Gameloft has announced that through the first half of 2011, they have hit €76.8 Million (about 110 million USD) in sales, which is up 15 percent from last year. Smartphone and tablet sales are up 55 percent, and account for 30 percent of the total. The second quarter alone saw €37.4 million (about 53 million USD), which is up 11 percent, even with the weak US dollar -- using a constant rate of exchange those sales grew by 16 percent. These second quarter sales break down to 33 percent from Europe, 28 percent from North America, and 39 percent for the rest of the world.
Gameloft expects to launch 20 new smartphone and tablet games during the second half of this year, so their outlook for sustained growth of this nature is good. While they may not have the best distribution model for the Android platform, you have to admit their games are very well done. We're looking forward to what's coming from Gameloft, and I'm sure more than a few of you guys are, too. Hit the break for the full announcement.
Here's a neat little live wallpaper we got turned onto by Mozilla's Matt Brubeck. Bubbleator is a live wallpaper that "brings the things you care about to your home screen." And, sure enough, it does just that, scrolling info from your calendar, missed calls, text messages, Facebook and Twitter.
You've got a fair amount of customizations available, from the background image to the speed at which items speed by, to the position of the stream (top, middle or bottom). You can choose which category you want to call into the stream, and how often you want them to update.
Visually, Bubbleator's nicely done. You'll need to design your home screens around the Bubbleator streams, of course, but the top-middle-bottom options help with that. Bubbleator also works on the lock screen, and best of all, it's free.
Here's one for all you Lego geeks out there (which includes us, of course). The popular Creationary game has come to Android. Like the traditional board game, the premise is simple: Roll a die and get a category. Then start building, and your opponents have to guess what you're building.
This actually is a little harder than it sounds. The game gives you four objects from which to guess. But as the Lego form takes shape, you'll find that it's really a rough design compared to the example picture. The quicker you identify what's being built, the more points you get. Choosing poorly ends the game.
The game's surprisingly fun, and, best of all, it's free. We've got download links after the break.
Whoopsie. As great as Google Maps Version 5.8 may be with its fancy photo uploads, better search results and new Places features, a pretty big bug managed to sneak its way through. Open up Navigation and try to navigate to one of your contacts, and suddenly you're not nearly as cool as you once were -- it doesn't recognize that you actually have any contacts.
Uninstalling the Google Maps update seems to fix things, but let's hope Google rolls out a fix of its own soonest.
Thanks, David, and everyone else who sent this in!
So you want some more apps installed on your favorite Android device, but don't know exactly what to download? Fear not, we bring you another edition of our favorite applications, in hopes that they will soon become some of your favorites as well. Take a jump past the break, and check out our favorites for this past week!
Android tablets are great educational (and babysitting) tools. And it's with that in mind that we take a look at Kids Maps, as reviewed by a soon-to-be 5-year-old.
Kids Maps is really nicely done, blurring the line between puzzle and teaching tool. You've got 50 states, and you have to put them in the right place. When a new state appears, you get a quick fact about it. For instance: Polar bears live in Alaska. Betcha didn't know that.
Gameplay's really simple -- you just drag the state to the empty map. Dragging is smooth, but it's pretty easy to just drag the state around until it finds the right spot, as you'll see my little cheater do in the video. If you do manage to drop the state in the wrong place more than a couple times, it'll outline the correct spot.
There aren't many options to this one -- you can choose either to place states randomly, or receive them alphabetically, which can be helpful if someone's having to learn the states in alphabetical order.
The game itself is really nice done, with nice music and clear speech and instructions. Our only real complaints are that 50 states are a lot to do in one sitting -- perhaps breaking it down by regions might make things a little more fun. Also, more facts will make playing it a second and third time a little more fun. But if you've got a budding geography expert who also loves puzzles, you could spend $2.99 worse ways.
We've got download links after the breaks if you want to give Kids Maps a go.
Because I like you guys and because I know some of you are pining away for a beta key, I thought I'd show everyone the first level of Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles.
Yes, the first level is short, but it's nothing short of superb. The makers of Pocket Legends really know how to craft a quality, seems-pretty-epic mobile MMO. Hopefully we'll have some more beta keys to giveaway soon, but until then, this will have to tie you over.
The Photon wasn't -- and as of this writing still isn't -- on the list of supported devices. But Netflix is visible in the Android Market on the Photon, downloads and installs just fine, and we were watching Toy Story 3 in no time at all.
Not sure if this is an oversight, or if we're just lucky, but either way, it's a good thing.
O'Reilly's Android Open conference, being held Oct. 9-11 in San Francisco, is looking for modders, hackers, and DIY-ers to participate in the Mini Maker Faire on the final day of the event. They are looking for any project that involves Android hardware or an embedded board running Android, but are specifically looking for projects that feature:
A new Amazon App Store update is now rolling out to users. Once updated you'll be sitting pretty at v1.15 that brings with it some nice improvements and things that should satisfy both users and developers who place their apps in there. The change log:
Feature: Improved the initiation of search
Feature: Improved app compatibility check
Feature: Improved customer feedback
Fixed: Customer reviews bug
Fixed: Periodic install failure on Android 1.6
Fixed: Rotation issues on purchase
Fixed: Force-close on repeat taps on refine button
Fixed: Search box bug
Amazon took some heat over their feedback process and app compatibility checking recently, so the changes in the list are welcome. If you're not seeing the update as of yet, open the app up and check for updates manually -- it should show up for you after that.
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