Microsoft: More camera apps coming to Windows Phone 7

Microsoft has added more tools for developers to get creative with the camera on a Windows Phone 7 smartphone at its MIX 11 event in Las Vegas this week.

Although the new developer tools, which come out in May, offer plenty more features besides, the one that is likely to get Augmented Reality fans and photographers getting excited is that developers will for the first time since the OS’s launch in October 2010 have access to the camera.

Microsoft has continued to tease us with yet another showing of what will be in the “Mango” update for Windows Phone 7 that is due out later this year.

The company has used it’s MIX 11 event in Las Vegas to build on the momentum it first started creating at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in February.

New to developers, and therefore the people that are going to be making compelling apps, are a stack of new tools that allow for better multitasking in the background, audio and file transfer and the promise of faster application switching.

Also added is deeper phone integration so that apps can now take better advantage of the Live Tiles.

The free Windows Phone Developer Tools for the new Windows Phone OS will be available to developers in May.

Today, Microsoft also provided an early glimpse of app concepts for the next version of Windows Phone OS with new experiences from Skype, Spotify, Layar, Qantas, Amazon Shopping and Kik Messenger.

Brandon Watson, senior director of developer experience for Window Phone 7, noted that since the launch of Windows Phone in November, the number of countries that support creation and commerce of apps has jumped from 16 to 35. He also said that three additional countries — most notably China — will soon support app creation.

The Mango update is expected towards the end of the year.