Nokia's new apps explored: When Windows Phone Lumia Black OS attacks
Nokia has released a horde of hardware with a spec list that must have Google and Apple worried. But on top of that, and in many ways more importantly, it's supercharged the software on those and all Lumia devices. Windows Phone has finally fully arrived as a real danger to the competition and we're loving how it's done it - with apps.
Nokia Camera app
At last the genius of Nokia's camera apps has been united in one super app. Combined with the PureView cameras of the Lumia 1020 and 1520 this app is bringing pro-level options to mobiles.
You can now shoot in raw file format so that photos can be edited in Photoshop, making every snap a potential perfect pic. On top of that Nokia has added Refocus which effectively socialises Lytro. You're able to focus on different parts of the shot after it's taken - and your friends can even do it to your pics in Facebook. Another nice part of this app is the ability to focus on colours and greyscale everything else. We'd put money on this tech arriving in Android and iOS handsets in the near future, if only as third-party apps.
While we hate our lives being called stories this app is a great way to organise snaps. It's taken the GPS organising smarts that's been seen before and overlaid it with HERE Maps. So now you can find that pic of the great steak you had a few weeks ago, pinch to zoom out to the map, then find where the restaurant was and what it was called thanks to the maps with retail information.
HERE Drive and HERE Drive+
Driving navigation is best when done with saved maps, especially if you're going to areas where your connection might suffer. HERE Drive does that and includes your country's maps voice directions, while HERE Drive+ (which comes on the Lumia 1520) includes all the maps in the world. If you want the extra maps on the standard version you'll have to fork out for in-app downloads.
Share your screen from one place simply by selecting whether it be local or over a network and then pinging that out. You can share your screen by using a QR code and letting another phone or tablet scan that to share instantly over Wi-Fi direct. Of course you can also share via the usual online means from Beamer too.
Vine, Instagram, Flipboard and FIFA 14
Some of the biggest apps out there have now made it on to Windows Phone. Since Nokia has been so camera focused it's a great relief finally to see Vine and Instagram land on the OS. And Flipboard has been built specially for the Lumia 2520 tablet with integrated search to make navigation easy. FIFA 14 is on its way too now those quad-core chips can handle that level of gaming.