The Secret Behind Angry Birds’ Success (Part 1 of 2)

Alright, if you’ve never heard of Angry Birds, then either you’ve been extremely busy and productive, or you’ve been living under a rock this past year or so. In any case, here’s what you need to know: Angry Birds is the widely popular mobile game developed by Finland-based company Rovio that involves using a slingshot to launch birds at pigs. It’s a very simple mobile application that has caught worldwide attention, and has delivered staggering numbers. In fact, as of May 2011, Rovio announced that Angry Birds topped 200 Million downloads. (Yes, that is a LOT of Angry Birds.) The app is available across numerous mobile operating systems including iOs, Android, HP WebOS, and Windows Phone 7.

Now we here at TechiXoft already have our theories on why the game is so popular and addicting. And doing some research confirmed our hunches that the success of Angry Birds can be attributed to two main things: marketing and psychology.

Discussing the two concepts would result to an extremely lengthy blog post, so allow us to focus on one key aspect for now: marketing.

First and foremost, those darn birds are EVERYWHERE. The fact that Angry Birds is available in virtually all mobile operating systems including WinPhone7 and HP Web OS is big plus for the app. A lot of developers produce applications exclusively for iPhone and Android users, while leaving the not-so popular mobile operating systems out in the cold. Rovio, on the other hand, went above and beyond to ensure that their app is accessible to practically anyone with a smartphone.

Moreover, we’ve got to give props to the marketing team of Rovio. They took those adorable birds from the mobile arena and brought them to the real world. They produced Angry Bird T-Shirts, Plush toys, even card games. It’s come to the point where the fans themselves are delivering Angry Bird creations. Check out this man from San Francisco who made a cake out of the characters of the game.

And it’s not just about the merchandise. Angry Birds has taken product placement to a whole new level. Those birds are on TV (How I Met Your Mother, Sprint commercial), they’re on the big screen (they made a cameo appearance on the comedy “Horrible Bosses”) and they’re even on your web browser (Google Chrome.) Don’t believe us? Check out the video clips and images below:

Angry Birds on How I Met Your Mother:

Angry Birds on a Sprint/Motorola commerical:

Angry Birds on Google Chrome:

 

 

 

 

 

Have you encountered those birds anywhere else outside your phone? Share them in the comments section below!

Two Juicy Rumors and One Dismal Truth

The rumor mills in the realm of smart phones have been so busy lately, we’re starting to get the feeling that we’re in an episode of Gossip Girl. Only, instead of juvenile high school cliques and sex scandals, we’re dealing with tech giants and smart phones. Allow us to fill you in.

iPhone 5 Out in the Open?

Today, 9to5Mac published a photo of what seems to be a prototype of the iPhone 5. A tipster apparently sent the website a photo of what he thinks is the new iPhone. Taken on board a train, 9to5Mac was informed that the person holding the phone was most likely “an Apple employee hunched over the device on the way home from work in San Francisco.” TechCrunch pointed out that the person was very cautious to keep the device “at least partially covered, masking the Apple logo behind their fingers throughout.”

9to5Mac reported that the tipster owned an iPhone 3GS prior to his current iPhone 4, and that apparently, “he knows his iPhones and iPods and this was like nothing he’s ever seen.”

Now in spite of Apple being very hush-hush about the iPhone 5, rumors about the much-anticipated device still managed to circulate in the tech world. Word has it that the next iPhone will be thinner and will also have a larger display. The device in the above photo somewhat confirms the rumors and discussions in the industry, which makes it even more intriguing.

According to TechCrunch, since the iPhone 5 is said to be released this September, there are definitely iPhone 5s being field tested out there. The question is, did Apple really allow one of their employees to carry around such a top secret device while on board a train?

HTC’s Trademark Filings

Moving on, let’s not forget our Android friends. If you’re a fan of HTC, keep an eye out for handset names such as Cheetah, Raider, Titan, Skyrocket, or Velo. According to AndroidCommunity.com, the above names are the most recent trademark filings from the cell phone manufacturer.

Of course, just because a trademark was filed, doesn’t necessarily mean that these words will be used. However, they do give an indication that for their next round of devices, HTC is definitely gaming for speed. With a name like “Skyrocket” it’s kind of not hard to miss.

Blackberry Not Doing So Well

Now that we’ve filled you in with the latest speculations, it’s time to move on to hard facts. Neilsen just released their findings regarding mobile market shares. Data indicates that “Google’s Android operating system (OS) now claims the largest share of the U.S. consumer smartphone market with 39 percent. Apple’s iOS is in second place with 28 percent, while RIM Blackberry is down to 20 percent.” This is on top of the dismal news that the company has been dealing with lately.

The Blackberry has obviously seen better days. Aside from the continued decline of RIM’s stock, the company announced on Monday that they will be laying off 2,000 or 11% of its workforce.

Our Top 10 Favoite Error Pages

We’ve all been there. You mistype a URL, or you happen to click on a broken link, and the next thing you know, you’re looking at a webpage with a glaring 404 error  message in it, indicating that the webpage that you’re looking for was not found. It’s the Internet’s equivalent to a dead end; it tells anyone who comes across it to go back, because there’s nothing else that can be done.

Now in the past, all 404 pages looked pretty much the same. Just a page that says “404 Page cannot be found.” Totally boring. Thankfully, some websites decided to make the most of a bad situation, by injecting some personality into these pages. Instead of the usual dull and lifeless error message, they started serving customized and more creative 404 pages that can somewhat reduce the bad vibes brought about by the dreaded error page.

Below is a list of our favorite 404 error pages. Some are bright and fancy, while others are just plain witty. Either way, these ten websites definitely know how to cheer up disgruntled web surfers. (By the way, don’t forget to share your favorite pages at the comments section!)

1. ChrisJennings.com (Creepy 404) – Short, simple, and kind of gives us the creeps, but then again, that’s why we like it.

 

2. SouthParkStudios.com (South Park 404) – South Park’s error page has actually several variations featuring different characters. What we have below is a screen shot with Eric Cartman being, well, Eric. However, if you head to their website, you’ll find that a different character will appear each time you refresh the error page.

3. AdhamDannaway.com (Wise old 404) – A very zen 404 Page that actually contains some solid words of wisdom. Hey, you’ve reached a dead end, might as well pick up some life lessons while you’re at it, right?

4. Blippy.com (Eyecandy 404) – This definitely takes the cake for most colorful 404 Page. The rainbow won’t appear in full color at first, but if you click that little creature on the left a number of times, the colors reveal themselves.

5. LarkNews.com (Witty 404) – This page goes to show that you don’t need fancy shmancy graphics to make an impression. You just need to be a wiseass.

6. Thomas-Alan.com (Helpful 404) – The most helpful 404 ever. No, it doesn’t give us advice on how to find that page we’re looking for. It gives us something even more useful: A cocktail recipe.

7. RetardZone.com (Violent 404) – RetardZone takes the “broken” in “broken link” to a literal and violent level. Nice.

8. Google (Minimalist 404) – The tech giant keeps it simple. No lengthy explantations. Just two plain sentences. The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.

9. Gojee.com (Pun Intended 404) – Popular recipe website Gojee decides to use wordplay to spice up the error message. Foodies will definitely eat it up.

10. Centered.com (Puss in Boots 404) – Awwww. ‘Nuff said.

So there you have it, folks. TechiXoft’s Top 10 Favorite “Page cannot be displayed” Pages. What about you? What are your favorite 404′s?