Microsoft, PayPal: attack of the smartphone apps

Apple recently saw its billionth app download and just ended a standoff with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails over its approval policy for iPhone apps. Still, the iPhone maker isn’t the only big player in smartphone app news recentlly — Microsoft’s new Facebook mini-program debuts and PayPal introduces a mobile Android program.

Microsoft announced its first native [Facebook app for Windowns Mobile 6]( as a free download. The Windows Mobile Facebook app lets users upload video from their smartphones.

People will also be able to access status updates, friend requests and photo tags, as well as read and create wall posts, share photos, send messages and update profile pictures. Facebook users will also be able to share their Facebook activities, including photos and status updates, across the full range of Windows Live services.

On the payment processing front, PayPal launched a free Android app for accessing PayPal accounts. The PayPal app offers direct integration with the contact list, recent history, so you can use your phone to check transactions over the past few months and your balances, according to a [blog post ]( Eric Duprat from PayPal’s mobile team.

“And, of course, all your mobile payments are kept safe using the same start-of-the-art technology we use on So, if you have an Android phone, visit the Android Market to download the app and try it out,” writes Duprat.

Finally, in other app news this week, AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, just released its top 10 performing apps, based on new sales from January through March, offering a closer look at what consumers are doing with their phones beyond talking, texting and tweeting.

As reported in AT&T’s first-quarter earnings, wireless data revenues for the company grew 39 percent year-over-year. A key contributor to this growth is use of mobile applications and games. The top 10 AT&T apps are: AT&T Navigator, AT&T Mobile TV, Napster Mobile, XM Radio Mobile, MobiTV, WikiMobile, Shazam, Make-UR-Tones, My-Cast Weather and MobiVJ.

The top games are: Tetris, Bejeweled, Guitar Hero World Tour Mobile, Pac-Man by Namco, Ms. Pac-Man, Jewel Quest II, Diner Dash, The Oregon Trail, Midnight Pool 2 and Platinum Sudoku. (Wait, what? Oregon Trail? Seriously?)

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