Lumia “Black” is on the way

Nokia announced today, via the Nokia Conversations blog and an update details page, that Lumia “Black”, a feature update for Nokia Lumia Windows 8 devices, is available now for the Lumia 925 and 1020, and coming soon to a range of other Lumia phones.

The first thing you may notice with the update are some additions to the Glance Screen. Instead of just a clock, the new Glance Screen can include up to 5 notifications, things like new text or email messages, Facebook notifications, etc. You can also set a “night screen” setting to show your Glance Screen in green, blue, or red, instead of just the current white.

Black also includes the iOS-like “App Folder” which allows you to organize your Start Screen by grouping similar apps under one Tile on the home screen, and BlueTooth LE is enabled for the first time, allowing use of BlueTooth’s low energy (“LE”) mode for communication with compatible devices.

From there, Nokia has provided a number of camera features with Lumia Black, including combing Camera Pro and Smart Camera into a new app called Nokia Camera, a new interface for quickly and easily adjusting camera settings like white balance and focus. Camera Pro is already available for Lumia PureView phones, but Nokia Camera will now be available for the full range of Lumia phones (RAW image support is still only available for the Lumia 1020). The update also includes updated imaging algorithms, including a new oversampling algorithm that promises to make your images “more natural looking” while increasing sharpness and reducing noise.

Black also allows users to download and use a number of apps, including Nokia Storyteller (previously available only on the Lumia 1520 and 2520 phablets), Nokia Refocus, and Nokia Beamer.

Nokia has provided an availability chart for phones other than the 925 and 1020, with the famous “waiting for availability” moniker applied to most other phones at the moment. The update is rolling out, however, and should be available soon, depending of course on the whims of your carrier.