At a low key virtual event in Singapore, Nokia just took the wraps off the new "accessibly-priced" Lumia 525, a variant of the successful Lumia 520. Powered, out of the box, by the latest Nokia Lumia Black version of Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 525 has a 4" screen and 1GB of RAM, along with the usual Nokia imaging apps, maps and navigation from HERE, and free music streaming from Nokia MixRadio.
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As part of a relaunch of its streaming music service, Nokia has renamed its Nokia Music app to Nokia MixRadio. The new version of the app also adds a new "Play Me" feature, which offers a personalised mix crafted from your unique music profile. Also new is the capability to share mixes by social network, email, and SMS, and the ability to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" down tracks, something that helps refine your personal music profile.
Long awaited, long expected, and after gigabytes of texts pondering its absence, Instagram has arrived for Windows Phone. Naturally there are some caveats, notably that this is a Windows Phone 8 only release, and it is a Nokia Lumia exclusive, but for many that will be immaterial. Instagram has arrived.
Microsoft Research has a released Office Remote, an app that lets you control documents open in Microsoft Office 2013 on your PC from your Windows Phone device. The most obvious use case is for controlling a PowerPoint presentation, but it can also be used to move around Word and Excel documents, making it a handy tool for showing off documents in both formal and informal group settings.
Nokia has released a new version of its HERE Drive+ and HERE Drive apps for Windows Phone 8. The update offers improvements to the way traffic information is displayed and used in the app, provides a way to view a route overview of turn-by-turn instructions when commencing a navigation session, and adds a new "find my car" feature.
The latest set of Kantar Worldpanel data, released last week, shows that one in ten (9.8%) smartphones sold in the five largest Western European (EU5) markets ran Windows Phone. Microsoft's mobile platform's strongest European market was Italy, where Windows Phone devices made up 13.7% of smartphone sales by unit volumes in the EU5 in the three months to the end of September 2013. Windows Phone also showed signs of growth in the US, with market share increasing to 4.6% from 3% the previous month.
Nokia has released its Q3 2013 results, reporting an operating profit of €118 million (up from a loss of €564 million in Q3 2012), with net sales of €5.6662 billion (down 22% year-on-year). Nokia's Devices and Services division's operating loss was €86 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -3% (up from from -18.9% in Q3 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 8.8 million (all Lumia), up from 7.4 million in Q2, while mobile phone volumes were 55.8 million, up from 53.7 million in Q2, but down 27% year-on-year.
Do you remember I wrote recently about issues with the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020, caused by the shutter speed being artificially slow? After doing some tests, I've noticed that the new Nokia Camera (rolling in Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Cam) is more intelligent with shutter speed when taking typical indoor/party/event shots, with photos appearing crisper and with more natural colours. In tests, clarity and colours now match or exceed those from Xenon-lit shots on the Nokia 808, previously the gold standard here.
Following its announcement this morning, we're all surprised to see Nokia Camera (rolling in Nokia Pro Camera and Nokia Smart Cam) available in the Windows Phone Store already. We link to it below, along with screenshots of the tweaked interface in action and descriptions of the changes. Summary: highly, highly recommended - if you weren't taking lots of useful photos on your Lumias before, you will be after this. See below for why....
Although not Windows Phone as such, at its Nokia World event, which is being held in Abu Dhabi, Nokia announced its first Windows RT 8.1 tablet product, the Lumia 2520. Nokia has bought the design language from its Lumia phones to the 10 inch tablet product segement, and also includes other signature experiences, such as Carl Zeiss camera optics, strong LTE connectivity, and a best-in-class screen. Software customisations include HERE Maps, Nokia Storyteller, Nokia Music, and Nokia Video Director.