Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 7/16/2013 3:04 pm

AT&T is making it easier for customers to upgrade their cellphones more frequently, as long as they're willing to pay more. The new plan follows in the footsteps of T-Mobile US Inc.'s Jump, which provides device insurance and more frequent upgrades for $10 a month. AT&T Inc., the country's second-largest cellphone carrier, says it's introducing an option called AT&T Next on July 26. Instead of paying, for example, $200 up front to buy a smartphone, customers would pay monthly installments of $15 to $50 on top of their service plan, depending on the device. After a year, customers can trade in their phone and get a new one, paying no upgrade or activation fees. AT&T says a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone would require monthly installments of $32.

Yahoo's second-quarter results aren't giving Marissa Mayer a lot to celebrate as she completes her first year running the Internet company. The numbers released Tuesday show Yahoo Inc.'s earnings climbed 46 percent, thanks to a major boost from an investment in Chinese Internet company Alibaba. But Yahoo's revenue fell 7 percent from last year, highlighting a recurring problem despite other signs of progress under Mayer's leadership. The lackluster growth reflects Yahoo's difficulties selling more digital advertising as marketers increase their spending at rivals Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. Yahoo earned $331 million, or 30 cents per share in the three months ending in June. That compared with net income of $227 million, or 18 cents per share, at the same time last year. Revenue totaled $1.14 billion.

Mobile games giant Rovio continues its descent toward the Dark Side. The company announced on Monday that it will launch Angry Birds Star Wars II on September 19th. The collaboration with Star Wars has been a huge success for Rovio. The first Angry Birds Star Wars game notched over 100 million downloads since launching last year. Characters from the second trilogy of Star Wars films will appear in Angry Birds Star Wars II, including Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and Darth Maul. The game also introduces Telepods, physical toys players place near the smartphone or tablet to teleport them into the game. Over 30 toys will be available when the game launches.

App Store Official Charts for the week ending July 15, 2013:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. WhatsApp Messenger (WhatsApp Inc.)
2. Where's My Mickey? (Disney)
3. iTranslate Voice (Sonico GmbH)
4. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
5. Contra: Evolution (PunchBox Studios)
6. AfterLight (Simon Filip)
7. Kick the Buddy: No Mercy (Crustalli)
8. Rhonna Designs (Rhonna Farrer)
9. Heads Up! (Warner Bros.)
10. Free Music Download Pro - Mp3 Downloader (ASPS Apps)

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. How to Cook Everything (Culinate Inc.)
2. BADLAND (Frogmind)
3. Over (Potluck)
4. Tiny Wings (Andreas Illiger)
5. Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment Group LLC)
6. Where's My Water?, Disney
7. Despicable Me: Minion Rush (Gameloft)
8. Traktor DJ for iPhone (NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH)
9. Candy Crush Saga ( Limited)
10. Barefoot World Atlas (Touch Press)

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. Where's My Mickey? XL (Disney)
2. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
3. SpongeBob Moves In (Nickelodeon)
4. Doc McStuffins: Time For Your Check Up! (Disney)
5. Plants vs. Zombies HD (PopCap)
6. iStoryTime - Turbo Movie Storybook Deluxe (zuuka inc.)
7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Aspyr Media Inc.)
8. LIMBO Game (Playdead)
9. Sprinkle Islands (Mediocre AB)
10. Tiny Thief (Rovio Stars Ltd.)

Top Free iPad Apps:

1. How to Cook Everything (Culinate Inc.)
2. Tiny Wings HD (Andreas Illiger)
3. BADLAND (Frogmind)
4. Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment Group LLC)
5. Barefoot World Atlas (Touch Press)
7. Where's My Water? (Disney)
8. Over (Potluck)
9. Angry Birds Star Wars HD (Rovio Entertainment Ltd)
10. Despicable Me: Minion Rush (Gameloft)

NEW: Angry Birds Star Wars II ft. TELEPODS coming September 19
Rovio Entertainment and LucasFilm join forces again to bring you Angry Birds Star Wars II, a sequel to the the blockbuster game of 2012!

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