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Nokia Lumia Black update now available on all Nokia Lumia WP8 phones

The much talked about Lumia Black update from Nokia is now rolling out as a free update for all phones currently running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software.

Unlike many updates which tend to arrive on a select few devices first, then a few more and then the rest a few months further down the line, every single Lumia phone with Windows Phone 8 gets the Lumia Black update. If you’re not sure if your Lumia will get the update, the full list of compatible phones reads like this:

  • Lumia 520
  • Lumia 620
  • Lumia 625
  • Lumia 720
  • Lumia 820
  • Lumia 920
  • Lumia 925
  • Lumia 1020

The update brings in a number of great features, with a focus on photography – no pun intended! There’s a new camera app, new camera features and a number of other minor improvements:

Refocus

If you ever read about the Lytro camera then Nokia has pinched the idea and put it into practice with its smartphones. The clue is in the name – Refocus allows the user to take a picture and then choose the point of focus afterwards with a touch of the screen. This means you can snap away and decide afterwards whether you want to sharpen up something in the foreground or the background. Unfortunately the feature needs 1GB of RAM so the Lumia 520, 620, 625 and 720 won’t get Refocus.

Storyteller

Storyteller is a new app from Nokia that we’ve already seen on the Lumia 1520 phablet and Lumia 2520 tablet. The idea is that the app orders your photographs by date and location to create a ‘story’, allowing you to view your photos in a timeline.

New Camera app

With Lumia phones the key thing is photography. The company has come up with a number of different camera apps, which can get a bit confusing. With the Lumia Black update, the Nokia Pro Camera and Smart Camera apps have been combined to make things easier, giving the user more control and more options in one place. Lumia PureView phones such as the 920 have been benefitting from this app for a while now and now it’s going to be on the whole range.

Folders

Finally, Nokia is bringing app folders to Windows Phone with the Lumia Black update. Apps can be dragged on top of each other to create a folder, which sits on the home screen as a tile.

Bluetooth 4.0 LE

As we’ve seen at CES this past week, wearable gadgets have boomed. All of these devices make use of the latest Bluetooth technology called Low Energy, which aims to sap the battery of the connected smartphone far less than ever before. Lumia Black makes the entire range compatible with the latest boom of wearable gadgets by adding Bluetooth 4.0 LE compatibility.

Beamer

Beamer allows any Lumia device with 1GB of RAM or more to beam any document or file to a laptop or big screen wirelessly. The app, called Nokia Beamer, directs you to a HTML5 website which produces a QR code – scan the code using your Lumia and your phone’s screen will be beamed across wirelessly.

When can I get Lumia Black?

Lumia Black is rolling out now, with the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925 being the first devices to get it. By design, each Lumia phone will automatically check for updates on a weekly basis but if you want to check more frequently, head into Settings and then Phone update to manually check.

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