Windows Phone Store Continues Its Growth, Adds Voice-Activated Personal Assistant And Asphalt 7: Heat

While the total number of apps available for Windows Phone 8 still lags behind Apple's App Store and Google's Play store, Windows Phone 8 users should be happy to see more and more developers pay attention to the Windows Phone 8 platform. Recently, the Windows Phone store received a couple of additions in the form of a third-party voice-activated personal assistant and Asphalt 7: Heat.

While most people have heard of Siri, Apple's voice-activated personal assistant that comes on iPhones, we're betting far fewer people have heard of Maluuba, a personal assistant app that is now available to Windows Phone 8 users.

If you're familiar with Windows Phone 8, you know the phone already supports various speech commands. Maluuba is designed to offer additional speech functionality including the ability to pin featured searches to Start and text-to-speech capabilities so you can listen to results. Maluuba is also available for Android. However, as you can see from the marketing video below the Android version of Maluuba doesn't offer text-to-speech.

Maluuba is designed for natural speech commands such as "Where can I find sushi restaurants nearby?” or “Remind me to pick up the dry cleaning tomorrow at 5:30pm." Although limited, initial reviews of Maluuba are positive with the app receiving 4 out of 5 stars. Users have left comments calling the app "amazing" and "awesome." On user named Bill wrote, "Wow. I've been throwing all kinds of things at Maluuba just using everyday language and it's remarkably good at giving me the right response. Almost spooky at times. If this is version 1, I can't wait to see where they go next!" Maluuba is free and it's currently available for download from the Windows Phone 8 store.

Asphalt 7: Heat also joined the Windows Phone Store recently. This version of the famed racing game is available for $0.99. The game has been enhanced with multiplayer capabilities so you can race up to five friends locally or online. The game features 60 cars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and the DeLorean. In Asphalt 7: Heat, you'll have the option to race on one of 15 tracks that are located around the world. There are six game modes, 15 leagues, and 150 different races.

Additions such as Maluuba and Asphalt 7: Heat bring functionally and entertainment options to the platform that users are sure to appreciate. Despite these additions, Windows Phone 8 still has a long way to go to catch up to other platforms in terms of apps but Microsoft is definitely making progress.