Nokia Collection on Windows Phone 8

Nokia logoWindows Phone unlike Android offers a near identical experience across various device manufacturers. However these manufacturers do have the opportunity to enhance the Windows Phone experience through apps and services.

Nokia as the biggest Windows Phone manufacturer has really stepped forward to offer a very rich experience with their camera and navigation suites for Windows Phones. Check out are detailed review of each of these applications and see how they can benefit your Windows Phone experience

While Nokia Lumia Windows Phones come pre installed with certain Nokia applications, you can download most applications for your Lumia from the Nokia Collection on the Windows Phone Store. Here are some of the highlights:

Nokia Collection for Windows Phone


Nokia's HERE Maps could be considered one of the main reasons users would consider purchasing a Nokia Windows Phone. With HERE maps you can use offline maps, save your favorite places and find directions.

The offline maps feature is not available on iOS and hard to find and use on Android. This is where your Nokia Lumia will shine.
  • Select download maps
  • Select download new maps
  • Click add and download maps to all the locations you plan to navigate.
Once you are done, all your map data will be saved to your Windows Phone, and you wont have to waste your precious data connection to find out where you are. Offline maps are easy to download and manage and convenient to use.

The directions on HERE Maps offers walking, driving and public transport directions. If you want detailed information on driving or public transport, HERE Maps will load up HERE Drive+ or HERE Transit for your convenience.

Need to save your favorite locations? HERE Maps allows you to sign in with your Nokia account, Microsoft Account or even your Facebook account. Save your favorite locations and easily get access to them when you sign into the same account on a different device.

HERE Maps also offers indoor maps, which will help you navigate through airport terminals or malls. While we found they were sometimes less that perfect, they were usually useful.

HERE Maps also has an augmented reality component called LiveSight, which helps you recognize and identify places by looking through your phone's display. LiveSight can be activated as a map mode, in exactly the same way that you can switch from satellite, public transit, traffic and the normal map view.

HERE Drive+

HERE Drive+ is an extension to HERE Maps offering turn-by-turn navigation and the option to select from over 50 languages. The recorded voice must be downloaded to your device and can be accessed through the settings menu in the app, with the typical voice file being no more than 5MB. This voice will be feeding you directions while you drive.

In the case where you may face spotty signals and areas of zero reception, you can download maps, so HERE Drive can be used entirely offline. Nokia has mapped over 190 countries, with the app also collecting information from other HERE users and local authorities for updated traffic alerts.

Once you have your navigation under control, you can find places of interest (POI) and pin the directions directly to your Start Screen. POIs include gas stations, hospitals, hotels, and ATMs to name a few. If you are searching for an establishment with multiple locations, like say a Starbucks, brings up a list of all the Starbucks nearby. HERE actually catalogs these results from closest to farthest and conveniently gives you the distance for each result in relation to where you currently are.

HERE Maps uses the phone’s accelerometer to compare your current speed with the posted speed limit. You can also set a speed limit alert, which notifies via an audible warning when you are traveling over the posted limit.

HERE Transit

HERE Transit is a public transportation app with good coverage for timetabled or live transport data for busses, trains and even the subway. The interface lets you customize the way you travel and compare and find the route that suits you the best. HERE Transit comes with support for over 740 cities around the world.

HERE City Lens

HERE City Lens is an interesting app which allows you to find your way around your city by looking through your phone's camera lens. By using augmented reality, City Lens overlays the best shops, restaurants and points of interest right on your display.

Tap a place icon to call ahead or get more information such as hours, reviews and directions. You can even save a place for later or share it with friends. Tilt your phone and HERE City Lens brings up additional view options like list and map views.

HERE Explore Beta

HERE Explore Beta helps you find places using a new contextual recommendation engine. Find a late night snack, a scenic vista point, or a selection of interesting places around you. HERE Explore Beta recommends places to go based on your location, the quality of places, and the time of day. Search and discover places to eat, stay, or sightsee and save these to your own private collections. 

We are a little confused where HERE Explorer has to be a separate app on its own, but we hope that once it graduates out of beta it will be integrated into one of the main HERE apps.

HERE Explore is supported in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria and France.

Well thats it for the navigation part of Nokia's apps for Windows Phone 8. Now lets move on to the creativity aspect

Nokia Camera

Nokia Camera for Windows Phone 8 combines Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera, bringing the best of Nokia's photo apps into one smart app. The Smart Camera component has several features which include:
  • Ability to capture several consecutive photos and select the best from the lot
  • Show an action shot by capturing and combining several frames from an action
  • Emphasize Motion by focussing on what's important to you in a photo
  • Use multiple photos to mix and match the best faces in a group photo
  • Remove an object which you don't want in a particular photo.
The Nokia Pro Camera meanwhile brings the professional camera elements from the Lumia 1020 to other Lumia devices.

