Windows Phone Summary of the Week: May 14 - 20, 2012

Welcome to this week's Windows Phone summary of the week, where we round up all the news and headlines that are worth checking out should you have missed a few days of our feed. Before we kick off the summary, our app has been updated to version 2.2 (with 2.3 in the works) and introduces a number of new features and functionality. Our Paul Acevedo took a look at five must-have games any new Windows Phone owner should have in their collection.

As well as gaming, our George Ponder takes a deeper look at how SkyDrive can make your life easier with cloud storage and integration. Mobilicity has paired up with Windows Phone Central to give away a shiny new Lumia 710 in a photo contest. Do you believe your shots could win? Closing date is May 24th. That wraps up our introduction, now let's head into the summary.

The US Postal Service is set to ban shipments on mobile phones, as well as other electronics, due to lithium ion batteries causing fires while in transit. According to Kantar Worldpanel the sales of Windows Phones have almost doubled in the U.S. and have overtaken RIM with Blackberry handsets. This is while Gartner paints a disturbing picture of the battle Microsoft and Nokia face against other platforms and OEMs (namely Apple and Samsung).

Should you have a few minutes of your time to spare and be a Lumia 900 owner, you might want to check out a survey Nielsen is hosting that could see you win a $200 Amazon gift card. A technology website is reporting that Nokia is planning to release Apollo hardware before the end of 2012, so if you're waiting to see what the Finnish manufacturer has planned for Windows Phone 8, you might want to wait a few more months (until the major update is released of course).

If you're not receiving the $100 credit on your AT&T bill for the Lumia 900 issues, there's a slight issue that's easily rectified by contacting the carrier to confirm your purchase and activation. Windows Phone (and the team itself) has been honoured with recognition and awards, now the lead designer Jeff Fong has been named in the top 100 most creative people of 2012 by Fast Company. Venetasoft has won Microsoft's AppLoad competition and has subsequently celebrated by releasing all their apps for free.

Windows Phone marketshare has reportedly overtaken the iPhone in China, according to reports. No detail is available stating what this data is based on (total sales, week, monthly, etc.) The CEO of AT&T Mobility, Ralph de la Vega, has stated that he's pleased with Windows Phone and what the future looks like with Windows 8. Nokia is unleashing an army for Windows Phone to take on the force of the evil emperor. Should you be eligible, you can use the dedicated app to take on the world.

According to a 2010 patent filed by Microsoft, the company is looking at a cross-platform app migration service that could be used for those switching from other platforms. The company has updated Live on Windows Phone for Twitter profiles to be integrated while on the go, and has announced that 90% of first generation devices sold were the Samsung Focus.

Moving onto gaming news and we've got BulletAsylum as this week's Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Monster Island for Windows Phone is now available in the UK after returning from fixes for Achievement issues. Can we get you excited? Of course we can, with an exclusive look at Monstafish, the final Xbox Live release for this month. As well as other upcoming titles we've covered, you can add Final Fantasy and Super Monkey Ball 2 to the list.

The 3D game Matchy, which we previously took a look at, is now available for free on the Marketplace. geoDefense has received attention this past with with an update being applied brining live tiles, as well as geoDefense Swarm being released. Xbox Live title Hasta la Muerte has been updated fixing a broken achievement. Closing off our gaming section, Microsoft has released a number of Windows Phone props for Xbox Live avatars.

A lot of software news to go through so let's get stuck in. Two custom ROMs have been released for the Lumia 710, both are worth checking out if you're down for more customisation. First up is Metro^7, and next is RainbowMod. We have taken a look at Ronny Gydar's (developer behind Trine's Hangman) latest app - People Search. It has blown us away with its features, simplicity and the overall concept. WPCentral followed Nokia with its progress on their OEM TV app for Lumia Windows Phones. The app has now been released, which is available for download everywhere but only features Finnish TV for the time being. The manufacturer has also launched Nokia Reading.

While Nokia has taken some flack for their sub-par cameras, they are rumoured to be working on a Camera Extension app to further enhance the Lumia experience. Philadelphia startup AboutOne, a family organiser service, has exclusively launched a Windows Phone app for consumers to use with paid plans to help arrange and digest family life. The US based charity Feeding America has announced plans to migrate their workforce over to Windows Phone from RIM.

With more official apps being released on the platform, even the likes of Nectar are getting involved in the action. But if you're not particularly interested in loyalty points, how about stalking friends and loved ones through social networks? Friend Tracker now enables users to keep up-to-date with all the minute alterations and updates to social profiles. ScoreMobile is a popular Windows Phone sport app, now ScoreMobile FC is in the Marketplace, which focuses on football in its entirety. A burning question remains, is a Photosynth app iminent

To celebrate 500,000 accumulative downloads, the developers of glƏƏk! developers have decided to unleash a number of special codes that can be used to unlock the full version of their Twitter client. eBuddy XMS has been updated, bringing group messaging. Rowi Lite has received attention with a new version featuring Aviary editing, multiple accounts and TweetMarker support. Both Beem and WhatsApp also join the list of updated apps, to close up our software coverage.

The recently announced Samsung Omnia M has been priced at an Italian website for €294.99, while a mysterious Samsung SCH-S759 has been certified and may well be heading for China. The TITAN has had its price slashed on AT&T to just a single penny when purchased on contract. The Lumia 900 has been a busy bee with a planned launch in Singapore on May 26th, as well as joining the Samsung handset in reaching China.

Mobilicity now offers the Lumia 710 to Canadian consumers, which is also on WIND Mobile. Lowering down the handset chain within the Lumia family further, we have the entry-level 610. This handset is set to be released in Belgium next week. Let's not forget those who are down under, as both this low-end handset and the 900 are heading to Australian shores. If that weren't enough for the country, the TITAN II has been priced with plans revealed. Wrapping up hardware is news of the HTC TITAN II on AT&T receiving a price reduction of $150.

While ING Direct hasn't released an app for Windows Phone for countries other than Canada, they have featured the Lumia 900 on their mobile page, which is a welcomed gesture. The winners of the 30 to Launch Microsoft competition have been announced, and Social Mint is among said apps. The Bing Social Search Priview is now available for U.S. residents to check out Microsoft's vision for the search engine. A Metro Melody has been created by Matt Oglesby using only Windows Phone apps.

The Windows Phone team are holding a music into event on May 30th in London, which will feature live performances, even from the popular Noisettes. Mario Lopez and Microsoft's Margaret Arakawa were talking up Windows Phone on Extra and gave away a batch of Lumia 900s. YouRang is a cool Windows Phone app that enables users to rip songs straight from YouTube. How strong is the Lumia 900? Would it survive being hammered by a nail? Check out the torture video showing the strength of the Windows Phone. Note: not for those who might be easily offended, or who may feel sad.

Developers, developers, developers! Aviary has released a SDK for the platform that enables apps to tap into the photo editing functionality, which will allow consumers to manipulate photos prior to uploading to the web. Closing us off is news of AdDuplex, the popular promotion service for Windows Phone developers, launching a referral feature.







Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

1 Comment
  • Good job. I have seen lots of new people doing reviews lately. Cool to know.