Windows Phone Summary of the Week: July 25-31, 2011

Yet another busy week at WPCentral HQ. We've begun a weekly update from our community (opens in new tab) that is to be ran by Dave Blake, a member of our forum staff, so be sure to keep an eye out on future updates and head on over to our forums to join in the Windows Phone discussion!

Three more WPCentral related highlights that occurred this past week include the WPCentral Podcast: episode 119, the beta program for version 1.3 of our app and our weekly developer interview. This week we had the pleasure in being joined by Nice Touch Games (opens in new tab), a newly formed British games studio based in London.

To continue with the weekly run-down, head on past the break.

"Mango" has continued to cover the news headlines with being released to manufacturers (opens in new tab) (RTM) for testing and optimisation. Developers have enjoyed a SDK Beta 2 refresh and 7712 update (opens in new tab). Brandon Watson has shown true dedication to the Windows Phone platform with a $1,000 bet (opens in new tab) that both Molly Wood and Scott Adams will enjoy WP7 after they've experienced trouble with iOS and Android. If they don't like the OS, Brandon will donate the bet to their choice of charity. Molly and Scott have agreed with the bet and will take on WP7 soon.

Our Daniel Rubino has taken the stage for more Marketplace ranting with some more spam injection. It seems Microsoft haven't quite locked down the system just yet. Japanese "Mango" has been demoed (opens in new tab) showing some new exclusive apps, while in London Microsoft is arranging a research and feedback panel (opens in new tab). Nielsen Q2 report shows Android and iOS rising while WP7 hovers with the decline of WinMobile. 

The Marketplace has pretty much grounded to a halt recently with barely any apps being submitted - we've explained that the probable cause is upcoming "Mango" with developers awaiting for the submission gates to open up. AT&T are to begin throttling customers who find themselves in the top 5% of users who use the most data. Windows Phone 7 revenue has been said to be "abysmal", yet it's still better than Android (opens in new tab).

Gaming wise, our Paul Acevedo concluded our contest (opens in new tab) where we were giving away 9 Beards & Beaks avatar prop codes that can't be purchased on Xbox Live. Crackdown 2: Project seems to have disappeared (opens in new tab) for good, we hope this isn't so as not only was it the first Xbox Live title, but it was unique. Parachute Panic has had its price reduced being this week's Xbox Live deal. Sally's Salon Luxury Edition is on the Marketplace, accompanying MustEatBrains and Full English Fusion. Finally, Angry Birds is updated to v1.1, bringing new levels.

Bing: Get Me There is released on the Marketplace, providing those who travel around london with useful features to help prevent getting lost. KAYAK Flight & Hotel Search app is finally back in the Marketplace after back-end problems was apparently breaking the app. Weather Live also returns to the Marketplace, bringing with it some new features. TodayXLive provides Windows Mobile with a WP7 makeover and the AppTastic logo design contest announces a winner.

SkyDrive suports music playback in Mango build 7712 (opens in new tab), while not a perfect UI at least base functionality is there. The Samsung Network Profile app is updated, bringing more support to UK networks (opens in new tab). "Mango" is looking to battle head-to-head with the upcoming Phone 5 (opens in new tab), which is also set to be coming in September. Hidden SSID support (opens in new tab) and the ability to add networks is included in the "Mango" update.

A new Xbox Live headset for the 360 (opens in new tab) console has support for the WP7 handsets and can be used to answer calls etc. Customers on T-Mobile (US) can rejoice with news that the Dell Venue Pro (opens in new tab) and the HD7 (opens in new tab) are to receive updates. We take a look at cases that are for the proposed HTC Eternity and Omega devices. The Samsung SGH-i677 is rumoured to be another "Mango" powered device, featuring a front hardware sliding keyboard?

Lots of Fujitsu-Toshiba IS12T news this week with the device being revealed (opens in new tab), English photos popping up and KIDDI publishing a walk-through video (opens in new tab). More firmware updates are on the way, though Focus users will have to wait longer for the 7392 update.

Microsoft is taking on a new photo sharing venture (opens in new tab) under the banner: MSN Postbox. TheChive comes to WP7, which is a popular photo-entertainment/humour site that has also pulled off some funny pranks/memes in the past. One of our readers (and forum user) has posted his experiences using Bing and Google maps (opens in new tab) for point-to-point directions on a cross-state journey. 

GMail has been mocked by Microsoft (opens in new tab) with a "GMail Man" parody, while the Nyan Cat has finally nyan'd its way on the Marketplace - our George Ponder takes a quick look at the usefulness of these apps. For developers, this week was fairly quiet. YallaApps is looking to bring in-app advertising as a revenue option for developers and we look at 25 ways to promote your submitted apps (opens in new tab) with AdDuplex.







Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.