In today’s mobile and social news roundup: Microsoft confirms mini tablets; Google revving for Android game center; Twitter announce video partnership with BBC; and Chinese pirates launch own app store.
Microsoft confirms mini tablets
Last week, it was rumored that Microsoft may be preparing to launch smaller Surface tablets sometime this year. Instead of brushing the rumors off like Apple, Microsoft has done the complete opposite, and confirmed them.
In its earnings call with analysts, Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein stated that, “[W]e also are working closely with OEMs on a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows. These devices will have competitive price points, partly enabled by our latest OEM offerings designed specifically for these smaller devices, and will be available in the coming months.”
Google revs up for Android game center
After posting strong results for Q1 2013, which boasted $14.0 billion in revenue, up 31 percent year-on-year, rumor has it that Google will soon be launching a game center for Android.
No news yet as to what the Android game center will be called, but it will feature “multiplayer support, in-game chat, lobbies, leaderboards, and achievements,” much like what Apple brought when it introduced its Game Center in 2010.
This was discovered by Android Police when it scrutinized MyGlass, the Google Glass app companion. But don’t be fooled, the Android game center is not connected to Google Glass, though the games subfolder was found in the MyGlass folder. It seems like the Glass team accidentally shipped the full suite of Google Play Services with MyGlass.
Twitter announces video partnership with BBC
After launching its #music service yesterday, Twitter and BBC America announced a video partnership that will deliver first “in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” The BBC tweet is most definitely confusing and both companies have yet to clarify what has been tweeted. It appears that it has something to do with tweeted videos serving as companion content to what’s being played on BBC. The partnership is expected to drive more traffic to both services.
Chinese pirates launch own app store
Apple’s App Store is a closed ecosystem for selected paid and free apps from top developers or publishers, and some lucky independent developers. Still, if you want worthy apps, you better be ready to pay some cash.
Earlier this year, KuaiYong, which means ‘use quickly’, launched an app store that delivers pirated iOS apps to iOS users. The great thing about this app store is that users don’t need to jailbreak their iOS devices. Now, the pirates launched a web version of its pirate store, 7659.com. Much like the mobile app store, 7659.com is full of pirated free apps and games.
After Hackulous shut down and Installous went off the air, iOS users have been looking for a replacement to pacify their pirated apps needs.