Good news for Windows Phone users (yes, both of you) – Nokia have started the global roll out of the operating system’s “Black” update – the codename for the latest version. With it comes a raft of improvements, which you can see after the break.
The update begins today – starting with the Nokia 1020 (the beast with the 41 megapixel camera) and the Nokia 925 – with the rest of the Nokia range following shortly.
Here’s how Nokia themselves describe all of the updates:
- App Folder. This brand new feature makes your Lumia experience even more fluid by giving you an option to further personalize and organize your Start screen. With App folders you can group similar apps and settings into one folder, a tile, on your Start screen.
- Nokia Glance screen 2.0. Helps you keep track of information in real time, making all your most important notifications including: phone, messages, email, outlook, calendar, or any apps that use notifications such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, or games; always visible at a glance on your screen. It saves time and energy.
- Bluetooth LE. Will now be enabled across the full Windows Phone 8 Lumia range for compatible gadgets like the Adidas MiCoach accessories.
- Nokia Refocus. The amazing Nokia Refocus comes to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones with 1GB of RAM and upwards.
- Nokia Beamer. Sharing what’s on your phone is easier than ever with Nokia Beamer. You can now beam documents, presentations, anything you like, to any HTML5-enabled screen by simply scanning a QR code on the screen. It’s coming to all of the phones with 1GB RAM upwards.
- Nokia Storyteller. The app arranges your photos for you, by date and by place, making it easier to tell the stories behind your pictures, and give extra context through the close integration of interactive maps.
- Nokia Camera. Combines Nokia Pro Camera and Smart Camera to simplify the photo-taking experience, and ensure you get the perfect shot every time. The app has been available for Lumia PureView smartphones since last year, but it’s now coming to the rest of the WP8 Lumia range. The latest Nokia Camera update also brings raw DNG support for Lumia 1020 owners.
- Latest generation of imaging algorithms. The Lumia Black update further improves the image quality, especially in Lumia 1020. Among others, the improvements include a new oversampling algorithm, making your images more natural looking with reduced noise, while ensuring your photos remain wonderfully sharp.
We’re particularly pleased about the Nokia Beamer update – having used it when reviewing the Nokia 1520, I can confirm that it is excellent.
The update also brings some minor tweaks from Microsoft’s end – safe driving mode, custom ringtones, closing apps in multitasking view and the ability to lock the screen rotation.
If you’re a Lumia user and want to update, simply head to Settings then Phone Update. The update should be available now.
By James O'Malley | January 9th, 2014