Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia today announced that it is making Windows Phone 7.8 available to its older Lumia smartphones. The update will be pushed out on a carrier-by-carrier basis over the coming weeks and through February. In addition to the new Start screen with adjustable Live Tiles, Windows Phone 7.8 adds new functionality to the lock screen, such as daily Bing images and child lock screen security. Windows Phone 7.8 also adds support for a number of new languages. The software can be installed via Microsoft's desktop-based apps to devices such as the Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610. It is a free system update.
Nokia has released a new beta version of Nokia Transport, its mass transit route-finding application. Nokia Transport Beta 2.3 makes it easier to see segments of a route through the use of new icons for bus, train, or subway transports. The beta software includes revised points-of-interest icons that make it easier to see final destinations. The search history tool has been dramatically overhauled so that previous results can be accessed with a swipe. Touching any previous search result will automatically generate new directions from the users' location to that point. The software also includes walking directions for when users might need to walk between two public transportation stations to complete a given route. Nokia transport Beta 2.3 can be downloaded directly from the Nokia Beta Labs web site. It is compatible with the Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610. Nokia Transport offers mass transit directions in 550 cities world wide.
Nokia today said that it is going to offer deliver new features to its existing lineup of Windows Phone devices, including the Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610. First, Nokia will offer the Cinemagraph and Smart Group Shot camera features that it recently showed off during the launch of the Lumia 920/820. These features improve the picture shooting and sharing experience. All Lumia devices will receive a new Start screen look and feel that will mimic the Windows Phone 8 Start screen. Nokia will also add a ringtone maker app (in select markets). Contacts will be easier to share once the app is updated by Nokia, as it will add the ability to share contacts over Bluetooth in addition to email and text messages. Bluetooth on Lumia devices will also gain the ability to send media files to other Bluetooth devices with the addition of the object push profile. Nokia said these new features will be added in phases over time and it will provide more details once they are ready for dispersal. The Lumia 900 will still be updated to Windows Phone 7.8, which includes a number of additional new features.
Nokia recently updated its Nokia Drive application with a new feature called My Commute. With My Commute enabled, Nokia Drive will learn over time the various routes that Lumia device owners take to and from work. The app also learns the general time that you leave for work in the morning, as well as when you leave work in the evening, and can inform the driver of traffic problems in advance so that they may re-route to avoid problems. The update also allows Lumia device owners to pin destinations to the home screen, allowing for one-press access to their route home. Nokia Drive is a free download for the Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610, and the My Commute feature is available in the U.S. to start. My Commute will be expanded to other markets over time. Nokia also reiterated that it plans to make Nokia Drive available to all Windows Phone 8 devices later this year, including those made by competitors HTC and Samsung. For now, however, it is exclusive to Lumia devices.
Nokia has updated its Maps app for the Windows Phone platform to version 2.5. Nokia Maps 2.5 adds several new features, most notably integration with and support for Groupon in the United States. This means users will be able to view which deals are nearby and route directions to take advantage of them. Nokia Maps 2.5 also adds a route planner and fixes a handful of bugs. It is a free download for Nokia Lumia Windows Phones in the Marketplace for Mobile.
Nokia today announced that a new beta version of its Pulse messaging service is available to the Lumia 900, 800, 710, and 610. Pulse is a collaborative event/messaging tool for Windows Phones that allows users to send invitations to others complete with locations, directions, ratings, and other data embedded in the message. The app can then update information about planned events in real-time based on user locations and additional messages. New features of Pulse Beta include the ability to sign in with Facebook accounts, the ability to start new conversations as soon as the app opens, and new visibility of app updates via the app's Live Tile. Nokia has also improved the performance of the application, allowing users to consolidate multiple email addresses for individual contacts and more easily edit app data. The current version of Pulse is 0.8.0.0. Nokia said that the roll out of beta 0.9.0.0 will vary by region, and users can check for the update via the Marketplace or their desktop client.
