If you thought flying a Flappy Bird was fiendish, just wait until you try swooping Swing Copters. So say new addicts of the latest free app from cult Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, who this week overcame his famous revulsion at his previous creation to release what looks like another hit.

Droves of instant Swing Copters devotees took to Twitter Friday to bemoan how guiding the propeller-headed hero through a landscape of deadly swinging obstacles was even closer to impossible than navigating Flappy Bird’s famously exasperating arrays of killer pipesRead more

Tim Bradshaw

In a mobile world where single-serving apps are replacing vast monolithic services, Jawbone on Thursday poured out a shot of Coffee: its new caffeine-consumption tracking app.

The move to a standalone app that does not require its Up wristband to work is a first for Jawbone, which is raising $250m in new funding. It comes as part of a big push by Jawbone to up its game in software and services, as step-counting gadgets fast become a commodityRead more

Robert Cookson

Criteo has started delivering personalised advertising within mobile apps, a big shift for the $2bn technology group that built its business on targeting ads within web browsers on desktops.

The Nasdaq-listed company is one of many ad tech groups rushing to bring techniques that are common on the web to the nascent but fast-growing market for targeted, real-time advertising in apps. Read more

Apple’s App Store economy was worth more than $10bn last year, the maker of the iPhone said today, after a record-breaking December saw more than $1bn in sales and almost 3bn app downloads. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

As a now-famous YouTube clip from 2010 shows, kids as young as 2 can operate an iPad, quickly learning how to open apps and play games. Unfortunately, some parents who used their iPad or iPhone as a babysitter ended up with a steep bill when their kids spent hundreds of dollars on virtual items in “free” games.

Five disgruntled parents blamed Apple for failing to provide appropriate controls around in-app purchases, and together filed a class-action lawsuit against the iPhone maker in 2011.

After fighting the case for two years, Apple agreed to settle last week, according to court filings first spotted by GigaOmRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Wooga, the social games developer behind Diamond Dash and Monster World, said it was profitable last year, but indicated that it had no immediate plans to follow rival Zynga onto the public markets.

“We were profitable for the year 2012,” said Jens Begemann, Wooga’s founder and chief executive at a press briefing in San Francisco where he also unveiled four new gamesRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook has overhauled its much-criticised application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, in the social network’s latest attempt to tackle the challenging transition from desktop to mobileRead more

Chris Nuttall

Apple appears to have acknowledged it needs to tighten up enforcement of its app guidelines following Path’s much-criticised uploading of users’ contacts to its servers without their knowledge.

“Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines,” an Apple spokesman told the FT. Read more

This week, Path, the social networking app, faced criticism for storing users’ information after Arun Thampi, a developer, discovered his iPhone’s address book was uploaded to Path’s servers without his permission.

While Dave Morin, CEO of Path, apologised in a post and vowed to delete the contacts from Path’s servers, tech commentators debated how iOS developers and Apple should deal with access to user data. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Listen carefully in the City of London and, very faintly, you may be able to hear the bell ringing for round two of Facebook’s simmering battle with Apple over mobile apps.

Bango, a small mobile payments firm, quietly announced to the stock market on Wednesday that it has “signed an agreement to provide payment services to Facebook”. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

For a company in the communication business, Whatsapp might be the least chatty start-up in Silicon Valley. The mobile-chat provider hit a huge milestone last week, with its users sending 1bn messages in a single day, it announced on Monday.

It’s a truly viral, word-of-mouth success story that’s all the more remarkable because it’s done so little press or marketing. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Downloads of Android’s apps overtook those of Apple’s iOS apps in the second quarter of 2001, Business Insider reports. According to figures from ABI Research, the market shares of Android and iOS were 44% and 31% respectively. However, Apple still gets more downloads per user than Android. Read more

Smartphone users have a wide range of mobile photo-sharing services, the latest phase of social media, to choose from. It’s starting to feel like if you’re not using a photo-sharing app, then you must be building one.

This week more new photo-sharing apps launched, while existing app Instagram passed a milestone. Read more

Joseph Menn

Perhaps the only surprising thing about Apple’s long-expected decision to end its US exclusivity with AT&T and bring the iPhone to Verizon Wireless is that it didn’t wait for the No. 1 network’s upgrade to much-faster 4G, which is still in process. The fact that it couldn’t wait shows how badly Apple wants to boost growth both for the gadgets themselves and more fundamentally for its slice of the mobile audience, where Google is pulling ahead. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth this week about some dismal iPad magazine app sales figures from the US Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Apple’s wonder-tablet was a contributing factor in the FT’s awarding Steve Jobs its person of the year and has been a huge success. But that success doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on traditional media companies just yet. Read more

David Gelles

Ebay is betting big on mobile shopping. Last month we revealed what a hit the Ebay iPhone app already had proved — ringing up $400m in sales.

“More than 4.6m people have downloaded the Ebay app,” we wrote, “using it to buy not just books and clothes, but also a Lamborghini, a $150,000 boat, and a Bentley.”

Now Ebay is rolling out a suite of new and upgraded mobile offerings. In addition to a refreshed Ebay iPhone App and a updated mobile website (, it is also debuting a new app called Deals. Read more

David Gelles

Starbucks unveiled a first-of-its-kind app today that lets users pay for in-store purchases using their iPhone, a move that could pave the way for a new generation of e-commerce applications on Apple’s popular phone.

With the Starbucks Card Mobile App, users can sync their prepaid Starbucks Card with the app, check their balance and refill it using a credit card. At some stores, they can also use the app to pay for Venti coffees and Frappuccinos.

When users select the “payment trial” function on the app, a QR code appears on the iPhone screen. A barista then scans the iPhone, deducting the cost from the Starbucks Card balance, and completing the purchase.

The trial is being rolled out at 16 locations in Seattle and Silicon Valley, where there is high usage of both iPhones and Starbucks Cards. But expect the programme to go nationwide soon, and for other retailers to follow. Read more

We all know that Google can count. The company based its IPO on a billion times the mathematical constant “e”, so I don’t doubt the arithmetic credentials at Mountain View.

So the launch of the Android market, the application store for the new G1 phone, indicates that the Android team needs to check their calculations. Read more