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TinyTap, a Tel Aviv-based platform which allows children to create their own mobile games and “playable” books, is now expanding from the iPad to the iPhone, as it also launches its own social marketplace for apps. Here, users can sell their TinyTap creations to others, or just share them for free. The move comes roughly six months after the company announced its half a million dollar seed round, and detailed its plans for this “app store within an app.”
While Apple has long since banned apps mimicking its own App Store, TinyTap’s “app store” shouldn’t be of concern – it’s really more about selling additional content through in-app purchases than it is about promoting applications for profit or to game Apple’s charts, which was the problem Apple had aimed to address.
Instead, users can now build their own games or interactive stories using TinyTap’s various game engines and included content, as well as customize those games with their own photos, camera shots, music, narration and more. For younger children, it’s a small step towards teaching them the concept of how games are made, using simple templates and step-by-step game building wizards. However, this is no “kids learning-to-code” program, as TinyTap is a visual game builder, and is meant for children ages four and older, to give you an idea of its target market.
But the new TinyTap Social Market is different. The resource is used primarily by teachers and parents to promote their own creations. Since its launch two weeks ago, over 5,000 games have been shared here – 45% are English, 25% Spanish, and 10% are Chinese, the company says. Publishing here is currently free, but may be a paid service in the future.
Users also receive their own profile to promote their educational games. For example: here’s a school in the U.K. which produced a series of astronomy games; here are games produced by a teacher for assessing visual perception; here are some games in Chinese; and here are Spanish games with original illustrations.
Many of these games today are sold for free, with just a few customers using the in-app purchase option, which has only been available upon review and request, co-founder Yogev Shelly tells us. Kids animation studio TuTiTu is one early adopter, and another for-sale game was built by a baby’s toy company, which Shelly is not permitted to disclose by name. The app review process takes around three days, and the games sell for $0.99+.
Shelly says TinyTap’s install base has just crossed over 200,000 (60 percent active), and has been growing at 500 percent per month. The team hopes this number will now grow further with the official launch of the marketplace and the debut of the iPhone version of the application, he adds.
Also new today is another service which will allow these creators to reach the larger App Store market, by having TinyTap package their game as standalone apps for $199. (More on that here). While it’s doubtful that such a move would result in the next big kids gaming hit, it could be a good starting point for testing the waters of the larger market before committing to more serious app development, or just for more casual game development efforts in general.
The updated version of TinyTap, now iPhone-optimized, is available here.
Read the original post: Kids DIY Game Creation App TinyTap Heads To iPhone, Launches Its Own App Store
Times Square is where Samsung is gearing up to unveil the Galaxy S IV tonight at a special press event, but the leaks won’t stop coming. The latest, from the same Chinese source that brought us videos of key features earlier today, is a long, extensive review of the supposed SGS IV hardware, laying bare all of its secrets and even going so far as to take a microscope to the new smartphone’s screen.
The review is, as mentioned, exhaustive (and also in Chinese), but there are some key elements worth drawing specific attention to. In the disappointing column, that metal-look border surrounding the phone does indeed appear to be plastic upon closer prodding. On the good side, it looks like the plastic backing for the device actually doesn’t feel like plastic, according to the reviewers, thanks to micro-perforations in the surface.
Taking the scope to the screen reveals improvements to the sub-pixel arrangement which help increase density and maximize the rendering of deep blacks, with changes that also help it improve its ability to render fine detail. The screen is reportedly better able to render images clearly, making it impossible to discern pixels with the reviewer’s naked eye. The camera also looks improved, in side-by-side comparisons with the iPhone 5, though the reviewer says accurate color rendering isn’t up to par with Apple’s smartphone.
The Samsung Galaxy S IV tested in the leaked review had an eight-core Samsung Exynos Octa processor on board (the one rumored for the international version, which makes sense), which led to it blowing away the competition in AnTuTu benchmarking tests. Users definitely won’t be disappointed by the GSIV’s performance if these leaks prove legit.
The review notes that Samsung has focused a lot on adding and refining screen transition animations and tap action effects, which are likely made possible by the big bump in processing power. It also supposedly has Smart Scrolling, Smart Pause, and Smart Rotation features onboard, which is in keeping with earlier reports about Samsung enabling eye-tracking interaction on the handset.
The leak may disappoint some who were hoping for more surprises later tonight, but Samsung likely isn’t too concerned: this phone will sell well, regardless of how much it has to demo to the press tonight has been publicized beforehand. Check out the full review at it168.com for all the poorly translated spoilers your heart could desire, and then follow along with our live coverage to get the full scoop.