13 Less Known Great Features of Nokia Lumia

One of the things we love best about Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone is that we’re always discovering fantastic little features we didn’t know about. Here are few such less known great features as a list. Feel free to add your own discoveries in the comments!

Glance screen

With the Glance Screen, your Lumia doubles as a clock with day and night modes while keeping you up to speed on your battery status. It displays time and certain other information on the screen. (Due to hardware restrictions Nokia Glance is not available for Nokia Lumia 520, 521 and 625).

To enable/ change the setting for Nokia Glance Screen, go to Settings -> glance. You can choose Peek for display when you hand is held/ waved over the phone (this option uses the proximity sensor but I’ve been telling everyone that my phone does magic ! :P), Interval (timed) for a fifteen minute display of the Glance screen after the phone locks or Always on.

There is also an option to add image as background for Glance screen. It’s in beta now. All you need to do is install an app.

Nokia Sleeping Screen was a distinct feature of Nokia’s Symbian devices, and the Glance Background beta mimics most of the old options. You can select up to four images to rotate as the Glance background and choose from pre-loaded images or your own. There’s even a basic editor with preset effects and the ability to colorize images and zoom in. The setup is really basic and it’s just an additional Windows Phone app to install.

The app will work on the Nokia Lumia 1020, 928, 925, 920, 820, 720, and 620, provided you have the latest Amber update with General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2). However it won’t work on the Lumia 625 or 520 as they don’t support the Glance screen feature. Nokia notes you may experience some issues with the app as it’s still in beta, including flickering and an increase in power consumption. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of battery for an image on the Glance screen then head over to the Windows Phone Store to download Glance Background.

Glance screen is rolled out with the Amber update.

Nokia Lumia Amber Update

The amber update is available for Nokia Lumia 920, 820, 720, 620, 520, 928, 822, 521 and 810.

Lumia Black update will add the image background support that is now in beta to the standard firmware, and a host of colors to the sleep mode for the feature. Nokia is also adding in notification support for the existing lockscreen notifications.

Even better, Nokia is adding a pedometer to Glance. A new steps feature, expected to debut in early 2014, measures the number of steps you’re taking with your phone and displays them on the Glance screen.

Lumia Black is a forthcoming firmware update from Nokia for all Lumia devices.

Reader’s Digest – Mercy Please!

I’ve been an avid reader of the magazine in my college days. I still remember some of us challenging ourselves with the ‘Word Power’ in the classroom. I didn’t have a subscription but I had an uncle (super kool house owner) who did. He was retired as a doctor by then and read Reader’s Digest (RD) monthly along with few other medical journals. His daily newspaper was The Times Of India.

After I started my career and moved to a different place in the city, collecting those “previous month’s” RD from the Doctor Uncle became a tough task; I wanted to subscribe a copy for myself.

I tried a few ways but for some reason RD never honored my request.

  • I filled up the Subscription Form that is included in the magazine and posted it to them; subscription not successful.
  • I tried the post card that is included in some editions requesting to paste a sticker ‘YES’ and drop it in post box – without stamp if in India; never heard back.
  • I visited the website and subscribed online; never received a copy.
  • I followed up the ‘Sweepstakes’ initiatives a couple of times, once even offline through snail-mail;  neither did I win the money, nor I received the magazine.

The complete Sweepstakes campaign obviously is to sign on more subscribers. When I’m trying in every which way possible to get a subscription, I wonder why RD hesitates so much.

Today, I saw another such email from RD. I thought, just for fun, I’ll document it. Needless to spell out, this is another attempt to get on the subscribers list. All but the last screen appears to be in place, where it raises questions.

Here are the screenshots.

Reader’s Digest email in my Inbox.

Reader's Digest email in my Inbox.

The email that explains how lucky I am. Not just the subscription (not mentioned by the way) but the amount of money I can win! 🙂

The email that explains how lucky I am. Not just the subscription (not mentioned by the way) but the amount of money I can win! :)

Getting Started with the sweepstakes journey. Confirming the name and email address.

Getting Started with the sweepstakes journey. Confirming the name and email address.

A quick gamble to win money.

A quick gamble to win money.

 

That’s how much I can win!

That's how much I can win!

A certificate, wow!

A certificate, wow!

Once in a while, I receive this warning, the chance to join this guy (previous winner)

Once in a while, I receive this warning, the chance to join this guy (previous winner)

Not just cash but also a car for me yaay! 🙂

Not just cash but also a car for me yaay! :)

I clicked on the first key and see what I could get? JETTA!!

I clicked on the first key and see what I could get? JETTA!!

Now, finally somebody is talking about the magazine. Nobody has ever looked forward to a sale so much!

Now, finally somebody is talking about the magazine. Nobody has ever looked forward to a sale so much!

Read it? It’s a guarantee! 🙂

Read it? It's a guarantee! :)

Address confirmation. It’s a matter of a crore rupees, after all.

Address confirmation. It's a matter of a crore rupees, after all.

I have a web reference number to follow up with! Not the first time, though.

I have a web reference number to follow up with! Not the first time, though.

The last and the final stage. This confuses me a bit. Why take me to a subscription page again??

