Skip to main content


See All Stories

Flappy Bird developer ‘It was just too addictive’, felt guilty for people wasting time


Getty Images

Dong Nguyen made waves at the weekend after announcing Flappy Bird would be removed from the App Store. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nguyen explains his —  unorthodox — reasoning.

“It was just too addictive,” Mr. Dong said. He says he didn’t intend for people to play the game for hours at a time, as many gamers appear to have done.

“That was the main negative. So I decided to take it down,” he said.


Site default logo image

Unverified: Flappy Bird pulled by Apple after copyright complaint from Nintendo? [Updated: Not true]


Update: Nintendo has sent an email to the WSJ denying that it has made any complaint about the app’s similarity to Super Mario Bros.

Apple’n’Apps,  a relatively unknown site without much of a track record, is suggesting that Flappy Bird may have been pulled by Apple after Nintendo complained about copyright infringement regarding the graphics used in the game. Those pipes do look “Super Mario-esque”. The developer Dong Nguyen had claimed he was withdrawing it voluntarily, and that there were no legal issues. But there’s some gray area there we suppose.

A person familiar with the App Store review process tells Apple’N’Apps that Flappy Bird wasn’t removed voluntarily by Mr. Nguyen, as he claims. It turns out that Nintendo got in touch with Apple regarding the art assets in Flappy Bird claiming that they’re in direct violation of their copyrights. Apple contacted Mr. Nguyen regarding the copyright claim, and that’s why we saw the new updated version with graphic changes to the pipes [as well as fewer ads]. Nintendo already decided that they had seen enough, and Apple is the one who pushed Mr. Nguyen to remove Flappy Bird (with 24 hour notice).

We’ve asked Apple for a comment, and will update if we receive a response, though the version arguably makes more sense than a developer voluntarily forsaking around $50,000 a day in revenue due to the attention the game was receiving. Dong Nguyen’s two other games remain on the App Store, currently ranking #4 and #18.

Apple is know to err on the side of caution where copyright complaints are concerned.

The app has also been pulled from Google Play, which tells us nothing either way: if the claim is true then Nintendo would have approached Google also, but equally the developer would have voluntarily removed from both stores.
Site default logo image

Birdwatchers twitchy about ‘unethical’ and ‘dangerous’ use of iPhone apps



If you were to pick a hobby likely to generate confrontations and harsh words between participants, birdwatching probably wouldn’t spring immediately to mind. Yet the WSJ reports that the use of iPhone apps by birders is doing just that, as a new breed of birders use iPhone apps playing birdsong to persuade birds to come out of hiding.

An otherwise peaceful pastime has been roiled by conflict as digital field guides, and the song recordings they include, have made birding easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone and, sometimes, a portable speaker. In a hobby where reward has come from years of quietly, patiently waiting outdoors and diligently studying technical tomes, there is deep resentment of birders who are relying on these easy-to-use—or abuse—apps.

The American Birding Association is apparently considering “a major revision to its oft-cited Code of Birding Ethics to address smartphone use,” with the National Audubon Society also planning a “comprehensive policy” on the issue.

Some say it can get stressed if it thinks the playback is a territorial threat. A predator may even be lying in wait. The bird could also leave its habitat or stop responding to the calls, realities scientists say make them nervous.

“The I-gadgets are incredibly dangerous to people who know nothing about birds,” said avid birder Heidi Trudell.

I’m now expecting to hear tales of pitched battles with knitting needles between those who are for or against the use of iPads for knitting patterns …

Amusing Angry Birds Star Wars 2 video shows off first gameplay & new ‘telepods’ controller, lands Sept. 19

Rovio hinted at Angry Birds Star Wars 2 late last week, but today we get an official announcement as well as our first look at gameplay footage and the new Hasbro “Telepods” toys, which appear to let users transfer new characters into the game. The Telepod controller will be available where toys are sold, according to the video, and a broken link to Hasbro is provided.

The game goes live September 19th according to the Angry Birds siteExpand

Reader eBooks by Sony, Angry Birds Star Wars, BBC iPlayer, Facebook, Instagram rolls out Web profiles, app sales, and more

9to5Mac compiled another list of the top app news, updates, and launches in our usual roundup below. The highlights from today includes statistics on how the newly Web-geared Instagram helped capture Hurricane Sandy in real-time, a new eBook app by Sony, and a shiny teaser trailer for Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars (above). Oh, and a few app sales—check it out:


1. Angry Birds Star Wars
After releasing a string of teasers for its title landing on iOS Nov. 8, Rovio posted the first official full-length gameplay trailer today for its new Star Wars edition of Angry Birds.

Angry Birds Star Wars will be out on November 8, but until then, watch this gameplay trailer and scream “OH MY GOODNESS!!!!” to yourself in the mirror

2. Instagram | Free
Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast last week, and those in its stormy path made sure to document all of the havoc in real-time with the help of Instagram. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed to GigaOM today that folks uploaded over 800,000 photos tagged with the #Sandy hashtag. Systrom specifically noted Sandy was “probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram.” The news from Systrom this morning came as the Facebook-acquired company also announced the rollout of new Web profiles with a very Facebook-esque look (via official Instagram blog):

You’ve asked for Instagram on the web and we’ve listened. Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out Instagram profiles on the web!

Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!

Just launched Expand