Nokia releases Amber, aligning features and apps across its Lumia range

Nokia releases Amber, aligning features and apps across its Lumia range

Summary: Owners of high-end Lumia devices who want the latest camera apps can begin installing them from today with the latest Amber update, but some won't get Amber until the end of September.

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TOPICS: Nokia, Windows Phone
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Nokia has begun to roll out its Amber update for Windows 8 Lumia phones, which enables a slew of new camera apps and features, but some Lumia owners won’t get the update until September.

The new Amber software update shows off Nokia's efforts to build upon Microsoft's own latest Windows Phone update called GDR2, which introduces FM radio, Google calendar and contact support, among other features. Given Nokia's dominance over the Windows Phone footprint, it means most Windows Phones benefit from Nokia's work.

Amber will go someway to aligning the experience across its growing list of high- and low-end Lumia devices released in the past year. For example, Nokia's Smart Camera, which shipped on the Lumia 925, can be installed on devices with the update. The app lets people select the best image from a series of 10.

Owners of Nokia's Lumia 920, 820, 720, 620, 520, 928, 822, 521 and 810 can expect a notification at some point from today until the end of September to install an over-the-air update delivered by carriers. Newer Lumia phones like the Lumia 625, 925 and 1020 shipped with Amber installed.

The update will first reach Lumia 920 and 820 in selected countries. In the US, the update is available for the Lumia 521 and Lumia 810 on T-Mobile, and the 928 on Verizon. 

In the UK, Vodafone has Amber for the Lumia 920, but the update is 'waiting for approval' on O2, EE and 3. Amber for other models is still in the pipeline at all carriers in the UK. It's also available for the 920 from Orange in France, Vodafone in Ireland, KPN and Vodafone in the Netherlands, Telenor in Norway, and Vodafone in Spain. The update is also available for some 'country variant' models in Europe. 

Besides Nokia's Smart Camera, other apps enabled by update include Nokia's Pro Camera for video — however, this is only available for the higher end Lumia 920, 925, and 928 — while all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices can install the Nokia Video Trimmer and Nokia Video Upload for you Tube. Pro Camera first featured on Nokia's Lumia 1020, which sports the 41-megapixel camera.

Amber also carries the new 'glance screen' which reveals the clock and battery level when the phone is inactive, though the Lumia 625's and 520's lightweight display memory is incapable of supporting the glance screen.

To mute incoming calls, owners can flip the phone on its face, while using a double tap on the screen instead of using the unlock key.

There's also the new storage check feature that displays what's consuming space, while Amber clears the way to update Nokia's Here maps and enable a new caller blacklist filter.

Topics: Nokia, Windows Phone

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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8 comments
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  • Owlll more l's Net

    I'm a Nokia Lumia user and Windows 8.1 running on my Touch Screen Asus and I have to say you're quite annoying.

    Don't bring us down to the same level as the Fandroids and iDiots. We should be better than that ;)
    Dreyer Smit
    • Good luck with that...

      The loudest in all the camps are the flag waving fans... Be it any manufacturer. Granted, there seems to be less total MS fanboys then the other manufacturers, but sometimes they're more annoying than the other.

      I have a Lumia 928 and love it. But there are some pros/cons to the platform and I can see why people might choose iOS or Android over it. And good for them. I'm happy with my choice and hopefully they are happy with their choice.
      LiquidLearner
      • Re: Good luck with that...

        Completely agree.

        I also have the 928 and love it, but I have nothing against iPhones or Android devices. You use what you like. I have never understood why people take these things so seriously. It's a cell phone and people need get over it.
        AnthemDBA
  • I did the OTA update

    I have a 928 on Verizon and I just finished the OTA update. It seems that the colors have changed and the sunlight readability stopped working. Other than that the phone can reboot in under 15 seconds lol.
    abpbl6
    • Also group messaging

      Group messaging seems to work for Verizon WP8 phones.
      abpbl6
    • Interesting

      I did the update. No issues with the sunlight readability. Make sure you double check Display+Touch. And update Nokia's apps.

      The new Camera software is awesome, the glance feature also great. And I like the double tap screen to wake. Oh, and yes. Verizon finally re-enabling group texting is a big one. Worked fine on the 920 for AT&T and worked fine on the HTC Trophy. But the 8X and 928 didn't have it until this update.
      LiquidLearner
  • Nokia releases Amber, aligning features and apps across its Lumia range

    I'll just keep pressing the check for updates button until I get it. I want this update now.
    Loverock-Davidson
  • You and me both..

    Although being in New Zealand I'll probably have to wait for ever! The thing that I really like about the Windows phones is also a bit of a problem.. Some of it's best features are also not well known! The kids corner.. it's simply brilliant! It effectively gives you a second login on the phone.. And when my wife recently lost her phone we were incredibly pleased she had enabled the 'sync to cloud' feature as once she'd logged into her new phone, all her contacts and photos were back.. it was a pity all her settings weren't retained.. but hey, she hadn't lost her photos! Very cool.
    ursulus