Winners and losers: The Magic Eraser expands past Pixel phones as Angry Birds leaves Android
It’s Sunday morning, meaning it’s time for us to name our winner and loser from the final week of February.
The past week was a quiet one. With Mobile World Congress 2023 on the horizon, many brands seem to be holding onto any major start-of-year announcements for the big event. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a clear winner and loser this week.
Keep reading to find out why Google One subscribers should get excited, and why you probably shouldn’t delete Angry Birds from your Android phone anytime soon.
Winner: Google One subscribers
This week, Google announced that one of the Pixel 7’s best features, the Magic Eraser, would be coming to its Google One storage platform.
That means that the once Pixel-exclusive perk will now be available on a range of smartphones from the iPhone 14 to the Samsung Galaxy S23 and every flagship, mid-range and budget Android smartphone in between.
This includes older Pixel phones that had previously missed out on the neat photo editing feature.
Alongside the Magic Eraser – a Google Photos feature that allows users to oust photobombers and unwanted objects from any photo with a series of taps – the update also brings HDR video and exclusive collage designs to Google One.
Not only will this update give Android users on Google’s One plan a taste of what AI-powered camera features they’re missing out on by skipping over Google’s Pixel series, but the new features could also tempt iPhone users to ditch their iCloud subscriptions for Google One.
Loser: Angry Birds fans
Finnish games developer Rovio shared some sad news this week when it announced that the original Angry Birds app will be taken down from the Google Play Store, meaning Android users will no longer be able to download the incredibly popular mobile game.
The app is set to remain on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad users, but will be renamed “Red’s First Flight” pending review.
Rovio announced the removal of the classic game (which has been available on iPhone and Android for over a decade and inspired two movies) on Twitter this week.
According to the developer, the unlisting is due to “the game’s impact on our wider games portfolio”, which includes Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Friends and Angry Birds Journey.
While Rovio didn’t explicitly state the classic game’s up-front payment method as the reason the game is being taken down, fans have speculated that this is what put Rovio Classics: Angry Birds in the developer’s firing range over its other free-to-play titles that appear to be supported by microtransactions.
The good news is that the classic game will remain playable on any devices that have already downloaded it. So if you’re a diehard Angry Birds, all you need to do is never upgrade your Android or buy an iPhone next time around. Easy.