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Good googly-moogly, it’s already hump day! And judging from social gaming giant Zynga, it must be a good one for the folks over at OMGPOP, whose popular Draw Something app (and 34 other titles) have just been snapped up in an acquisition. Anyone feeling up to acquiring an overworked tech blogger or two? We work really hard and we don’t require much care and feeding, honest! Well, no takers here, it seems… so let’s get busy spreading the news for this wonderful Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
The Loop is reporting that Apple’s new iPhoto for iOS app has already snapped up a million users, just shy of 10 days since its release. Before you ask, that figure is actual paying customers rather than downloads -- users who might have bought the app once and downloaded multiple times doesn’t count toward the total. At $4.99, that’s another $5 million in Apple’s already bulging coffers! (Chump change these days, we’re sure.) The good news is they’re not just taking a 30 percent slice of the pie as they do with third-party apps -- it’s all theirs.
If you had a hot new mobile game that’s already been downloaded 30 million times in only six weeks, what would your next move be? In the case of Draw Something developer OMGPOP, that would be selling the company to an even bigger competitor -- namely Zynga, the social gaming giant best known for those Facebook games all of your friends annoy you into playing. The news was announced on the Zynga blog today after rumors swirled across the internet in recent days, although neither company has publicly pinned a price tag on the acquisition. Business Insider is saying somewhere between $180 and $210 million, which Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf believes is $800 million too little. But it was apparently enough for overnight sensation OMGPOP, founded in 2006 but relatively obscure until recently, despite a catalog of 35 multiplayer social games to their name. Any way you slice it, it’s a lot of cash for a small game studio out of New York City, and CEO Dan Porter will be sticking around to manage Zynga’s East Coast interests.
Sure, iPhoto for iOS is awesome (Apple sold a million copies, after all) and those new Journals are pretty slick, too. But what if you’d rather make an interactive book out of your photos, keeping them on your iPad rather than sharing them with the world? Metakine Inc. has just announced a new app called Souvenir which does exactly that. Billed as “a nicer way to look at photos on your iPad,” the Retina Display-optimized app turns iPad photos into virtual photo books, with covers you design. Each album winds up as a book on a shelf, which you can “take down” with your fingers and flip through at your own leisure. Souvenir also cleverly includes a handy radio feature for selecting music from your device to play in the background as you browse. A variety of different themes complete the package. Souvenir is available now from the App Store for only 99 cents, and the 106MB app is compatible with all iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.
While most of the attention gets focused on Apple and Google slugging it out on domestic shores with iOS and Android, it seems China has quietly been racking up the activations. According to the Flurry Blog, China ranked tenth in “application sessions” a year ago, closing out 2011 in second place for total devices. But “for the first time ever, China now leads in new smart device adoption (iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.)” China’s growth is so explosive, it’s nearly double that of the next fastest growing country, Argentina, and eclipses other giant nations such as Russia. But don’t get too cocky just yet, China: America is still the king when it comes to unit sales, with twice as many devices sold here -- for now.
Biscuit is back with a new storybook app from iStoryTime and their partners at HarperCollins Children’s Books. Entitled Biscuit’s Birthday, the fifth addition to the Biscuit series for iOS and Android finds that loveable yellow puppy inviting children to celebrate his birthday, complete with a digital coloring book, memory game (for iOS only) and puzzle that’s perfect for little fingers. Developed in-house by iStoryTime, every page of Biscuit’s Birthday features narration, animations and sounds, and beautiful illustrations by Pat Schories, which all come together to bring author Alyssa Satin Capucilli’s wonderful and popular book to life. Biscuit’s Birthday is now available from the App Store for only $2.99, and the 74.6MB download is compatible with all devices running iOS 4.2 or later.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter