August 15, 2013 3:22 pm
Nokia took the lid off its Lumia Amber update for Windows Phone 8 devices today, admitting that it is rolling out later than expected but with a few more features than initially promised.
The update, which also includes the requisite improvements in Microsoft’s GDR2 roundup, includes a number of app additions, including Nokia’s Smart Camera that debuted with the Lumia 925. Amber reportedly ups the quality of photos taken with Nokia’s various cameras, “significantly [improving] algorithms that offer better noise reduction, colour reproduction, exposure control and autofocus,” and adds ISO settings from 800 to 3200 on the Lumia 920.
Smart Camera, which can be configured to launch by default, brings new modes such as Best Shot — a succession of ten photos that you can choose between — and Action Shot, which combines a few movement photos into a cool composite.
Slower phones, like the Lumia 520 and 620, won’t benefit as greatly from Smart Camera, but all Lumia devices will take better photos on Amber.
Pro Camera, which debuted with the Lumia 1020, is also going to be available for the Lumia 920, which provides quick access to white balance, focus, ISO and shutter speed. The app also gives videographers the ability to edit and upload content to Nokia’s servers.
Amber also brings Nokia’s Glance Screen, which was a highly-touted feature on the little used N9. This allows users to add a clock to the phone when it is inactive. On devices that don’t have an AMOLED display, like the Lumia 920, it can be configured to only alight when the phone is charging.
Nokia has also added flip-to-silence and double-tap-to-unlock abilities in this update, which equate to small conveniences that users will love.
The Lumia Amber update will begin rolling out “soon” to the Rogers Lumia 920, and is currently in testing across multiple carriers for the Lumia 520 and 620. We’ll update this post when the rollout begins.
Update: Looks like Smart Cam and Pro Cam, as well as Video Trimmer and Video Upload, are available on the Lumia 920 now, even without the Amber update. Get downloading, Windows Phone users!