On the same day NaviFirm, the PC program which allowed Nokia software downloads, closed its servers to the general public, I found myself installing not one but two official software updates to two Nokia Lumia devices.
First up, my wife’s Lumia 800 . I had been telling her for a few months now that she should get a message on her phone soon telling her an update is due, and apparently it came through on Saturday. This is of course the Windows Phone 7.8 software update. This update took a good 90 minutes to carry out, not least because my wife, Katie never syncs the photos she takes on her phone with Zune, so we had to wait while nearly 1,000 photos transferred over. Then, I watch in surprise as not one, not two, but FIVE software updates installed themselves onto the Lumia. And after all that Katie wasn’t the least bit impressed with the new Live Tile lay out and had no desire to change the sizes, and when I showed her the new theme colours available, and actually demonstrated how one would look, she insisted I return it to “normal”. For every person who complains that Windows Phone doesn’t allow enough customization there must be a Katie, who has doesn’t want to make any changes to how it looks.
Well, after that selfless act for very little appreciation, the Gods of Software Updates must have been smiling on me as the following morning (in the early hours actually) I thought I’d check my Lumia 920 and see if the latest firmware, 8.0.10211 was available for my product code, and to my surprise it was (I say surprise as I had to wait ages for the Portico update).
Well, this Over The Air updating is so much quicker and simpler than using Zune (so long as you have enough battery power). Within 20 minutes my phone had restarted and ready to go with the latest firmware revision. Can you guess what the first thing I did was? Well, an advertised feature of the latest update is having better storage management, so I went in and deleted about 800mb’s worth of temporary files.
One big thing I was looking forward to was a fix to the bug which can render the screen blank when making a call, this is something which has affected my Lumia 920 quite badly, and I am pleased to say it did fix this. However I didn’t realize this at first. Prior to the update, I had set my Sunlight Readability to OFF, as it made the screen wash out too much. After the update, despite the setting still being OFF, the screen had that bleached out look again whenever in direct sunlight (and here in the UK the day was very sunny). I also noticed when I made a call that the screen was still locking during a call, even when away from the side of my face. This makes doing automated calls eg; “Press 1 for this, press 2 for that … etc” impossible.
Anyway later on, I tried switching the readability setting ON then OFF again to see if this improved the screen washout, and was pleased to see it did, but was even happier to see later on when I made a call that I could see the Call End, Mute and Dialer buttons which before wasn’t accessible due to the screen shut off. So, that issue is fixed.
I can’t say I have noticed any other major differences, I know there are some changes to settings in IE10, and I am sure these will be useful, like telling it not to load pictures.
But the update I am now really looking forward to is what I’ve heard described as “PR1.2”. As you may well know this is reported to bring a lock screen clock which is always on in the style of the N9 and Symbian 3 as well as double tap the screen to unlock, another N9 feature which will be very welcome on the Lumia smartphones.