Update: In a recent Mac 911 entry a reader asked how he might transfer Angry Birds saved game data between one iOS device and another. It turns out that not only is this possible, but it’s also possible to transfer this data between an iOS device and the Mac App version of the game (and vice versa). It’s all the same file. Read on to the end learn how this is done.
Reader Will Colvin begins the new year on an unhappy note. He writes:
Over the weekend I attempted to update my copy of Angry Birds on my iPad but something went wrong. The second attempt worked but now I’ve lost all my saved games, and I had a lot of three-stars and golden eggs. My girlfriend’s iPad has just about the same number of three-star levels and eggs. Is there any way I can copy her achievements from her iPad to mine?
Yes indeed. What you want to do is move a copy of the highscores.lua file from her iPad to your Mac and then replace the copy of this same file on your iPad with her copy. If both iPads are jailbroken you can find this file by going to private/var/mobile/Applications/(the Angry Birds folder)/Documents. (This bit about “the Angry Birds folder” means that it’s not named Angry Birds, rather this folder has a name like 0CEE22AC-1234-4C54-21E3-66AB51F25F68.)
Again, if those iPads are jailbroken you can SSH into each iPad and copy the file via the usual methods (which may be an FTP client or a Desktop drag if you’ve installed something like Netatalk after enabling SSH).
You can also manage this without jailbreaking either iPad with Ecamm Network’s $20 PhoneView. To do so, just follow along:
1. Connect the iPad with the saved game data you want to your Mac.
2. Launch PhoneView (if it doesn’t launch automatically).
3. Select Apps in PhoneView’s Data pane.
4. Enable the Show All Apps option.
5. Select Angry Birds and then select its Documents entry.
6. Drag the highscores.lua file to your Mac’s Desktop to make a copy.
7. Unplug the first iPad and jack in the second.
8. Follow steps 3 – 5 and then drag the highscores.lua file that you copied to the Desktop to the Angry Birds/Documents directory in PhoneView. Select the option to replace the highscores.lua file that currently resides on the iPad.
When you next launch Angry Birds on your iPad, you’ll find that you have the same stars and eggs as are found on your girlfriend’s iPad. Bonus: This works across iOS devices. If you’d like your iPhone or iPod touch to also be in sync with your iPad Angry Birds progress, follow this same procedure and replace the highscrores.lua file on those devices.
You can also do this with the new Mac App version of Angry Birds. Once you’ve moved the highscores.lua file from your iOS device, move it to this location on your Mac: youruserfolder/Library/Application Support/Rovio/Angry Birds (first remove the existing highscores.lua file). When you next start Angry Birds on your Mac, all your completed levels, star ratings, and golden eggs will be in place.
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Chris has covered technology and media since the latter days of the Reagan Administration. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, he's a professional musician in the San Francisco Bay Area.