Nokia's Richard Kerris, VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, said in an interview with Neowin that the phone maker expects Lumia Windows Phone devices to be available from Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the U.S. soon. Though Kerris didn't reveal any specific details, his comments reiterate earlier statements made by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who said that Nokia planned to offer differentiated Lumia devices to each of the four major U.S. carriers. "Soon" in this case likely refers to this Fall, which is when Windows Phone 8 is expected to debut. Kerris also reiterated that the imaging technology used in the PureView 808 will make its way to Lumia Windows Phone device, though he declined to say which device or when. Last, Kerris said that the company is spending a significant amount of money on research and development and that "people will be climbing over themselves" to get new Nokia products come the Spring of 2013.
Nokia today said that a system update for the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 is now available worldwide. The update, first announced last week at a Microsoft event, does not change the system software to Windows Phone 7.8, but it does add several new and useful features. Once updated, both the 800 and 710 will be able to share internet connections with other devices via Wi-Fi. Mobile hotspot can support up to five other devices. The update also adds the flip-to-silence feature for incoming phone calls, and delivers compatibility with several new applications, including Camera Extras, Counters, Contact share, and more. The update can be installed via Microsoft's Zune software of the Windows Phone Connector for Mac.
Nokia recently announced that a system update will be pushed to the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 in the coming weeks. This update does not change the system software to Windows Phone 7.8, but it does add several new and useful features. Once updated, both the 800 and 710 will be able to share internet connections with other devices via Wi-Fi. Mobile hotspot can support up to five other devices. The update also adds the flip-to-silence feature for incoming phone calls, and delivers compatibility with several new applications, including Camera Extras, Counters, Contact share, and more. The update is for all global variants of the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, and Nokia expects all devices will receive the update by the end of July. The Lumia 900 and Lumia 610 already have these features.
Nokia joined Microsoft on stage in San Francisco today to reiterate its commitment to the Windows Phone platform and talk about specific features and support Nokia Lumia owners can expect from Nokia moving forward. First, Nokia will provide the Windows Phone 7.8 update to all of its Lumia devices. WP7.8 provides the new WP8 Start screen to older Windows Phone devices, but doesn't bring most of the platform's new features. Nokia also plans to offer new apps exclusive to Lumia Windows Phones, including Camera Extras, which adds action shot, panorama, and a timer to the camera. Other exclusive apps include Contact Share, which lets Lumia owners easily share contact details via SMS; Play-To, which lets Lumia owners share pictures, videos, and music with other DLNA–enabled devices; and a refresh of the Nokia Music 3.0 application, which adds new features as well.
Nokia today announced a significant reorganization of its business in hopes of saving costs and becoming more efficient. The company plans to lay off approximately 10,000 workers worldwide through several plant closings and the consolidation of other facilities. The layoffs are expected to be complete by the end of 2013. Nokia also plans to renew its focus on core parts of its business that will help it shore up its Lumia smartphones and feature phones. The company will invest in technologies that will make its phones stand out from competitors' devices, and will invest in more location-based technology to further differentiate its phones. Nokia also said that it plans to offer a wider range of low-cost Windows Phones, similar to the Lumia 610. As part of today's announcement, Nokia said that it plans to focus its marketing and sales activities on key markets, streamline its IT and other support organizations, and reduce investments in non-core assets. The strategic reorganization also brings with it significant changes to the company's leadership ranks. Chris Weber, who has spearheaded Nokia's efforts in North America for the past year, has been promoted to executive vice president of sales and marketing. Other promotions include Tuula Rytila to senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and Susan Sheehan as senior vice president of communications. Mary MacDowell, who has served as executive vice president of mobile phones, is leaving the company. Other departures include Jerri DeVard, executive vice president and chief marketing officer and Niklas Savander, executive vice president of Markets. The departures are effective June 30 and the new leadership roles will go into effect July 1. Nokia believes all these changes will help it become more competitive in the market.
Nokia today announced the initial availability of its Nokia Reader application. Nokia Reader is an e-reader type application that offers content in a number of different languages. Nokia believes that the ClearBlack display used by its Lumia smartphones helps reduce glare and make reading on the phone's display easier. The application also has adjustable text size, and a night mode for when reading in the dark. The initial launch countries are France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK. Others will follow over the rest of the year. The app is free.
