If you’re a Windows Phone owner you’ve probably been eagerly anticipating the launch of Windows Phone 8.1, but alongside it Lumia owners also get Lumia Cyan, a new software update packed full of features specifically designed for Lumia phones and to give you a closer look at both it and some of the standard Windows Phone 8.1 features, Nokia created a hands-on video.
The most obvious change is that there’s now an extra column of Live Tiles, so you can fit more on your screen at once and organise your home screen in new ways.
The biggest change though is probably Action Centre, which lets you view recent notifications and change various settings from a screen that can be accessed by swiping down form the top, making it quicker and easier to get things done. You can even access it when your phone is locked.
Typing is getting easier than ever as the update also adds ‘Word Flow’, which allows you to slide your finger over letters, lifting it only once you’ve finished a word. Android has had something similar for a while and it’s a spookily accurate way of typing once you get used to it.
HERE Maps is already great but with Lumia Cyan it gets free global turn-by-turn voice navigation and as you can download the maps for offline use you’ll never got lost again, even when there’s no signal.
Nokia has always paid a lot of attention to its camera features and Lumia Cyan brings further improvements. The camera roll will auto-play Cinemagraphs, videos and anything else that isn’t just a static image and there’s a new shooting mode too, called ‘Living Images’ which captures the moment just before you snap a picture.
Creative Studio has of course seen some improvements. You can edit photos straight from the camera roll and there are various new filters and tools to play with. Finally, the Storyteller app has got a little better by now automatically converting your stories into videos, which you can then edit and share.
The Lumia Cyan update comes at the same time as Windows Phone 8.1, so you’ll be able to experience the new features of both all in one go.
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