After the hype of the short but sweet Super Bowl appearance from Angry Birds died down, excitement surrounding the app started to pick back up for another reason. Last night, a manual update was sent out for the app that added some new levels, support for a wider range of devices, and a request for permission to use SMS. New levels and more support make sense, but permission to use SMS? The reason behind that one may surprise you — It’s for what is going to be known as Bad Piggy Bank.
Bad Piggy Bank is going to be Rovio’s interesting take on in-app purchases. Whenever you want to purchase some sort of extra content, you can do so by clicking on the Bad Piggy Bank Icon. After you verify your purchase via SMS, your carrier will be notified and the charge will be placed onto your phone bill. From Rovio:
- The Android version of Angry Birds asked for SMS permission because this mobile payment capability was added in version 1.5.1.
- The functionality was mistakenly activated in the released update – Bad Piggy Bank support will only be released through various operators globally later during 2011.
- We have since disabled the functionality in the 188.8.131.52 update until further notice, and we will activate it when Bad Piggy Bank becomes available.
- Angry Birds does will not use the SMS functionality of the device for any other purpose than Bad Piggy Bank payments.
- If the Bad Piggy Bank is not available for your operator, no purchases can be made, and you cannot be charged for anything.
- Right now, the system will be available only in Finland for Elisa customers, with more countries and carriers following later.
Rovio looks to be leaving the the future of Bad Piggy Bank wide open and for good reason too. Android is going to be implementing a new system for in-app purchases soon, and Apple has started cracking down on the way in-app purchases are managed on iOS. If nothing else, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the payment system plays out in other parts of the globe.
In other Angry Birds related news, Angry Birds Season has been updated to include some all new Valentine’s Day levels. Get your update on and enjoy!