Ina Fried

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Angry Birds’ Mighty Eagle Ruffles Some Android Feathers

While Android has been getting lots of positive buzz in recent days, the picture is not entirely rosy in that neck of the mobile woods.

A top executive at Angry Birds creator Rovio says that it is still hard to make money selling apps for Google’s operating system and that Apple’s iPhone is likely to remain the top mobile destination for some time.

In an email interview with, Peter Vesterbacka praised Apple’s approach.

“Apple will be the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective, they have gotten so many things right,” he said. “And they know what they are doing and they call the shots. Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android.”

That said, he added that there is clearly room for both approaches. Even the muted criticism of Android is interesting given that Google was clearly trying to ride the Angry Birds’ coattails, citing the game as an Android developer success story in a recent YouTube video.

As for the other mobile platforms, Vesterbacka told the online publication that things are less clear as far as who the winners and losers will be.

“Besides Apple and Google, it will be interesting to see how long it will take for Nokia to get their act together,” he said. “MeeGo is clearly the future there, remains to be seen how big and how soon. HP-Palm WebOS is a really cool OS and has been a pleasure developing for that one, but the volume is irrelevant for the time being. Everything else is more or less ‘interesting’ right now, ie no real business to be had, at least not yet.”

In an interview earlier this month, Vesterbacka told Mobilized that the company is planning to do a Windows Phone 7 version of Angry Birds next year.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald