Microsoft delivered quite a blow to existing Windows Phone customers when they announced that there was no upgrade path between Windows Phone 7.5 and the forthcoming Windows Phone 8, but Nokia took the opportunity to step in and try to assuage their customers’ concerns.
Perhaps to ease the pain of being denied the wonders of Windows Phone 8, Nokia’s Kevin Shields took the stage at Microsoft’s sneak preview event to talk up some new and updated apps that will hit their line of existing Lumia phones shortly.
First up is Nokia PlayTo, a DLNA streaming service that allows users to share their content from their Lumia smartphone to other devices within range. Meanwhile, Nokia’s new Counters app will seem a bit more pragmatic for some as it keeps users in the know regarding how much data, voice minutes, and messages they’ve consumed within a given period of time. Nokia has also sunk more effort into their Music app, most notably by updating its ‘gig finder’ functionality for live local performances.
Last but not least, Nokia has been working on a series of additional Camera Extras in an attempt “to upgrade the core camera experience.” Some of them seem awfully basic — the timer, action shot mode, and panorama maker seem sort of passé since so many manufacturers have embraced them, but the last of seems much more compelling. A Smart Group shot mode analyzes a short series of images to find the best face for everyone in the picture — if that sounds familiar, it’s because Scalado (whom Nokia just recently acquired) has been working on the concept for a while now.
Introducing these apps is a nice enough gesture, but after Microsoft’s Terry Myerson and others spent more than an hour extolling the virtues of their updated platform, I have to wonder whether it’s enough.