Nokia has announced the availability of its Lumia Black update for Windows Phone 8 Lumia phones.
The company first mentioned the name Lumia Black at Nokia World 2013 as the working name for an update to its Windows Phone 8 line. The update was promised to bring a variety of features that were found on the Nokia Lumia 1520 flagship. Now the update is here although some features will be available only to certain smartphones that meet the hardware requirements.
Many of the new features are about imaging and camera. The new Nokia Camera app combines three camera modes into one, video, Smart Camera, and Nokia Pro Camera that lets users change settings via translucent concentric circles overlaid on top of the viewfinder. This means you can see the effects of the new settings right away. Also coming to those Lumia phones that have 1 GB of RAM is Nokia Refocus, an app that lets you focus on any single point in the viewfinder, blurring out the rest – like changing the size of aperture.
The Lumia Black update has several new apps. Nokia Beamer comes for phones with 1 GB of RAM or more, letting users beam not just images but also documents and presentations to any HTML5-enabled screen by scanning a QR Code. Nokia Storyteller, which first appeared on the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520 last year, collates your photos by time and place, creating an interesting storyline that you can view over an interactive map. Storyteller will be available on all devices receiving the update.
Lumia Black introduces a new homescreen tile called App Folder, which is a container for grouping apps and settings into a single location on the homescreen. Nokia Glance has also been update to version 2.0 and now supports displaying up to 5 notification icons on the screen and offers night time colors of red, green, or blue to make it easier to read the screen in the dark.
The Nokia Lumia Black update is starting to roll out and will be available to many of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 smartphones. At present, however, only the Lumia 1020 and the Lumia 925 are receiving the update, with others to follow in the next few weeks.