Nokia has cooked up deals with a host of developers to lure more apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace for Lumia smartphone owners.
Announced at CTIA Wireless 2012 today, the new partnerships with several leading app developers are aimed at offering more relevant apps for Lumia users.
Games are hot on the list, with Angry Birds Space soaring onto Lumia phones. Though no launch date was revealed, Nokia said it's working with Angry Birds creator Rovio to design games specifically for Lumia devices. Electronic Arts is also joining the Windows Phone party, slated to offer such games as FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Mirror's Edge, and Yahtzee.
Among entertainment apps, an AOL Entertainment Hub will offer exclusive access to 55,000 radio stations, streaming music, and movie trailers, among other content.
Sports fans will soon be able to tap into an ESPN Hub with Live Tile updates of the latest scores and coverage of tennis games, NASCAR racing, and the 2012 Olympics. A Windows Phone version of ESPN Fantasy Football will reach Lumia owners this fall. Late next month, live coverage of the PGA Tour will also find its way onto Lumia phones, providing scores, highlights, and player information.
A dedicated PayPal app will launch for Windows Phone, letting Lumia owners pay for items on the go. An app from cloud storage site Box will debut this summer, giving Lumia customers mobile access to their online files. And deal site Groupon is upgrading its Windows Phone app to offer users personalized, location-based deals.
In the news department, Time and Newsweek's Daily Beast will join the Windows Phone Marketplace with dedicated apps, both taking advantage of the Live Tiles feature to deliver the latest news.
With interest and sales hot among Apple and Android devices, Nokia and Microsoft have been working hard to woo more developers to the Windows Phone platform. That investment seems to be paying off. The Windows Phone Marketplace has been growing at a healthy pace. It is currently home to about 80,000 apps, up from just 50,000 at the end of last year.
"We are focused on delivering great, locally relevant apps, and importantly, those which offer unique, exclusive and original experiences," Marco Argenti, senior vice president for Nokia Developer Experience, said in a statement. "With Nokia Lumia smartphones now available in 48 markets, developers are rapidly recognizing the business opportunities and creating their best work for our consumers."