The Windows Club

New features in Windows Phone 8 Amber Update

Windows Phone is slowly picking up votes from consumers thanks to some real cool innovative stuff that the Windows Phone team has ensured being available on all handsets with Windows Phone 8.

The latest update from Microsoft to Windows Phone 8 will offer:

  1. Data Sense to help you stay on top of your phone’s data usage and set a limit based on your data plan.
  2. FM Radio feature from Windows Phone 7 is back
  3. Camera update includes several tweaks that will please photographers.

Windows Phone 8 Amber Update

In addition to this, some Lumia models are also getting a companion upgrade from Nokia. This update from Nokia, dubbed as simply ‘Amber’ or ‘Lumia Amber update’ takes it a notch higher especially for Nokia Lumia devices.

The Amber update comes with many handy features, some of which were requested by users at an online forum, like the Radio. When I upgraded to my Nokia Lumia 920, I was a bit taken aback seeing the absence of Radio because it was available on my Lumia 800 handset. Thankfully, I can now smile with Radio coming back to Windows Phone 8 handsets through the Amber update. A few notes on the important improvements/additions are as follows:

Camera: Huge improvements are being added in this area with the Nokia Smart Camera app and Nokia Pro app. The former is perfect for pictures involving people and motion.

“[the Nokia Smart Camera] app brings a slew of different options – use Best Shot to find the sharpest image from a series of ten; combine several shots of people in movement into one with Action Shot; heighten the appearance of speed by blurring the background with Motion Focus; create ideal group shots by choosing the best faces from a series with Change Faces, or remove unwanted objects from your pictures.”

On a similar side, the Nokia Pro App is intended for taking shots from a professional’s perspective where in you can control the shutter speed, the aperture et al. I am a fan of this app and with devices like Lumia 920 and Lumia 1020 which boast of the best cameras in business, these apps are a shot in the arm for photo enthusiast users.

Glance screen: One of the most requested features, Glance Screen allows a user to quickly ‘glance’ at the time, battery status and silent/ringer mode by simply swiping left without the need to hit the power button or unlock the phone. Very very neat!

Data check: Browsing the web on a limited data plan and worried that you might go over board? The Data Sense app got you covered. It details the specifics of data usage by all apps and also allows you to set a data limit to keep you notified about your usage, apart from other helpful options.

Other mentions: Through the Amber update, you can mute an incoming call by simply flipping the phone over. Double tapping the screen to unlock, editing videos through the Nokia Video Trimmer app, instantly uploading them to YouTube thanks to the Nokia Video Upload app are a few lovely benefits of the Amber update.

Visit the Nokia Support page for information on the Windows Phone handsets receiving the Amber update (if you haven’t yet). It’s like sending your favorite car to a service center and getting a pleasantly customized one back.

Good work, Nokia. And Microsoft.