The past weekend I was in Las Vegas with friends and I hoped that Lumia 920’s camera won’t disappoint. There were several interesting Nokia apps that I wanted to try in real situations and not a review setup. Nokia’s contribution to Windows Phone so far has been quite impressive:
- Nokia City lens — very interesting augmented reality map app
- Nokia Drive
- Nokia Maps
- Nokia Transit
- Nokia Music — a hidden gem in Lumias
In addition to these, Nokia brought 3 lenses to Windows Phone 8:
- Smart Shoot
Panoramas: While Apple may have invented Panoramas with iOS6, Nokia’s implementation is as easy and takes some really beautiful panoramas. I’ve had the ability to shoot panoramas since my Samsung Focus but the algorithm deployed by Nokia is flawless. Here’s a sample:
Smart Shoot: I had been waiting for an opportunity to try this lens, and a party limo with several people was the perfect test ground. I triggered the lens, held the cam while Smart Shoot worked its magic. With 3 instances of each photo, I could choose the best one and it worked everytime. No closed eyes or weird expressions, I got good pictures with natural expressions.
Nokia Music: I use Spotify but am not a subscriber, I don’t use Xbox Music, Pandora and Rdio don’t have apps for Windows Phone 8 which leaves me with Nokia Music. But here’s the thing, Nokia Music doesn’t have to be your last resort because it is a first-class Music app. While Nokia might be going into losses by not making any money off it, for the user, Nokia Music is one of the best music app on Windows Phone 8.
Nokia Music has predefined playlists that are regularly updated, the app lets you create radio stations of a single artist or 3 artists and even offers beautiful now-playing artist artwork.
So what’s the big deal?
There’s free offline playback for all of this. You can simply select offline playback and the playlists will be downloaded. You can then refresh these playlists too! I do miss the traditional radio but offline Billboards Top 100 works just fine for me along with playlists of 6 of my favorite artists. You can even share the song I’m listening to on Facebook/Twitter, if you’re into that.
So on my trip to Vegas I used City lens to find coffee shops, shot gorgeous panoramas, took nice photographs of my friends, quickly shared some of these pictures on Facebook using Windows Phone 8, and listened to music I like.
When I came back home, Nokia introduced a new app called PhotoBeamer. And this just closed the loop of a complete photo-taking experience. My friends asked me to show them photographs I clicked during my trip and instead of handing them the phone to view the images on the 4″ screen, I went to PhotoBeamer.com on a laptop, scanned the QR code and showed the pictures in the browser. It was flawless sync and a great experience.
PhotoBeamer’s ease of use and simplicity make it a great app.