The newest version of Windows Phone, known as “Tango,” is rolling out to Nokia’s Lumia-branded phones.
The update gives a lot of attention to Nokia’s presence on the Windows Phone platform, and includes new apps that are only available to Nokia devices.
One such app is called Camera Extras, which adds a bunch of new features like Self Timer, Smart Group Shot, Action Shot, and Panorama.
The more universal features include flip-to-silence, which automatically puts the phone in silence mode when it is placed upside-down on a desk or table, as well as Internet sharing, a feature that has become common on Android phones and lets users turn their phone into a mobile hotspot for up to five devices.
The new content “will only be available for your Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710 once you have installed the new Windows Phone 7.5 software update,” Nokia wrote on its blog. “The software update is available during June and July 2012 and the apps will be rolled out globally by the end of July.”
The newer Nokia Lumia 610 and Nokia Lumia 900 models already have most of these features.
900,000 Nokia-branded devices were shipped in the fourth quarter of last year.
That is one-third of the total number of Windows Phone units that were sent, which was 2.7 million in total. Because of Nokia, Windows Phone shipments were up 36 percent.
Before Nokia stepped in, the top player in the Windows Phone field was HTC. The most important thing to keep in mind is that by the end of the fourth quarter, Nokia hadn’t even begun shipping any Windows Phone devices to the US.
The first Lumia phone to hit the US came out in early 2012, but it was available in other regions late last year.
Of course, being the top Windows Phone manufacturer is kind of like being the best player in Little League – you’ll still have a tough time competing in the MLB. In other words, Android and iOS are still dominating the market, and Nokia has a long way to go if it wants to legitimately compete in that field.
So far, Nokia has made quite an impression, and there is the possibility that it could almost single-handedly help bring Windows Phone within striking distance of the two larger smartphone OS players. It will need to continue innovating if it wants that to happen.