Nokia’s Lumia smartphones just got a bunch of new tools and features with the Lumia Black update, available now for pretty much the full Lumia smartphone range. Here’s how to update your portable pal, and get started with the best new features.
Tip 1. Update to Lumia Black
If your phone hasn’t automatically told you that an update is available, you can update manually:
1. Connect to Wi-Fi first, as the download is blooming big – just under one gig in size.
2. Go to Settings, and then Phone Update.
3. Tap ‘Check For Updates’, and your Lumia will helpfully guide you through the process.
Tip 2. Personalise your Glance screen
Your Lumia’s Glance Screen used to just be a handy little way to check the time when your phone was hibernating, but Lumia Black makes it really useful by adding notifications – so now you don’t need to fiddle with your mobile to see if you’ve got emails or alerts.
You can customise your Glance Screen, so it only appears when you want it to.
1. Go to Settings, and then Glance. You’ll notice a drop-down box – Always On means it’s permanently displayed when the phone is hibernating, but we prefer the peek mode, which saves battery.
2. With your phone screen turned off, simply hover your hand over the Lumia and the Glance Screen pops up. Waiting notifications appear beneath the time.
3. Back in the Settings menu, you can also change the colour of the Glance Screen at night-time, so it’s easy on the eyes.
Tip 3. Organise your desktop with App Folder
If you’ve got tons of live tiles cluttering up your desktop, you’ll be relieved to hear that Lumia Black allows you to organise them into folders, a feature already found on iOS and Android.
1. Once you’ve installed the Black update, go to the Store, and then search for ‘App Folder’. Download that sucker.
2. When it’s finished, find App Folder in the app menu (swipe left across your home screen) and give the icon a tap.
3. You can set up a new folder using the Plus button, giving it whatever name you like and then adding any number of apps you like using the tick boxes.
4. You’ll then be given an overview of your new folder, which allows you to reorder the apps inside. If you’re happy, just tap the pin icon and the new folder appears on your desktop.
Don’t worry if you balls it up, as you can add or remove apps at any time and rename it.
Tip 4. Share what you’re seeing, with Nokia Beamer
Nokia Beamer is a funky little feature that allows you to quickly share what you’re seeing on your screen with another person, handy if you want to show off your photos, for instance, or simply work out where the other person is.
1. Find the Nokia Beamer app and tap ‘share remotely’, and then enter your mate’s phone number or email address.
2. They’ll receive a link, and by following it they get a glimpse of everything you’re doing. You can even share your location on a map, or what you’re looking at through your camera lens, a great way of finding each other if you’re wandering lost.
3. Make sure you change the ‘How to beam?’ setting to ‘auto update’, to avoid having to shake the phone every time you want to share your screen. Bear in mind that there’s a fair bit of lag when using Nokia Beamer, so your friend is going to be staring at a slideshow instead of a smooth representation.
Tip 5. Get to grips with Nokia Camera
Nokia’s Pro Camera and Smart Camera modes offer very different experiences – Pro mode gives you full control with manual settings, while Smart mode lets you get creative with some arty effects. Before Lumia Black, these were two completely separate apps, but now they’re combined into one convenient app called Nokia Camera – available for any Lumia to download and use.
1. Download Nokia Camera if needed and open it from the app menu.
2. You’ll see a scrollable wheel at the right edge of the screen. The camera icon is the standard mode, which allows you to take quick and simple full-auto shots, but now you’ve got the Pro settings tucked into a bar at the top. Simply tap a setting if you want to manually tweak it, or pull out the camera icon to access all settings at once.
3. To get into Smart mode, scroll to the icon that looks like several overlapping boxes. This mode takes several shots in quick succession with just a single tap, and then either selects the best one or combines them into a montage. Just tap the preview box in the top left of the screen to choose the final result.