The auto mode makes it easy for anyone to capture great images with ease, and provides quick access to sport and night controls. And when you want to create that perfect composition, manual mode offers controls for exposure, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and focus. 

There's also smart mode, which shoots a sequence of photos that can be combined in different ways. Try emphasizing motion, removing moving objects or showing action with a strobe effect. You can also change faces in group shots so everyone will have their eyes open. 

Original versions are stored, so you can zoom, reframe and edit your photos long after you took them.

While the Nokia Camera application is already available for download, Nokia warns users that it requires the Lumia Black update. Installing Nokia Camera with the Lumia Amber update is said to offer only limited functionality, though it seems to work fine during our tests.

After installing Nokia Camera, you can make it your default camera application when you press the camera key.

Nokia Cinemagraph

Nokia Video TrimmerCinemagraph is a fun app for your WIndows Phone which allows you to capture images to make movie-like animations. Take a photo, landscape or portrait, and helpful on-screen assistance lets you easily select the animated area of your picture to create your very own cinemagraph.

You can share your cinemagraphs online, but you will need a Nokia account to first upload it onto Nokia's servers before you can share your cinemagraph with your friends

Nokia Creative Studio

The creative photographers out there are always on the lookout for that added effect to make their creations stand out. While Windows Phone still lacks access to an official Instagram app, Nokia Creative Studio steps in to help.

Exclusive to Nokia Lumia, simply swipe through a series of creative effects, add focus blur or create an impressive color pop effect. With Nokia Creative Studio, you can also create a beautiful collage, quickly adjust color balance and remove red eye. When you're done, share your pictures directly with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Nokia PhotoBeamer

PhotoBeamer is a quick, innovative and easy way to show your pictures on any screen. Just point your Nokia Lumia at any screen displaying and you can enjoy your photos anywhere with family and friends. It's a mobile projector that's available anytime, anywhere.

Nokia Beamer [DOWNLOAD]

PhotoBeamer will soon be succeeded my Nokia Beamer for Windows Phone, an app which lets you mirror your your Lumia display to any other HTML5 enabled screen. Nokia Beamer is already available for download and will work with the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1520 and Nokia Lumia 1320, but other Lumia handsets will have to wait for Lumia Black to be released in early 2014.

Nokia Video Trimmer

Nokia Video Trimmer  lets you shorten videos shot on your Nokia Lumia quickly and easily. Simply drag the slider to the start and end points then use the step controls to adjust the selection to the second. 

When you're done, save the video to your phone or upload and share it over Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection, but be sure to check your network operator’s data charges first.

Nokia Video Upload

Nokia Video UploadNokia Video Upload helps you to share your videos quickly and easily with your friends, and works for all videos shot on Nokia Lumia phones with Windows Phone 8. Simply select the video in the Photos app and share, or upload after capturing and trimming with the Nokia Video Trimmer through share option.

You can share your video over Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection.

Moving on from the Nokia Creative Suite we now take a look at some of the apps we like to categorize as Nokia's Leisure Suite apps.

Nokia Music

Nokia Video TrimmerNokia Music offers hours of online listening, with the ability to choose mixes from our music experts, recommendations based on artists you love, or created from your personal music profile. You can even choose mixes to listen to offline. Nokia Music for Windows Phone lets you play your own music, download new mp3s or find the latest gigs nearby.

App Social

App Social is an alternate way to discover the best apps for your new Windows Phone. Once you have signed into App Social with your Nokia Account, you can discover apps through reviews from users like yourself.

You can create lists of your favourite content and have your lists shared and rated by the App Social community.

Nokia Trailers

This is an app which has clearly sprouted out from the lack of a proper YouTube client for Windows Phone. However it does offer more than just trailers. You can share your favorite movies with friends, get updates about the latest trailers with the live tile, use the watchlist feature to set reminders for the movies you want to see and find nearby theaters. I would be much more impressed if Nokia renames this app to Nokia Movies and allows it to link to an app like Fandango to purchase tickets.
Glance Background

Glance Background is an enhancement to your Windows Phone which allows you to set any of your own or preloaded images as a background for Glance screen for your Lumia device.

You can select up to four images for your glance background and optimize them to suite your device.

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