grush is a full-time freelance writer and blogger – primarily in the mobile tech industry. Andrew is very excited to be part of and is dedicated to providing the latest and greatest industry news possible.

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21 Dec 12 Redbox Instant app now available through Google Play

Redbox Instant

Last week we reported that Verizon and Redbox were preparing to launch their Netflix alternative, Redbox Instant. Now the app for the upcoming service has landed in the Google Play store.

At the moment, the service will require an invite access code before you can use it. You can request a code via their website, though that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to receive one. On top of needing the code, you will also have to pay $8 a month, though the first month is free.

So what’s included in that $8 subscription fee? You will get unlimited movie streaming and four monthly rentals from Redbox. You can also pay a dollar more to turn your Redbox rentals into Blu-ray discs. For now, gaming rentals aren’t included in the service, but here’s to hoping that this is added down the road.

While the price for the service might seem very low, it’s also worth noting that Redbox Instant will have a fairly limited selection when compared to more established streaming options like Hulu and Netflix. Redbox Instant is also only available in the United States.

For those wondering, while it is true that Verizon is Redbox’s partner for the new service, you are not required to have a Verizon phone or Internet subscription to use the service.

Outside of Android, the Redbox Instant will also support Samsung Blu-Ray players, Google TV, iOS, LG Smart TV and any TVs with SmartHub.

So what do you think, interested in giving Redbox Instant a try or will you stick with Netflix and/or Hulu for the time being?


SOURCES Google Play

Google Instant for Android going worldwide google-play-movie-rentals [Video] Google advertises movie rentals on Play Store, bananas and mirrors may be involved redbox Updated Redbox app for Android brings better browsing redbox instant coming soon Redbox Instant beta heading to Android and Google TV

Andrew Grush is a full-time freelance writer and blogger – primarily in the mobile tech industry. Andrew is very excited to be part of and is dedicated to providing the latest and greatest industry news possible.

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17 Dec 12 Puzzle & Dragons hits the Google Play Store, blocks rooted devices


Puzzle Dragons, originally released for iOS last month, has now made its way to Google’s Play Store for Android devices. Unless you’ve rooted your device, that is.

Described by developer GungHo Online Entertainment as a social puzzle role-playing game, Puzzle Dragons mixes and matches elements of jewel matching puzzle games like Bejeweled with simple RPG elements.

Ostensibly to prevent piracy, Puzzle Dragons refuses to run on rooted devices. The game’s page in the Play Store spells it out plainly:

Puzzle Dragons will not run on Rooted/Super User Android devices. If you observe the application starts but closes before splash screen pops, your device is likely rooted. To start the app, please turn off the Rooting/Super User option of your device.

Now, as most Android Authority readers are probably aware, rooting your device does not mean that you’re a pirate. Either GungHo is not aware of this, or they simply think that it’s worth alienating a large portion of its potential audience to prevent a few lost sales.

It’s pretty clear that this move has users upset, as the game currently has a 2.4-star rating in the Play Store, with 1-star reviews greatly outnumbering positive reviews. If you want to see the game for yourself (and you’re not rooted, of course) check out the Google Play Store link in the sources section below the article.

Are you running a rooted device? If so, is it keeping you from trying Puzzle Dragons, or would you not have been interested anyway?

SOURCES Google Play Store

To-Fu Puzzle platformer To-Fu: The Trials of Chi now available in Google Play for free total-defense-3d Total Defense 3D hits the Google Play Store Freeze Freeze! physics-based puzzle game is now available in the Play Store banner-snappy-dragons-2-app-review-120926 Snappy Dragons 2: Save the little dragons from the red mages

Kristofer Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it’s called when someone makes videos. In his free time, he likes to make music, read and write short fiction.

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17 Dec 12 Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade now available on Google Play

Final Fantasy

For those who are looking for a unique new Android gaming experience with familiar characters, Square Enix’s recently released Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade might be just the right choice. If you are used to the full on Final Fantasy experience, this might not be to your liking, but if you’re new to the social gaming platform and the types of games it includes, you will probably enjoy this game.

In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, you are working with others. Each player has their own ship, and you can form brigades with other players. Teams can take on bosses and get valuable gear to level up. Work to collect cards featuring Final Fantasy characters, join with your friends to defeat the boss, explore quest areas, and enjoy regular events. Like many other social multiplayer games for Android, this game uses the Mobage social gaming platform.  It is available for free from Google Play.

Currently the English translated version of this game is only available on North America. It’s hard to say when and if it will be available anywhere else.

Have you tried Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade? What do you think?

SOURCES Google Play

Final Fantasy 3 English version of Final Fantasy III finally hits Google Play, available for $15.99 final fantasy for android Remake of the original Final Fantasy hits Google Play for $6.99, sadly it’s an iOS port Final-Fantasy-Dimensions Square Enix to release Final Fantasy Dimensions in summer Final Fantasy Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade coming to North America

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