Nokia launches Lumia Black update worldwide, comes with folders and lots of new features

It’s been a while since Nokia officially announced their upcoming Black update but the day is finally here, and the update has begun launching around the world.

Of course some devices, such as the Lumia 1520 have already received, or rather launched with, this version of the software but Nokia has just officially announced they’ve begun to rollout the update worldwide for a whole range of Lumia handsets.

Black is the latest version of Windows Phone 8 including GDR3, but it also brings a few special tweaks from Nokia. In fact Black is a very significant update for Nokia owners, thanks to the company’s devotion to their Lumia line.

Some of the features that this update brings have been public knowledge for some time. The second version of Glance Screen for example, was known and largely expected. This new version allows folks to use the Glance feature to view not only the time and date but also a whole ton of notifications such as Whatsapp and Facebook, all without turning on the phone’s screen.

Nokia Camera is another feature that we’ve seen demoed in public. It unifies all of Nokia’s separate photo apps into a single comprehensive and easier to use app. Speaking of photos, Black also brings the Refocus feature which lets users change the focus inside their images after they’ve been shot; it’s a great addition but it will only be available on select devices.

Another major addition is App Folders. Yes, Lumia owners will be able to group their favorite apps inside folders on the start screen. That’s a great feature, one that many people have been asking for. It’s rather surprising that this comes via Nokia rather than Microsoft. Small update here folks: it seems like this feature won't be immediately available after update. Nokia promised to further detail how folders will work in a future blog post. 

Other features included in the update are the Nokia Storyteller app, which we’ve seen demoed before, Nokia Beamer which lets you project your phone's display onto any internet browsing device, support for Bluetooth LE so wearable devices such as Fitbit and Adidas Micoach will be able to sync directly to the handset. Imaging algorithms have also been improved so users may see their photos coming out a bit better after the update. And of course, users will also receive the improvements that Microsoft packaged inside GDR3.

Currently the update is showing up on Lumia 1020 and 925 smartphones while the rest of Lumia line will receive it in the following weeks. This also depends on your region and carrier and Nokia recommends you check availability here – this page hadn’t been updated yet at the time of writing.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

CES 2014 brings 4K PC monitor prices down to as low as $699

Next Story

TechSpot: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC and R9 290 OC review

62 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hope this can be implemented into Win8 too. I know alot of people will be very happy to have it .

Note: I am aware this is a Nokia/WP8 only thing. I just mean I think it would be well received if it was added as a feature to the Win8 start screen.

Can't edit my post, just realized my post still abit ambitious. I mean the folders feature! if people are trying to figure out what I'm on about

"It's rather surprising that this comes via Nokia rather than Microsoft."

No. No it isn't. Not when Nokia have been doing most of the work with this platform.

Edited by Walrush, Jan 10 2014, 3:52am :

Walrush said,
"It's rather surprising that this comes via Nokia rather than Microsoft."

No. No it isn't. Not when Nokia have been doing most of the work with this platform.


I wouldn't say 'most'. The OS isn't a small part of the equation here by any means...

And keep in mind that 'Folders' is nothing more than an App really...

I'll definitely get some use out of the folders. The other thing I could really use is the MAP Bluetooth profile to use with the Sync system. Has anyone heard if that's coming?

I have a car with Sync, and my pre Windows Phone device had MAP, but I never found it lacking with Windows Phone since WP has the text messaging read-back ability built in, and unlike SYNC, the phone's built in system can also take dictations for replies

The reading the text messages is fine but I haven't been able to send a reply. It always says text messaging is not supported on this device. Maybe I'm doing something wrong? I believe I have the "generation 1" sync system with navigation.

SYNC can read text messages, but you cannot dictate a reply to SYNC, you have to make sure your phone is the one reading the messages to you, that way you know that it is your phone that is taking the reply

Out of curiosity, what phone do you have?

Well, that just got added to Black, if that makes it any better. So when that rolls out to your device, you can set a canned reply. What car with SYNC do you have? My 09 Focus would only read messages to to me with a compatible phone, it never let me pick a canned reply. Did I miss something?

duddit2 said,
that's because amber update isn't the black update that this article is about.

Uhm
This new version allows folks to use the Glance feature to view not only the time and date but also a whole ton of notifications such as Whatsapp and Facebook, all without turning on the phone's screen.

not only show time and date. Only shows time for me.

Shadowzz said,

Uhm

not only show time and date. Only shows time for me.


I think that's a typo. It only shows time for me as well...

Never really cared much for maps on my iPhone. I'd rather just make an extra home screen. Didn't miss it on my Lumia 900, but it's good to have the feature I guess.

The Nokia page says an update is available for the Nokia Lumia 1020 on O2 UK, but Nokia Suite for retail says there isnt and checking on my phone is taking an age!!!

