Google Contributor was a very interesting proposition for those of us in the web publishing industry. It allowed sites like Android Police to offer readers an option to pay a little bit of money per month to remove some ads and thus have a better experience reading us while also helping us stay in business. It was launched in August of 2015 and has thus far stayed limited to users in the US. Today though, Contributor is being discontinued.
Users are receiving an email that explains that there's a new and improved version of Contributor that will launch "early next year" and that, in the meantime, the current Contributor will be discontinued. Read More
It seems like all hands are on deck to get Google's apps to conform on the new workmark. In all of the rush, a minor snafu occurred yesterday. A dogfood version (generally intended for internal testing) of the News & Weather app was uploaded to the Play Store, adorned with the cute little paw print badge. Well, the accident has been cleaned up and the proper version has been uploaded to the Play Store today. Let's just hope nobody had their noses rubbed anywhere.
Left: Old launcher icon. Center: Dogfood icon. Right: New launcher icon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
If you owned a game console at any point in the last thirty years, you've probably at least heard of Konami, Squaresoft, and Enix. If you consider yourself a gamer, you probably know their major franchises by heart. Castlevania. Final Fantasy. Dragon Warrior. Metal Gear. Konami and Square Enix are giants of gaming, at one point standing toe-to-toe with companies like EA and Nintendo, dominating the console landscape and releasing some of the most beloved video games of all time.
The times, they are a changing.
Earlier this week, Konami president Hideki Hayakawa told an interviewer from Nikkei Trendy Net that his company would "pursue mobile games aggressively... Read More
It's been a few days, but Google just posted the changelog to Newsstand 3.4, and it looks like a lot of algorithm changes. Read More
Free-to-play is a divisive topic in the games industry right now. Some developers and publishers, especially in the mobile gaming world, love it - free games get downloaded more, and they have the potential to bring in more revenue. Gamers used to the "pay once, pay forever" model of games and software in general over the last 30 years think it's changing the industry and damaging both the economics and the mechanics of gaming itself.
But at the end of the day, the decision of how to make a game, how to monetize it, and whether or not to adopt that tempting, lucrative, and divisive "pay to win" model should rest with the people actually making the game. Read More
Yesterday social gaming giant Zynga purchased NaturalMotion, developers of notable mobile games including the CSR Racing series, Backbreaker Football, and the official Jenga game for iOS and Android. TechCrunch reports that the $527 million purchase includes $391 million in cash and 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock. NaturalMotion operates offices in London, Oxford, Brighton, and San Francisco.
Zynga has plenty of apps for iOS and Android, notably Words With Friends and the official sequel to Draw Something (which Zynga got from another acquisition, OMGPop). But the company's stock price has been lagging below the $5 mark for over a year, about a third of their post-IPO high. Read More
Just one week after bringing Play Music to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, Google has reached a major licensing deal with Armonia, a music licensing initiative that represents an alliance of publishers from across Europe. The deal will give Play customers access to Armonia's 5.5 million musical works licensed across over 30 countries.
The Nexus One died for the general public, sadly, but continued to live on with the help of Google's own ADP (Android Developer Phone) program.
For an unsubsidized but reasonable price of $529, registered Android Market publishers (anyone can be for $25) could purchase this masterpiece, even though it was canned by Google and sold out pretty much everywhere else... until it sold out even as the ADP 3 weeks ago.
Nexus One Stock Update
Developers grew sad but Google got to work and started pestering HTC for more units. Happily, I can tell you that the Nexus One developer phone is available once again, this time with this friendly note:
Please Note: The limit of phone purchases has changed to 10 phones per transaction.