Mar 27, 2012
Angry Birds Space has really taken off! (Pause for groaning from readers) Rovio has revealed that the newest Angry Birds game has gotten ten million downloads in three days. While they did not reveal anything about platform numbers, many of those downloads are likely sales, though Android will also be making up a big number of those downloads given the presence of a free version on Google Play.
In fact, as far as versions of the game go, this is the first Android Angry Birds game to have a tablet-optimized version specifically. However, the only difference between the HD version and the regular versions is that interface elements are better scaled to high-resolution devices. Beyond some letterboxed artwork, the game plays perfectly well on tablets. In fact, I would say there is literally no difference in gameplay at all. This is basically Rovio trying to get an extra two dollars out of tablet users. The difference between Android and iOS in this respect is that iPad users have to buy the HD version or deal with scaled graphics; Android users get one that’s expanded out to take advantage of the full resolution.
Samsung Galaxy device owners got 30-plus free levels with their download, getting the Danger Zone levels unlocked for free, and before the rest of the Android universe got them. As well, a Golden Eggsteroid level with a Galaxy Note theme was made available. These levels are available on iOS, but as an in-app purchase; a three month exclusivity on Android was mentioned, but no word on if the levels will be made available through in-app purchases was mentioned. As well, the Android version is lacking the “Space Eagle” IAP that the iOS version has; Rovio appears to be avoiding in-app purchases on Android entirely, perhaps due to not having standardized options thanks to multiple marketplaces.
Yesterday, I wrote a column that in part bemoaned the lack of any kind of save game synchronization between Angry Birds games. While transferring progress between my iOS devices and my Android devices is still at Rovio’s whims, third party developers have figured out ways to transfer saves between Angry Birds games on Android. While there are several solutions, maybe the best one is Angry Birds Backup, which has been updated to work with Angry Birds Space. This is for several reasons.
It backs up to Dropbox. This uses the Dropbox APIs (requiring the Dropbox app to be installed of course) to link to a folder, then the file from a game is backed up, and can be easily restored and re-backed up from any device with the app installed. Multiple profiles for backing up can be used as well.
It can restore to different versions of the game. Start playing the paid version on one device, but have the free version on another? This works for transferring between versions. Note that the app will backup/restore data to/from one version on the device, in the priority of: ad-supported, paid, HD version. While it would be nice to choose between versions manually (especially when converting from free to paid on a single device), there really isn’t much of a reason to have multiple versions.
It’s free. It works perfectly and it comes at no cost to the user. Some paid solutions exist, but this option works well. It also has limited permissions requests for internet access and modifying storage contents, so it appears to be safe as well.
It also doesn’t require root access, so all users can free their Angry Birds data. The app is available on Google Play but not the Amazon Appstore, so Kindle Fire users are out of luck at the moment with this particular solution.