Angry Birds: 30 Million Daily Active Users and 300 Million Minutes of Gameplay Per Day

Angry Birds isn’t slowing down. According to its creators, gamers are spending millions of hours per day engaging with the mobile gaming phenomenon.

Andrew Stalbow, Rovio‘s GM of North America, says that the various version of Angry Birds have been downloaded 400 million times. Thirty million people play the game on a daily basis, he announced at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. One hundred thirty million people play Angry Birds monthly.

The result? Gamers spend a whopping 300 million minutes playing Angry Birds daily. That’s 109.5 billion minutes per year, or 1.825 billion hours.

Stalbow also revealed that China is the game’s second largest and fastest growing market. The company recently released an update for the Chinese Moon Festival in an attempt to appeal to Chinese players. Rovio will soon release an update for Halloween that will introduce a secret, new bird (we know that it’s yellow and looks a bit like a duck).

Several years ago, the company was working on games for publishers like EA. It was on the brink of collapse before it turned to social and mobile platform platforms. At one point, the company had nine employees, but now it has more than 170 employees worldwide.

Apple projects all-time high $37 billion holiday quarter

 Apple on Tuesday said it looks to hit $37 billion in revenue for the upcoming holiday quarter, a stunning $10 billion increase year over year, as expecting to set an all-time high with sales of the iPhone 4S.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Apple's Chief Financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, said that he expects the company to earn around $37 billion in the holiday quarter, with diluted earnings per share of about $9.30. The projection is $8 billion more than Q3 2011, the company's previous best quarter ever, and an over $10 billion gain year-to-year.

December is part of the first fiscal quarter of 2012, which will span 14 weeks rather than the usual 13. This is done every six or seven years to align the 52-week, 364-day fiscal year with the 365-day calendar year. Oppenheimer notes that the extra week will have little effect on earnings.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, said that he was thrilled with the strong finish to the 2011 fiscal year, and expects another strong performance in the upcoming quarter. Much of the CEO's optimism is based on the record-breaking sales and high demand for the company's new iPhone 4S handset.

"Customer response to iPhone 4S has been fantastic," Cook said. "We have strong momentum going into the holiday season, and we remain really enthusiastic about our product pipeline."

Apple sold over 4 million units of the new iPhone model during its opening weekend, a record for initial iPhone sales.

The demand for the 4S has been so high that Apple modified its purchase policy by enacting an online reservation option. Cook, however, reassured during the conference call that there would be a "large supply" of the device available in time for the holidays.

Motorola Droid RAZR is new thinnest smartphone

Before the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was unveiled, Motorola took the spotlight earlier by introducing the Motorola Droid RAZR, probably the thinnest smartphone in the world at 7.1mm.

Motorola Droid RAZR specs:
4.3″ Super AMOLED Advanced screen @ 960×540 (256 ppi)
TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX540
16GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
HSPA+ 21Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
8MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
1.3MP front-facing camera
1080p video recording at 30fps
1800mAh Li-Ion battery
Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread
The 7.1mm frame beats the 8.49mm of the Galaxy S2. The design looks pretty sweet and comes with a Kevlar fibre at the back. At the moment, it’s only available via Verizon under a plan at $299.99 and we don’t know when it be reach the Philippines.

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook unveiled

Lenovo has just announced it’s latest line of ultrabook laptops — the thin yet powerful IdeaPad U300s. This latest-generation ultra-thin and light laptops are becoming the new category for a lot of manufacturers.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is the thinnest and the only ultra-book in the line-up — at 14.9mm thick and 1.34kg (2.95 pounds). It runs the 2nd generation Intel Sandy Bridge (Core i7) processors with 4GB of RAM, up to 256GB of SSD inside an aluminum unibody chassis.

Also included is Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11n, USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 ports, as well as an integrated 1.3MP (720p HD) webcam. Expected release date in the Philippines is November 2011. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 P6800 announced

 Aside from that 5.3-incher Galaxy Note that Samsung announced, they’re also re-introducing the 7-inch tablet — this time, it comes with a stunning 7.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display — the Galaxy Tab 7.7 P6800.
At 7.9mm on the side, this is now the thinnest tablet ever.

