Uberdownloads Blog
Zynga Acquires OMGPOP, Draw Something

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Zygna appears to be doing just that in their latest acquisition of OMGPOP.

The final purchase amount of the popular gaming startup is undisclosed, but estimates circle around $200 million.

Who is OMGPOP? Well, until about 6 weeks ago, they were somewhat unknown.

And then Draw Something happened.

Draw Something is the runaway game with friends that is akin to Pictionary. The smash hit has garnered 35 million downloads in 6 week.

It even passed Zynga’s Words With Friends game as the most popular game on Facebook by daily active users.

So that left Zynga with 2 options—create a drawing game to compete, or lend their expertise to those who might want it.

Luckily for Zynga, the 40-person OMGPOP decided to hand over the reins. How this move will affect the future of both Draw Something and OMGPOP remains to be seen …

Angry Birds Space: A New Fling

The Angry Birds are exploring space: the final frontier.

In Rovio’s latest installment, our fowl friends are boldy going where no bird has gone before.

Angry Birds Space promises to bring new challenges and fun to users, and rekindle the fling for those who might have grown tired of the fowl-flinging formula.

Angry Birds Space puts a new spin on things with gravity-oriented physics.

Instead of flinging birds in one direction, an Angry Bird might curve around a moon or get caught in orbit. Other times, you’ll need to fling a bird below a target, or even left instead of right.

Angry Birds Space has 60 levels of fowl fun, and even throws in a few surprises along the way.

One surprise is the “golden eggsteroid”—if you hit the asteroid mid-level, users will travel through a wormhole and into a separate mini-game. Mini-games include more pig-alien smashing challenges, including a parody of Space Invaders.

Angry Birds Space is now available for Android, iOS, PC, and Mac. The HD version is USD $2.99, while the non-HD version costs USD $0.99. Of course, there is always the ad-supported version available for free.

iPad3 Release Attracts Eager Crowds

Not much has changed from the previous version of the iPad, but crowds of fans still gathered to be the first to get their hands on the iPad3.

Although you could pre-order the iPad3 starting March 7–the day Apple announced the updated model–many hardcore fans did not want to wait those precious hours for the mailman.

Instead they chose to wait in line at Apple stores, as well as some Best Buys and Walmarts, who had some iPad3s available at midnight.

Reports show that lines at the flagship Apple store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue spanned more than a city block, and fans filled several corridors at the new Grand Central store.

In San Francisco, lines were of similar caliber, with eager hoards lining up at the Market St. store and other Apple outlets.

Protestors also accompanied the throngs of fans in line—Change.org was in attendance trying to gather 250,000 signatures to petition Apple to improve its working conditions for factory employees in China.

The new iPad’s flashiest feature is a high-pixel-count “retina display” previously available only on the iPhone. The new iPad screen has 3.1 million pixels. It also features a faster processor and a 4G radio.

Google Play Goes Live

Google’s content portal for Android apps, music, books and video content has been consolidated under a new name—Google Play.

Google Play is now live at play.google.com and will be a one-stop-shop that will replace the old Android Market, Google Music, Google Books and Videos.

Despite the new branding, how you buy music, apps and other content from Google on your phone or tablet will not change.

Google Play also brings a touch of social networking to the content portal. Through Google Play, you can tell friends what you’ve purchased, see what your friends are buying, and share music, books, movies, and more!

To celebrate the unveiling of Google Play, Android put 25 leadings app on sale for USD $0.49. The 49-cent apps include top-tier games and programs like World of Goo, Osmos HD, Dead Space and SwiftKey X.

Google Play has also revealed the new daily feature “Play of the Day”, where one app is just USD $0.25!

Android users with the old Android Market app installed will receive the update to Google Play Store. Look out for updates from your phone or tablet when you launch your Android Market app.

Apple, Book Publishers Face E-Book Antitrust Lawsuit

The U.S. Justice Department plans to sue Apple and 5 U.S. publishers for alleged price-fixing on e-books.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the lawsuit is based on changes made to how publishers charge for e-books when Apple released the first iPad.

Book publishers began using an “agency model” in which publishers set their own e-book prices, rather than the traditional wholesale model in which publishers set a retail price and retailers set their own sales price.

The controversy began when the pricing model materialized in 2010 after book publishers asked Amazon to increase the price of e-books on its Web site.

Amazon stood firm in its contention that anything above $9.99 was too high, and used lower e-book prices to attract users to its e-book reader, Kindle. Amazon eventually relented after many popular Macmillan titles disappeared from the e-tailer’s site.

Now it appears that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs was behind the push for the high pricing model. In Steve Jobs’ biography, Walter Isaacson offered this revealing quote.

“We told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more.’ They went to Amazon and said, ‘You’re going to sing an agency contract or we’re not going to give you books.’”

