The Weekly Wrap: Angry Birds gets extra levels, 11 tips for taking better photos, Cro-Mag Rally arrives

Here’s my take on the most interesting and useful Windows Phone news from the past week. Love it? Hate it? Jot down a comment and let me know!

Big updates for Angry Birds, Facebook and more

It was a big week for app updates in Marketplace. First, Rovio added 90 new levels to their blockbuster game Angry Birds. This update unlocks Episodes 10 and 11, and brings the total number of levels in the game to 245. Download it now. But that’s just for starters. A bunch more big-name apps also received notable upgrades this week, including Facebook, Groupon, USA Today, Evernote (blog), and WordPress (blog).

Angry Birds

 

11 tips for taking better pictures on your Windows Phone

Has your phone become your primary camera? Then you’ll want to check out Dave Johnson’s handy PC World article that offers some suggestions for squeezing better shots from your Windows Phone. One of his suggestions is to stock up on image-enhancing apps. Not sure where to start? Check out Know Your Mobile’s list of top 5 photography apps in Marketplace.

Sydney’s top Windows Phone apps…

Who the heck is Sydney and why should you care? Good question. Sydney is Sydney Myers, teen lifestyle editor of the mobile tech site Phonedog. You may remember that we featured Sydney here last week when she wrote an illuminating essay on why she switched to Windows Phone from Android. Well, now Sydney has struck again. This time she’s named her 10 favorite Windows Phone apps, and it’s a refreshingly quirky list. Always fun to see the phone, and Marketplace, through the eyes of a new convert. Check out her list

…and Gizmodo’s

Gizmodo, meanwhile, maintains its own authoritative lists of what its editors deem the absolute best apps for each major mobile platform. The lists are updated monthly, and Giz just published its Windows Phone picks for July. Which Marketplace apps made the cut? Click here to find out. “Windows Phone 7 is impressively rounding itself to an awesome OS,” the editors write in the new intro.

Tips for managing your contacts

Device Magazine publishes a regular tips column on Windows Phone that’s perfect if you’re new to the phone—or smartphones in general. Geared to beginners, the latest installment is about better ways to manage your contacts. Check it out. And don’t forget about our own popular tips sheet on the Windows Phone website.

Now on Windows Phone: Cro-Mag Rally

Say hello to Cro-Mag Rally, the first kart-racing game on Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone. The game features a two-player mode, nine race tracks, and several vehicles—plus 200 achievement points. The game, which costs $2.99 and includes a free trial, is for anyone who needs their arcade racing fix. Download it now

CroMag