Samsung Galaxy Tab P6800 7.7-inch specs:
7.7″ Super AMOLED Plus display @ 800 x 1280 pixels
1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor
Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos chipset
16GB, 32GB, 64GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
HSDPA 21Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
Bluetooth 3.0 w/ A2DP
3.15MP camera with 720p video recording
2MP front-facing camera
micro-USB port
5100mAh Li-Po battery
Android 3.2 Honeycomb
There’s a TV-out port which could be a micro-HDMI and a micro-SD slot as well. Support for HSPA+ network is also present.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 was just announced at IFA in Germany today and makes it the very first tablet with a Super AMOLED Plus display.

Google Galaxy Nexus becomes official!

So it’s finally out and official — the Google Galaxy Nexus has been revealed and it’s powered by Samsung. The Galaxy Nexus is also the first handset to run Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google/Samsung Galaxy Nexus specs:
4.65″ HD Super AMOLED screen @ 1280×720 (315 ppi)
TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core processor
PowerVR SGX540
16GB and 32GB internal storage
HSPA+ 21Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps≈
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
5MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
1.3MP front-facing camera
1080p video recording at 30fps
1750mAh Li-Ion battery
Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
It’s not as thin as the Galaxy S2 but very close to it at 8.94mm. Most probably, the HSPA+ variant will arrive in the Philippines instead of the LTE one since our telcos aren’t ready yet to roll out the latter to the public.

The Galaxy Nexus will first be released in Europe, US and Asia this November followed by a global release in the following months. We don’t have any idea on the price though but we’ll update once we get additional details. 

Another spin with the Honda Accord 2011

Last year, Honda Philippines sent us to an overnight strip to Clark along with their 2010 Honda Accord. With the new Honda Accord 2011, they lent us the vehicle for a week to take around the city.

We got the Accord 3.5L variant, the faster and more powerful one — and the more expensive too.

As expected, the new Accord 2011 delivered as promised — same great design with all the right curves, packed with luxury features, spacious seating, a comfortable ride and more than enough power when you needed it.
Unlike the previous test drives where we pushed the limit on how fast we can push the speedometer, our experience with the Honda Accord is mostly city-driving.

The bigger engine (a 3.5 DOHC 24V V6) offers faster acceleration and better speeds but when you’re concern is gas consumption, Honda still Eco-mode where the engine drops the running cylinders to half when you’re cruising, thereby reducing the gas-guzzling mode.
And true enough, I noticed I only spent about a little less than half of a full tank in the one week I’ve used it. My 2.0L Lancer EX consumes almost the same amount of gas in a week of normal use.

The dash is big and bold with controls easy to find and navigate (some of it are on the steering wheel itself). Even if the Accord is fully automatic, you can switch to manual mode and change gears using the paddle shifters placed on the steering wheel (I’m not comfortable with paddle shifters so I didn’t use them).

The 3.5L also comes with 7 stereo speakers, 3 of which are placed at the back, just behind the trunk.
Notice there’s also a small access door from the truck to the back seat (comes with a lock). I guess that gives you quick access to stuff you store in the trunk (probably to a beer cooler? haha!).

This variant also includes a moonroof, rear sun shade, automatic seat adjustment, climate control with dual-aircon, and a front sensor on top of the rear sensors.
The most useful feature for me is the Bluetooth wireless speaker that pairs with your phone for handsfree phone calls (very easy to pair with any Bluetooth-capable phone too). It also controls the speakers so if you’re playing a song or listening to the radio, it will turn the volume down to make way for the call.
Reception and call quality is actually good but really depends on ambient noise, especially when you’re stuck in a noisy traffic. And I tend to shout a bit or move my head near the receiver when making calls. I wish it can also stream my phone’s music to the car speakers.

Although the driving experience was very comfortable, I don’t think it’s the smoothest ride I’ve driven. I can still feel some subtle bumps when driving on cement road (actually noticed it compared with my own car or maybe I’m just a bit biased here).

The Accord is a great ride, has a powerful engine, very spacious & comfy seating and reasonably priced for the luxury and features it offers. And of course, it’s a Honda.

Canon EOS-1D X announced!

Canon’s newest flagship professional dSLR is the Canon EOS-1D X, a full-frame, 18MP sensor replacing the Mark IV — definitely got some pretty impressive specs.

Canon EOS-1D X specs:
18.1MP sensor
100 to 51,200 native ISO (expandable to ISO 50-204,800)
30sec – 1/8000sec shutter speed
up to 14fps
3.2 LCD display
Gigabit LAN port
Dual DIGIC 5+ chips
Full HD 1080p video recording

The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV was announced back in October 2009 so this update is 24 months in the making.

Estimated retail price is around $6,800 (body only) and is expected to be released in March 2012.