Nokia, AOL team on Entrance mobile entertainment hub for Lumia phones


AOL is launching Entrance, a new mobile entertainment hub built for Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia smartphones running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone operating system.

Highlights of the Entrance by AOL application include an Augmented Reality feature that overlays local theater information, showtimes and movie posters atop real-world environments--corresponding Moviefone integration enables users to view trailers and purchase tickets directly within the app, while The Huffington Post, AOL Music and other outlets supply news about movies, celebrities, music and TV.

Entrance by AOL also boasts SHOUTcast Radio integration featuring streaming media from more than 55,000 radio stations worldwide, as well as CD Listening Party, which provides exclusive access to free, full-length albums from up-and-coming artists, complete with options to purchase premium downloads.

AOL notes that Entrance was developed with an emphasis on interlinked news and entertainment content--for example, users can tap a movie preview to learn more about the cast and continue drilling down for additional information on a specific actor. Consumers may also listen to music from the film and purchase the soundtrack. In addition, Entrance levels Windows Phone's horizontal scroll option to enable more efficient content navigation.

AOL is not the only content partner recruited by Nokia to boost the Lumia user experience: Bloomberg reports the struggling device maker is teaming with entertainment giants including The Walt Disney Company and DreamWorks Animation to bring popular iOS and Android apps like Where's My Water? and Where's My Perry? to the Windows Phone platform. In recent months, Nokia has also inked Lumia content partnerships with brands ranging from ESPN to Groupon, and on Tuesday, the company expanded its free Nokia Music streaming service to the U.S. market, promising Lumia smartphone owners access to more than 150 exclusive playlists presented without commercial interruption.

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store offers iPhone and iPad users more than 650,000 applications, roughly six times the number available to Windows Phone users--an imbalance that many believe plays a major role in Windows Phone's struggles to gain traction in the consumer market. Nokia contends that quality apps and unique mobile experiences can make up for the volume gap: "We have partners that are creating unique apps for us and I think Windows Phone 8 will really take that to the next level," Nokia Head of Developer Experience Marco Argenti told Bloomberg.

Nokia is expected to unveil new Lumia handsets based on Windows Phone 8 during a media event today. Be sure to visit FierceWireless for complete coverage.

For more:
- read this release
- read this Bloomberg article

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