Nokia Bittersweet Shimmer: All the features of upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 GDR3 detailed

Nokia is set to launch its latest firmware update for Lumia mobiles that will add a set of new features and bring forth increased functionality. The update will be rolled out once Windows Phone GDR 3 goes live. Windows Phone GDR 3 by itself contains a host of changes, like the ability to work with Qualcomm quad-core processors and full-HD screens. Nokia’s Bittersweet shimmer adds to that by bringing its own set of tweaks. Here’s a look at the new features:

lumia

Glance Screen

Windows Phone users have been clamouring for a unified notification centre for years now. In a poll conducted this year, it was the number one feature that was requested by users. In a leaked video, it was revealed that the Bittersweet shimmer firmware includes an overhaul of the glance screen, which now gives users a list of all the text messages, calls and other notifications in one location.

In its current iteration, it only shows the clock and what mode your device is in, but Nokia has decided to add in other features, one of which is the ability to change colours for night mode. It has been mentioned that a total of 20 colours will be available. While the functionality of the glance screen is different to the notification centre that is available on Android for some time now, it offers a quick view of their notifications in a single glance.

Driving Mode

driving mode

Driving mode is a new feature that turns off all notification other than texts and calls when a user is driving. It will be automatically activated when a user is connected to a car’s Bluetooth system, or users can activate it manually. Users can also configure it to ignore calls and texts, at which time an automatic reply will be sent out.

StoryTeller

story teller

Nokia is working on a photo album app called Storyteller, which gives users a way to organise their images based on different criteria that includes dates, locations, events and favourites. Its functionality other than cataloguing images is unclear, although it is rumoured that users will be able to share their image collections easily from within Storyteller. The feature will likely be available on larger screened devices like the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia 2520 tablet.

Live Tiles

With GDR 3, medium-sized live tiles are included that make better use of real estate on larger screen devices like the Lumia 1520. This allows users to customise their tiles more efficiently so that they can get the most relevant information on their start screens.

Multitasking

multitasking

Users will not only get enhanced multitasking features, but also the ability to close out apps in multitasking mode. The multitasking mode is usually accessed by holding the back arrow key, and users will be able to close apps directly from this view without having to go into the app.

Screen Orientation Lock

Bittersweet shimmer will also enable settings to lock a device’s orientation. This has been available in other platforms for many years now, and while its use is basic, it is a welcome addition.

More Settings

more settings

Additional settings that will be seen on Bittersweet shimmer include custom tones for text messages, calls and e-mail alerts. Users will now have the ability to restore their settings and data over a Wi-Fi connection when they reset their device. Nokia has also been working diligently to add more Bluetooth car systems to its database to better serve users in Driving Mode.

Nokia is set to announce a total of six new devices on October 22. These will be the next iterations of its current-gen devices like the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, which have seen varied success in the country. The launch of the next-gen models will also further reduce the cost of current offerings. For instance, the Nokia Lumia 720 price in India is currently at Rs. 15,432, and that should see a decrease once newer devices are announced. At Rs. 15,000, the Lumia 720 is already a great deal, as it features an incredible design and comes with decent software.

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