One of Nokia's crown jewels in their software suite is Maps. Many have wondered where Nokia Maps will fit into the Lumia devices, as it will be one of the unique selling points of a Nokia Windows Phone. While Nokia Drive has been announced as available here at Nokia World with a focus on navigation and turn by turn directions. Nokia Maps will take a more social feel, highlighting personal favourites, points of interest and social interaction. And we've had an exclusive look at the latest beta.
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How can you do music properly on a mobile device? Nokia are hoping that Nokia Music on the Lumia range of Windows Phone is the answer. The inclusion of MixRadio, (requiring no sign-up or registration, and available to all users) provides a music streaming channel, while the long-standing Gigfinder service also makes the jump to Windows Phone. It will also be the home of the Nokia Music Store, still one of the world's largest mobile music stories.
More than 35,000 content items (apps and games) have now been published to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Between 80 and 150 items are being added every day, of which 18% are games and 72% are apps. Just under 50% of these are free, 19% are paid with a trial and 30% are paid only. It took Microsoft just over a year to reach this milestone, a figure that compares well with competing application stores.
Because of the smooth roll-out so far, Windows Mango availability is being increased to half of the potential devices (reports GM Eric Hautala on the Windows Phone Blog). This will result in more data points across the mix of devices, manufacturers and network configurations, hopefully allowing the second half of the user-base to be Mango'ed in the near future.
Microsoft have announced the start of the roll out of the Windows Phone 7.5 update for existing Windows Phone devices. It is the biggest software update for Windows Phone so far and contains more than 500 new features and updates. The roll out will take place over the next month, in a staggered fashion. Once the update is available for your device a message will pop up on the phone.
We presume that Nokia's debut of their Windows Phone device will happen in October, but their Windows phone efforts have already been stepped up, as their first application appears in the store. It's called "Top Apps" and while visible in the Zune Marketplace on your desktop, it's not yet available on Windows Phone handsets (reports WP Central). The assumption has to be that these are Mango based applications, and are going to be available only to Nokia's Windows Phone devices, at least in the first instance.
Yesterday Microsoft offered the media a preview of Mango, the next release of the Windows Phone platform. The release will deliver more than 500 new features, with an emphasis on communication, apps and the Internet. Mango will also see wider language support, the addition of 1500 APIs for developers and significant performance improvements. Mango is scheduled to arrive in the autumn and will be the version that Nokia uses on its first Windows Phone devices, scheduled to appear in 2012 in quantity.