The last and the final stage. This confuses me a bit. Why take me to a subscription page again??

Dear RD,

If you’re reading this, please digest the fact that I’m interested to receive a copy of your magazine every month.

If you can send me the money and the JETTA, am not going to say no.

Thank you,
Viv.

Jeeves – Thumbs Down

Jeeves

Jeeves claims to be your one stop service point for all electronics, electrical and IT products.

I first heard about the company and the services offered two months ago on a Radio ad. When I checked out the website, I liked the idea. I wanted to give it a try and my V-Guard Storage Water Heater gave me an opportunity soon enough.

Interaction 1

My first interaction was with a representative on the Toll Free number. She was polite. She asked for details and took the repair request. She mentioned that the request number would be sent to my mobile as SMS. She was also king enough to give me an estimate of the repair time and cost. Wonderful, so far!

She promised that the technician would visit the next day. She informed me about the charges as well: INR 150 for visiting, and INR 150 for repairing. If any spares would have to be purchased, that will obviously cost extra. I liked it.

I waited for two days and the technician never showed up. I didn’t receive the SMS either.

Interaction 2

Again with a lady who answered my call to the Toll Free number.

One, she has no information about the technician’s scheduled visit.
Two, She can see no records associated with my mobile number.

I opened another request with this lady. Again, I would be notified of the request number in SMS. Charges explained.

Interaction 3

I didn’t receive any SMS the second time too, but I got a call from the technician 2 days after my second request.

Well, not the best I as I expected but something was better than nothing.

Technician inspected the appliance and confirmed that the heater filament and thermostat were damaged and needs replacement. As per the process explained to me over the phone, he would get those parts and I pay him the charges.

He then asked for the INR 300 for visiting charges. It took good time and energy, and few calls to the Toll Free number to convince him that I would pay INR 150 only for visiting, and the remaining INR 150 after the repair is complete.

He called me the next day with the price of the spares. He quoted INR 1650 for the two parts. So, my total repair would come to INR 1950 including the INR 300 for visiting and repair.

Just to be sure, I called V-Guard service directly to verify. The technician from V-Guard was able to replace the parts and bring my Water Heater up and running in 24 hours.

Total Cost: INR 1150 (includes heating filament, thermostat, visiting charges, repair charges).

For a first time experience with Jeeves, the process took longer, would have costed 60% more and had to call twice to get my complaint even registered.

Thumbs Down.

iPhone 4 to Windows Phone 8 – My 30 day review

Four years and two iPhones (3G and 4) definitely changed me for the better. Without any doubt, iPhone was the best gadget I used so far.

I’m now on a Windows Phone 8. Nokia Lumia 820.

Why did I move away from iPhone?

  • Mishap – I shattered the screen last year on a road trip and getting a replacement is expensive (authorized dealers quoted 9K). After struggling for a month with broken glass, I settled for a sub-standard off-market screen (3.2K). It was never the same. Many ask me the reason for not clicking/ sharing photographs for some time now. It’s this. I wasn’t enjoying my iPhone as much with a ‘duplicate’ display.
  • Price – The latest iPhone would be great, as a logical move, but it’s damn expensive. I don’t argue with people who say it’s worth the price. It probably is; but I can’t afford 45K for a phone. I spent 30K for the last iPhone 4 and my target was to find something in less price than that. Lumia 820 cost me 26K.
  • Comparision – I did some quick comparision on geekaphone.com (iPhone 4 and Nokia Lumia 820) and Lumia won! Wow! So, a better phone than the one I used, at less price; kool.
  • Battery change/ memory card/ back cover – Unlike many smart phones (read: iPhone), Lumia 820 allows me to open the back cover (btw, Lumia 920 doesn’t); add memory in the form of MicroSD card up to 64 GB; and change battery if needed. Good options!
  • Windows 8 – I recently upgraded my Sony VAIO to Windows 8. With an Operating System from same vendor, it HAS to be easy to exchange data, and play around with mobile on laptop in general. It’s no secret that Apple forces us to use certain ways to get content onto iPhone that are not straightforward.
  • Fresh look – I love iPhone interface; Android, not much. Windows Phone interface is different, simpler and new. Worth a try!

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Buffer

The only missing link at Buffer

Dear Buffer,

I like you.

I like the primary functionality of Buffer – buffering my feed to release at set times to Twitter, for example.

And when we have Twitter come into picture, we are aware of the number 140.

Then there is a Chrome extension(?) I use to “buffer”.

Of course, I love to hear from you from time to time; so, I have a subscription to your newsletter. “Joel from Buffer” sends me some interesting emails often.

And, what do I do when I like the article? I buffer. => I click on the extension to feed it to Twitter.

I know I can select some text and then “buffer” it to set context. But “Joel from Buffer” uses a heading for a reason. There is also some description about the Buffer blog.

Now, the total text doesn’t fit well for a tweet, does it?

If it’s other blogs/ sites like mine, I understand. While I like to have my articles shared, I always don’t think of Twitter, for example.

Now, at Buffer, I think you should consider that point. Don’t you think so?

No big deal- but if posts on Buffer blog are easy to buffer out of the box using it’s own service, it’s just clean, isn’t it?

Thank you.