Feb 7th, 2011

Let’s just round up this morning’s crop of Angry Bird news as we’re sure you guys don’t want your feeds filled with it. Firstly: a new update is out! It adds 30 levels plus a special western-themed affair being called Ham ’em High, and takes another minimum of 8 hours away from your productive life. It’s free, as usual, so go ahead and check it out.

Rovio also promised a bonus level made to celebrate the launch of the movie “Rio”. The clue to unlock it aired during last night’s Super Bowl. How do you do it? Go to level 13-12, slinghsot the white bird backward, and have him drop an egg bomb. You’ll be pleased once you uncover a golden egg in the main menu. (This one takes on the shape of a football, appropriately.)

Angry Birds Rio – the game that takes cues from the Fox movie “Rio” – will be launched March 22nd to coincide with the film’s world premier in Rio De Janeiro.

Finally, many were surprised to learn that Angry Birds required permissions to carry out SMS functions. Most were concerned, as you’d expect, and Rovio responded: it’s to facilitate their Bad Piggy Bank service introduced a while back. The service was made specifically for platforms that didn’t natively allow in-app billing, such as Android.

The system uses SMS messages so that the carrier can tack the cost of downloadable content to a cell phone bill instead of requiring players to use a credit card. We haven’t seen it in action yet as the service is only available in Finland.

Google introduced native in-app billing libraries earlier last week, but it’s not likely that Bad Piggy Bank will go away unless carriers tap into the newly-added API. I think we can all trust Rovio to not do anything malicious or irresponsible with our SMS service, anyway. [via Android Police]

[Update]: Just got word from Droid Life that the update for Seasons is out, too: just in time for Valentine’s Day. Sweet! 15 levels, 3 unlockables, and even more golden eggs. Go and grab it.