DeanBeat: The iPhone fairy tale comes true for Russia’s Cut the Rope developers

The iPhone fairy tale is becoming a familiar one for game developers: A small indie developer creates a hit, people love it, and it spreads like wildfire through the App Store. Tens of millions or hundreds of millions of downloads later, and the developers are rich and on their way to building a mobile gaming empire. Sometimes they even sell adorable plush toys based on their game characters.

Instagram is Apple’s No. 1 app of 2011 in a year heavy on fun and sharing

If you made plans for your weekend, you might want to kiss them goodbye.  Apple yesterday released its iTunes Rewind 2011 list, with the 40 top  iPhone and iPad apps of the year. The iTunes store now has more than 500,000 apps in it, but  this year’s top apps list shows that fun is the dominant theme. Games and social networking tools dominated, and photo sharing tool Instagram was chosen as the No. 1  app of the year.

Verizon fixes technical issue blamed for nationwide 4G LTE outage

Wireless provider Verizon is America’s favorite national network, but it is not immune to an occasional case of the sniffles. A technical issue is being blamed for a service disruption that knocked out 4G LTE service to wireless customers nationwide, and left them without high-speed voice, data and SMS service. The disruption began on Tuesday evening and was resolved by Wednesday night.

Gameloft is filling the App Store with mobile games like Dungeon Hunter III

Gameloft, the Paris-based mobile game developer, has released a bunch of new titles this fall and it took the wraps off two more this week. Dungeon Hunter III (pictured above) is coming out of stealth mode today, and the company also unveiled Real Soccer 2012. They’re not exactly holiday-themed, but Gameloft’s believes they’ll be popular titles in the holiday app-buying season.