Microsoft has announced the Lumia Denim Windows Phone update is on the way. Here's the key new features to look forward to
Lumia Denim is a new software update that will be hitting Microsoft’s Lumia-branded range of smartphones over the coming weeks and months. Handsets running Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1 like the Lumia 830 for instance will be treated to the upgrade.
Microsoft says that Denim will deliver an improved overall smartphone experience but has a strong focus around enhanciing camera performance.
So what else is there to be excited about, we pick five of the most interesting Lumia Denim features.
Improved camera and 4K support
Camera quality is an area that Lumia smartphones are often praised for, and Denim is designed to give Microsoft even more reasons to be pleased with itself. It’s out with Nokia Camera and in with Lumia Camera, which is built to be significantly faster and more user-friendly than its predecessor.
VIDEO: How to update to Lumia Denim update
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Microsoft says you’ll be able to capture images at a quicker rate than ever, with nothing but milliseconds between snaps. The camera app will also launch quicker, which means you won’t be able to blame annoying phone lag if you miss a great photo opportunity.
The new Moment Capture lets Lumia phones record video in 4K quality at the touch of the camera button, although that entirely depends on whether your phone can support 4K shooting. Filming at 24fps, you’ll be able to save individual frames as 8.3-megapixel images.
Last up is Rich Capture and is aimed to take some of the hassle out of photography too, enabling users to shoot first and select and edit the best image afterwards, rather than fiddle with settings like HDR and Dynamic Flash before taking a snap.
Microsoft’s answer to Google Now and Apple's Siri can be activated simply by uttering the words “Hey Cortana”. There’s no more need to unlock your phone and press the microphone button, saving you a few precious seconds.
Microsoft says that the digital assistant is also making her way to more people around the world. Cortana is currently available as a beta in the UK and China, and as a public alpha in India, Canada and Australia. US-based Lumia owners will benefit from improved natural language, car kit integration and calendar enhancements.
Windows Phone’s tile-based layout makes its home screen far more fun to personalise and play around with than Android or iOS. Lumia Denim’s new Live folders features allows you to have more power over organisation than ever before.
It’s now possible to create your own special folders for certain programs. All you’ll need to do is press, hold and drag one app over another to create a new folder, meaning that you can keep all your social media, gaming and business apps in separate places. Anything potentially embarrassing can be easily hidden away, too.
There's also a pretty lengthy list of Lumia Denim features that are less likely to grab the headlines. These include SMS merge and forwarding, where you'll be able to pick individual text messages and either delete or copy, paste and forward them on, alongside Snooze customisation and Consumer VPN, which should help you stay more secure when you're connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
You'll also be able to see more information on the Glance screen, such as weather and health data, as well as date and time and notifications.
When’s the party, and who's invited?
The Lumia Denim Update will come pre-installed on the Lumia 830, Lumia 730 Dual SIM and Lumia 735. Other Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia smartphones, including the 520, 530, 625, 930 and 1320, will get the goods from early 2015.