(I've got the dev preview btw)

Salem874 said,
The Nokia page says an update is available for the Nokia Lumia 1020 on O2 UK, but Nokia Suite for retail says there isnt and checking on my phone is taking an age!!!

(I've got the dev preview btw)

I went from dev preview -> Black, and the search for update also took forever and a day.

duddit2 said,
Anyone know how to use the folders?

just seen the update, we have to wait for Nokia blog, most likely an app is required or something.

I love how they have it listed as 1020 and 925 are getting it right now and you look at availability and it is listed as awaiting approval Also 928 not approved yet

Geoffrey B. said,
I love how they have it listed as 1020 and 925 are getting it right now and you look at availability and it is listed as awaiting approval Also 928 not approved yet

I purchased my 925 from Expansys, unlocked, and this is how I will purchase my phones forevermore, I think. The updates show up right away, and my cell phone provider gives a huge discount (over the 2 years of the contract), if I bring my own phone anyhow. It's not quite as much as a subsidy on a top tier phone, but it's pretty damn close, and I love having an unbranded, factory unlocked device.

1020 UK EE, dev unlocked, downloading now!

Also, just checked and the official update is available as well (not just for dev unlocked 1020 on EE UK).

Studio384 said,
You will not find it there, this is an update from Nokia, not from Microsoft.

'There' is the standard update mechanism, the dev unlock means (AFAIK) that we don't need to wait for carrier approval, and since all updates come from MS anyway (even nokia updates, they send them to MS) it shouldn't matter.

Its academic now anyway, as its downloading BUT its passed EE UK approval and is available without dev unlock anyway

duddit2 said,

'There' is the standard update mechanism, the dev unlock means (AFAIK) that we don't need to wait for carrier approval, and since all updates come from MS anyway (even nokia updates, they send them to MS) it shouldn't matter.

Its academic now anyway, as its downloading BUT its passed EE UK approval and is available without dev unlock anyway


The Preview Program does not extend to 3rd Party Software. It's Windows Phone OS only...

yes but my understanding was that carriers have to approve all updates, (even OEM updates), and together with this all updates (even OEM updates) are published via MS centrally, finally the preview program allows all updates to arrive direct without needing carrier approval. So base don the above I concluded that any update that was being held due to carrier testing/approval would be available instantly via the preview program, since they all come from the same place anyway (MS update systems).

duddit2 said,
yes but my understanding was that carriers have to approve all updates, (even OEM updates), and together with this all updates (even OEM updates) are published via MS centrally, finally the preview program allows all updates to arrive direct without needing carrier approval. So base don the above I concluded that any update that was being held due to carrier testing/approval would be available instantly via the preview program, since they all come from the same place anyway (MS update systems).

I understand what you mean, but it just doesn't work that way. Through the Preview Program, you only get early access to bits that Microsoft has worked on. So, while you would get early access to GDR3, you wouldn't get the accompanying Black.

Nokia Black is something that Nokia engineers and coders worked on before the deal was even announced. So it's strange this feature is coming via them.

Vlad Dudau said,
Nokia Black is something that Nokia engineers and coders worked on before the deal was even announced. So it's strange this feature is coming via them.

app folders has already been available on Samsung Ativ S via an app in the Samsung section of the store as well, called "App Folder". I think folders has been built in the os,but Microsoft didn't get around to making a configuration app.

Vlad Dudau said,
Nokia Black is something that Nokia engineers and coders worked on before the deal was even announced. So it's strange this feature is coming via them.

Makes sense, thanks.

BajiRav said,
Folders??? So Nokia finally customized the WP UI?

I think Microsoft will implement all Nokia features into the entire os later.

I don't think they customized the OS, maybe it had already been baked in the os and just needed a configuration app,because Samsung has already done this. Theres a App Folder app in the Samsung part of the store,and it gives you folder tiles where you can pin your apps in,just like the screenshots above.

vcfan said,
I don't think they customized the OS, maybe it had already been baked in the os and just needed a configuration app,because Samsung has already done this. Theres a App Folder app in the Samsung part of the store,and it gives you folder tiles where you can pin your apps in,just like the screenshots above.

It's much less than that. It's basically an App that lets you pin Apps to. When you open this "Folder", you are no longer looking at the OS, but rather an App...

M_Lyons10 said,

It's much less than that. It's basically an App that lets you pin Apps to. When you open this "Folder", you are no longer looking at the OS, but rather an App...

apparently, the nokia one is also an app, because people have it working with GDR2.

vcfan said,

apparently, the nokia one is also an app, because people have it working with GDR2.


Yep. Nothing special in the OS or Black as far as the 'Folders' are concerned. Just a work around.

How do you create a folder? I thought GDR3 that we already received was the black update... hmmm confused, anyone have the build #'s? I got nothing on my ATT, but I had GDR3 a while ago....

It seems that "Folder" is coming as part of Black which is made by Nokia and includes GDR 3, made by MS.Therefore we need to wait for Black to have this feature.