Windows Phone Summary of the Week: June 18 - 24, 2012

Welcome to the Windows Phone summary of the week, where we cover the latest news from the past six days that matter most. Should you find yourself being absent throughout the week, you can be sure to catch up with what's going on with Microsoft's mobile platforms by checking our weekly summaries.

Before we kick-off with the summary itself, we've got episode 144 of the WPCentral Podcast, with special guest Paul Thurrott. We've also had the pleasure of interviewing IronSun Studios, the makers of MonstaFish and Fathom. With all the Windows Phone 8 (and 7.8) announcements, it's good to see what everyone thinks about the limitations of first and second generation handsets.

But alas, head on past the break for the full summary.

Microsoft unveiled information, specifications and images of the upcoming Surface tablet, which the company is using to jump further into the hardware market with Windows 8. Check out the links below for our coverage:

As well as the Microsoft tablet, we had the Windows Phone 8 ("Apollo") and 7.8 announcements to answer the number of questions consumers have been continuously asking since rumours and speculation of the next major release began. Be sure to read up on our coverage, which can be found below:

Moving onto the highlights from the week (excluding Surface and heavy Windows Phone 8), we've got the full Windows Phone Summit presentation available for viewing should you require a catch-up. Speaking of updates and whatnot, Microsoft has updated their website to display information detailing Windows Phone "Tango". With all the stress surrounding the upcoming upgrade (not to mention reported back and neck pains), is your Windows Phone a health risk

Microsoft has officially confirmed 100,000 apps in the Marketplace, which means this number reflects the amount of apps available to consumers instead of those which have been published but are no longer available. As well as passing the respectable marker, we've heard that Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered OTA (Over The Air), instead of relying on Zune and / or the Mac Connector.

We've seen all the headlines surrounding the new home screen in Windows Phone 8, but a video is also available giving a quick run through of what consumers can look to expect with both new devices and the Windows Phone 7.8 update. Both AT&T and the Carphone Warehouse have thrown their support behind the next version of Windows Phone, which is a promising turn of events before the ball gets moving.

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Moving onto gaming, we have a schedule for the Xbox 360 Summer of Arcade, which will see a number of anticipated titles arrive onto Microsoft's gaming console. Tetris is yet again the Xbox Live Deal of the Week, while those who already own the title can rejoice that both DrawSomething and Words with Friends are heading to Windows Phone.

Super Monkey Ball 2 is set to arrive on the Marketplace next week with Fling finally available after an unusual delay with the submission. The recent update for Shuffle Party has been pulled due to a bug being discovered that affects texture rendering. Monster Island has expanded to more countries, including France, while consumers in the Netherlands have been able to enjoy more Windows Phone Avatar props.

We've taken a look at some of the top sports apps available for Windows Phone in our effort to provide more recommendations from the Marketplace in a number of available genres. Netflix is set to launch with the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 tablet, which will presumably open up functionality using SmartGlass for integration with the Xbox. Nokia has released the Camera Extras and Play To apps for Lumia Windows Phones.

Audible has launched an official app for the platform, while Vodafone Australia has released an app for customers to keep track of their allowances and perform account tasks. PGA Tour, a twelve-month exclusive for Nokia Windows Phones, is now readily available from the collection that brings down the features and content of the service to the mobile screen. A number of apps have been updated, including Facebook, Photosynth, Nokia Maps, and Skype.

Moving onto hardware, Nokia has announced that the PureView 808 smartphone, which boasts a 41MP camera, is heading for the US and will be available unlocked at Amazon for $699. Three HTC Windows Phone 8 devices have been reportedly leaked that show the Rio, Accord and Zenith specifications and how HTC remains committed to Microsoft's mobile platform.

Nokia, T-Mobile and the Dark Knight have all teamed up to provide consumers with a little something special. If you own a Lumia 710 you could have requested a free back cover which sports a Batman logo. Speaking of T-Mobile USA and the Lumia 710, the carrier has started rolling out Windows Phone Refresh ("Tango") for the Nokia Windows Phone.

Microsoft has teamed up with Italy to offer Nokia Lumia Avatar props to consumers. Should you wish to show off Windows Phone using your Xbox Live identity be sure to check out the free gadget. The software giant opened a new store in Danbury, Connecticut, where one of our readers popped along to check out what was going on. The company is also set to unleash another store in Westchester, NY.

According to data released by Flurry, Windows Phone is picking up speed regarding developer interest and newly created projects, with the platform smashing RIM numbers. Closing up our developer section and the summary is an editorial piece written by our Jay Bennett, which looks at Windows Phone 8 features from a developer perspective.







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.