Nokia today announced new software partnerships that will bring exclusive content to its line of Lumia Windows Phone devices. Some of the most prominent apps that will only be available to Nokia's smartphones at launch include the Box cloud storage service and PayPal mobile. Others include Time Magazine and Newsweek, Groupon and Tripdots, and Angry Birds and other EA titles. The apps will become available over the next few weeks in the Windows Phone Marketplace in 48 markets around the world.
Nokia today indicated that the firmware update planned to reach the Lumia 800 later this spring has been moved up and will be pushed out starting today. The newest software version is 1600.2487.8107.12070 and improves battery life, power management, camera performance, and in-call audio performance. This update does not, however, bring mobile hotspot or data tethering features to the Lumia 800. Nokia and Microsoft are still working to add those features. The update will be rolled out in stages over the next four weeks. Lumia 800 owners are encouraged to check Nokia's web site to see when the update will become available to them.
Nokia recently released a beta application called Play To, which uses DLNA technology to allow Lumia smartphone users to share media from their device to other DLNA-compatible equipment. To start, the application can share photos and video, but not music. Nokia plans to add music-sharing support at a later time. Nokia hopes that beta testers will help it fine-tune the application before it reaches a planned general release through the Windows Phone Market. The software is free to download and use.
Nokia has delivered updates to its Drive, Maps, and Transport applications to the Marketplace for Mobile. All three apps include new features that are available only to Nokia's Lumia smartphones. In Nokia Drive, the application now works fully offline, and can provide locally relevant information such as speed limits. In Nokia Maps, users can more easily create, manage, and share lists of visited locations, as well as see live traffic updates in a wide number of countries. Last, Nokia Transport provides public transportation and walking directions in more than 510 cities across 46 countries, and public transport timetable data in 86 cities. All three applications can be downloaded and used for free on Nokia Lumia smartphones.
Nokia has indicated via a FAQ posted to its web site that its Lumia Windows Phone devices will be updated with support for the mobile hotspot feature. The Lumia 800 and 710, which are already available in some markets, do not include this feature. According to Nokia, the feature will be added in a future system update, though the timing and availability of the update was not provided. The Lumia 900 and Lumia 610 will support mobile hotspot at launch.
Nokia has published information about forthcoming system updates for its first two Windows Phones, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. The changes for the Lumia 800 include improved battery life during both standby and voice calls; improved audio performance; altered soft key lighting behavior; and fixes for random reboots, freezes, and cut-off calls. The Lumia 710, which is sold in the U.S. by T-Mobile, will have smoother performance when ending voice calls, and should see other minor performance and usability improvements once the update is installed. Nokia said that the updates are being pushed out to Asian markets first, and will eventually roll out to other markets. T-Mobile USA has not confirmed when the update will be available for the Lumia 710 in the U.S.
Nokia has confirmed that the PureView camera technology first revealed in the 808 PureView Symbian smartphone will eventually make its way to the Finnish phone company's Lumia Windows Phones. "PureView imaging technologies [will] be used to deliver high end imaging experiences in future Nokia products," said Nokia representative Chris Hollis to Phone Scoop in an email. "Since Nokia is committed to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform, that includes plans to bring PureView imaging experiences to Lumia over time. No details of products or timelines have been confirmed." Hollis' statement echoes comments made recently by Nokia's Jo Harlow, who told Finnish newspaper Aamulehti that it won't be long before the technology appears in Lumia smartphones.
Microsoft and Nokia today announced that the Lumia 800 Windows Phone is available for sale at select Microsoft retail stores to those wishing to purchase it. The Lumia 800 is being sold as part of a promotion bundle, which includes the Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster, the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset and the Nokia Play 360 speaker. THe Lumia 800 included in the bundle has ben optimized for AT&T's 3G network in the U.S., and is being offered unlocked. The retail price of the bundle is $899.
Nokia today said it is distributing a system update to the Lumia 800 that addresses battery performance and Wi-Fi connectivity. The update will be rolled out over the next two weeks via the Windows Phone Connector application.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show that Microsoft plans to sell the Nokia Lumia 800 directly to consumers at Microsoft retail stores. The Lumia 800 will be sold unlocked. Since it is a penta-band device, it can be used with most GSM carriers in the U.S. Ballmer didn't indicate exactly when the Lumia 800 will become available, nor what it will cost. The Lumia 800 is already available from a selection of retail web sites.