At today's Windows Phone Summit, Microsoft announced a new software update that will be available for existing Windows Phone handsets. Labelled Windows Phone 7.8, the update will feature some of the core elements of Windows Phone 8 that can be supported on the older hardware, including the new Start screen.
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As part of the Windows Phone Summit today, Nokia's Senior Vice President, Kevin Shields, announced a string of additions (Counters, Contact Share, PlayTo, Camera Extras) and updates (Nokia Music 3.0, Nokia Drive 3.0) to the company's exclusive app collection for its Lumia devices. Microsoft also credited Nokia with arranging a deal with games company, Zynga, for bringing Words with Friends and Draw Something to Windows Phone, with a two month exclusivity period for Nokia Lumia devices.
At an event in San Francisco today, Microsoft offered a first look at the key platform features of the next version of Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8 will have a common core with Windows 8, sharing the same kernel, file system, device drivers and security model, closely aligning the two operating systems.
The second update to the AAWP (All About Windows Phone) app, version 1.3, is now available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The latest update adds a font-size option and support for landscape orientation when viewing stories. It also improves the app's handling of images and offline usage scenarios.
An update to Nokia Maps, version 2.0, is now available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The new version adds support for syncing favourites (saved) places to maps.nokia.com, enables the pinning of routes to the start screen and adds the ability to submit reviews and photos of places directly from the app.
More than 100,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and new content is currently being added at the rate of 313 apps per day. At the time of writing, 100,145 apps have been published. Of these, 26,493 were added in the last three months and 9,391 were added in the last month. These apps come from just over 23,825 different publishers.
Microsoft has released Photosynth, an app for creating advanced panoramas, for Windows Phones. Using information from the phone's on board sensors (camera, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope) it can create "sphere" panoramas (i.e. a complete "3D" visualisation of everything around you). The panoramas can be viewed on the phone, shared to social networks (Facebook and Twitter), or uploaded to the Photosynth website.
When Microsoft and Nokia announced their partnership in February of last year, executives made it clear that the partnership would extend beyond smartphones into other business areas, such as location and mapping. The latest fruits of this collaboration are now apparent, with the addition of traffic information and geocoding algorithms, from the Nokia Where Platform, to Microsoft's Bing Maps.
The first big update to the AAWP (All About Windows Phone) app, version 1.1, is now available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The updated version adds support for a dark theme, improves comment integration, has a few minor styling improvements and includes a number of behind the scenes performance improvements and bug fixes.
More than 90,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and new content is currently being added at the rate of 250 apps per day. At the time of writing, 92,383 apps have been published. Of these, 24,371 were added in the last three months and 7,409 were added in the last month. These apps come from just over 22,000 different publishers.