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Microsoft shows off new apps for Windows Phone 8: NOVA 3, Audible, Camera Extras and more

Microsoft shows off new apps for Windows Phone 8: NOVA 3, Audible, Camera Extras and more


Microsoft announced new apps for Windows Phone at its event today, alongside the new Windows Phone 8.

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Windows Phone 8 apps
Windows Phone 8 apps

At an event today revealing Windows Phone 8, Microsoft also showed off some new apps for the platform. In addition to the NFC-connected Wallet app and the announcement that Nokia's mapping data will power Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's execs also demoed games like Gameloft's Nova 3 and Asphalt 7, plus Fairway Solitaire. During their demos, games were incredibly detailed and powerful, and Microsoft says the ports only took a couple of weeks. There's also a new app for audiobook service Audible, which is available today in the Marketplace.

There are a bunch of new Nokia apps for the next version of the OS, too: Nokia Music has been upgraded to version 3.0, with a number of radio and offline playback enhancements; Nokia Counters lets you track your usage habits. Camera Extras is an app, built with Scalado, that adds features like a self-timer and a panorama mode to the camera. There's also a nifty Smart Groups shot mode that lets you take a bunch of pictures and choose the best one. Nokia Maps and Drive have both been updated recently as well.

Company Hub is a new app for enterprise users that brings all your company's information — news, alerts, company apps, and the like — into one place. Each company can customize the app and include it for their employees, completely outside the Marketplace.

The new "shared core" between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 means developing apps for both platforms will apparently only take a very small amount of extra code. It's even possible to share code with iOS and Android apps. Apps can also take advantage of Windows Phone 8's new NFC functionality — a game called "Spell It" showed using NFC to set up a quick peer-to-peer connection between a phone and a tablet.

NFC's not the only core functionality now available to developers, either. Microsoft's new Speech platform is available to developers, as is the deeply integrated VoIP calling and background location data. In-app purchasing is now available as well, through the Wallet app. Microsoft very clearly knows how important developers are to the future of Windows Phone, and it's taking giant strides to provide the necessary tools for developers to create lots of good apps for Windows Phone 8 beyond the 100,000 it announced are currently available on the platform. The SDK will be released this summer, and Microsoft promised to hold developer events at that time.

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