Today at CTIA Wireless – the show for “all things mobile”, the Finnish mobile manufacturer, Nokia announced a plethora of new and extended application-based partners that are touted to bring leading and exclusive titles to the Lumia smartphone range. These newly announced applications will be part of the 80,000 applications currently available on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Senior Vice President of Nokia Developer, Marco Argenti said,
“With Nokia Lumia smartphones now available in 48 markets, developers are rapidly recognizing business opportunities and creating their best work for our consumers.”
For the Sports category, there will be two new additions in the form of the PGA Tour application which will apparently be available exclusively to Nokia Lumia smartphone owners from June 2012. The application is said to provide scores along with player information and offer an interactive and augmented coverage of golf-related action from events on a hole-by-hole basis. And the second addition is the ESPN application which is said to receive a number of updates over the coming months that will apparently bring about more personalisation options such as panoramas dedicated to your chosen teams. Besides that, A version of ESPN Fantasy Football application will also be launching exclusively for Lumia smartphones this fall.
As for games, EA’s arsenal of games is to be substantiated with even more new titles which include FIFA, Madden, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods, Mirror’s Edge and Yahtzee. In addition to that, Rovio has also announced that it is currently building a dedicated development team whose sole responsibility is to create titles for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Their alleged goal is to publish all of Rovio’s future titles including the popular Angry Birds Space for the Mobile OS as soon as they possibly can.
Moving on to the Lifestyle category, 3 application partners have spoken up about either adding their application or improving their current application for the Windows Phone OS. Firstly, is Groupon which is apparently working to overhaul its current application on Windows Phone to introduce a new augmented reality deal-finder function for it. If the schedule is kept to, it is said to be exclusive for Lumia owners for six months following its launch in summer this year. Secondly, TripDots which seems to be an application that would help motorists increase their fuel efficiency and the application also features a wider social game that awards achievements on top of cost-savings while maintaining privacy of users at the same time. Lastly, we have PayPal which is allegedly in the works with Nokia to create a Windows Phone application that will allow secure, speedy and more convenient payments through PayPal wherever users may be.
From the entertainment point of view, AOL Entertainment Hub is the application of choice for Nokia and reportedly, once it is launched, it will also be exclusive for Lumia users for six months before it is opened up to other Windows Phone handsets. The application by AOL brings the best of its content to users and that includes the ability to play any of the company’s 55,000 SHOUTcast radio stations, album streaming with Listening Party, a host of movie trailers on top of other features.
As far as news is concerned, two partners have been scooped up with the first being the famous magazine TIME. The magazine which allegedly has the world’s largest weekly circulation is coming to Windows Phone and apparently, the application will deliver content from Time.com to mobile making full use of the Windows Phone UI. This includes alerts for breaking news and the ability to share hot news with your contacts via the ‘People Hub’ and Live Tiles. Next is NewsWeek which is in the process of creating a Windows Phone application of its digital content partner, The Daily Beast. The app will be designed for users to have news on-the-go and will allow you to access juicy stories in mere seconds. On top of that, it will apparently also include access to The Cheat Sheet which is touted to be a one-stop-shop for leading stories across the globe.
Finally, for the productivity category, Nokia has locked arms with Box to bring the cloud-storage service to Windows Phone. As Nokia puts it, Box provides simple, secure sharing from anywhere in nine languages. The application will allow Windows Phone owners across the globe the ability to browse, search and share files right from their mobile phone.
With regards to how the software development for Windows Phone is now changing, industry analyst firm IDC said that current developers are stepping back from just porting existing applications to the OS and instead hope to create new and robust applications that will take advantage of the distinct features available on the Windows Phone operating system and it’s UI. Chief Research Officer IDC, Crawford Del Prete said,
“With new and exclusive applications launching on a regular basis, and Nokia Lumia rapidly expanding into new markets, Nokia and Microsoft are demonstrating meaningful differentiation for consumers, developers, operators and retailers.”
With all these prominent applications and brand names involved in buffing up the Windows Phone marketplace, it could mean that the limited amount of applications in it will not be much of a deal breaker for those who are looking to purchase their next smartphone based on just the number of applications available for it. In summary, it seems that most of the applications listed will be available for all phones that use the OS despite the fact that some of them will start out as Lumia exclusives. With about 80,000 applications and counting, this could be a huge step in the right direction to prove that even with lesser applications with high standards, its application ecosystem can still remain relevant. What do you think?