Now the feds aren’t taking this secret agreement lightly and plan to sue Apple, as well as publishers HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

Several of the parties expected to be named as defendants have already begun discussions with regulators to head off an expensive antitrust court battle, the newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Apple Unveils iPad3

Apple unveiled the newest iPad—and reset the goal line for tablet competitors once again.

Apple put all the rumors to rest today when they announced the addition of their newest mobile device: iPad3.

iPad3 offers a higher resolution Retina Display similar to the iPhone 4 and 4S. The Retina Display has a resolution of 2,044 by 1,536 pixels (or 3.1 million pixels).

iPad3 also boasts an updated A5X processor, which Apple says is four times as fast as the nearest competition.

iPad3 will feature a 4G connection, and is the first Apple device to tap into the super-fast 4G LTE network. A 4G connected iPad can double as a mobile hotspot.

Like the iPhone 4S, the iPad3 features a backside 5-megapixel camera that allows for 1080p video recording and image stabilization.

Apple said the battery life will remain the same—roughly 10 hours—although it could drop down when using 4G.

The new iPad’s pricing scheme is similar to the iPad2. Starting at $499 for the WiFi-only 16GB version and $629 for the 4G 16GB version. Apple has not announced its release date. However, you can pre-order the iPad3 through the Apple website.

Zynga Launches Own Gaming Portal

Zynga appears to be cutting ties from Facebook with 2 major changes they announced on March 1.

First, Zynga  launched its own games portal—Zynga.com—where players can play Zynga games directly, rather than through the Facebook platform.

Zynga.com will support five games—CastleVille, CityVille, Hidden Chronicles, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker.

The portal will also have game-focused social network functions, and allow users to play against people not in the Facebook networks.

Second, Zynga is opening up its platform—Row Sham Bow and MobScience will be rolling out games on Zynga.com.

Later, Zynga will open up to independent developers, providing a version of the software development kit Zynga uses internally.

These 2 moves give Zynga the gaming company room for growth and maneuverability within the industry. But, it’s not quite cutting its ties with Facebook—the social network giant that Zynga has had a tight symbiotic relationship with thus far.

Zynga bills their gaming portal as a “superset” of Facebook—where you can interact with you Facebook friends network, while also playing against those not in your friends network.

In order to access the Zynga.com gaming portal, users will need to use their Facebook ID. Also, in-game purchases will still be made using Facebook credits, and Zynga’s fee to Facebook for those credits will be unchanged.

Zynga also hopes to promote synchronous play through their gaming portal. This is a departure from the asynchronous play that takes place now, mostly through Facebook.

For example, if you’re a 25-year old who tends to play between 6pm and midnight (presumably when you are not at work), you will be matched to play with others of a similar status.

The gaming-focused portal is a great draw, especially for those who are committed Zynga players. Zynga.com promises focused, uninterrupted gaming experience where players can chat and see game related activities without pause.

How Google’s Privacy Policy Affects You

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet lately, you’ve probably heard about the ominous Google privacy policy changes.

On March 1, Google implemented a new “unified” privacy policy which allows Google to combine and manipulate data from its 60 free services.

Sound scary? Well, it’s actually not as bad as it seems. Google has been collecting user data from its services separately, but not using it to market products and services to users across Google’s multiple platforms.

Google made no secret of its intentions—pop-up alerts warning of the transition have been around for weeks. Yet, some in the media tried to scare users, with the most extreme saying that Google was turning into a Big Brother of sorts.

In truth, Google is only continuing what it’s been doing, with the goal of enhancing the user experience. Google aims to build comprehensive profiles of each user, in hopes of making our Web searching experience more personal—and ultimately easier.

But what does Google’s privacy policy change mean for you? For users of Google services, you’ll see a change in the suggested items and ads that are being served to you.

For example, if you write an email in Gmail to your mother about the wonderful new kitten you just rescued from the shelter, expect to see suggestions of funny cat videos in YouTube, or suggestions for Petco or groomers in your area when you use Google Maps.

Feeling better now? Here’s some key points to remember about Google’s new privacy policy:

  • Google isn’t collecting more information, just using it differently. The big misconception is Google will suddenly gain access to information they didn’t have before. The reality is that they are just combining all the information they already have to create a “super profile” of each user.
  • Clearing your web history can help. But it won’t stop Google from tracking your Web activity. Any search you perform in Google, even if you don’t sign into your account, is still tracked for “internal use”.
  • There are some workarounds. While it may be impossible to stop using Google services completely, there are things you can do to minimize the amount of data collected. You could attempt to “confuse” Google with multiple accounts, or add “do not track” to all your browsers.
  • Google Books, Chrome, and Wallet will not be affected. These services, despite being Google services, will maintain independent privacy policies.