Microsoft Lumia Denim Update Announced: Top Features Listed Including Hey Cortana; Release Date Pegged For Q4

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | September 5, 2014 3:17 PM EST

Microsoft will be releasing a software update named "Lumia Denim" to Windows Phone 8.1 OS based devices. Apparently, this information was made public at IFA 2014 and the Lumia Denim update release date is slated for Q4 2014.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he speaks at the company's "build" conference in San Francisco in this file photo taken April 2, 2014. Microsoft Corp's new Chief Executive Satya Nadella likes to boast that Bing is growing and powers 30 percent of the Internet search market, making it a worthy competitor to Google Inc.

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During the IFA event, Microsoft introduced Lumia 830, Lumia 730 (Dual-SIM) and Lumia 735 smartphones. Interested buyers should note that the aforementioned devices will come bundled with the "Lumia Denim" software update. In case of other Windows Phone 8 handsets, this software update will be rolled out sometime in Q4. The Lumia Denim packs the updates pertaining to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and several software improvements exclusive to Lumia based devices, according to Nokia.

Cortana Update

The enhancement covers Cortana digital personal assistant with a brand new feature dubbed "Hey Cortana" making its debut. As it turns out, this feature can be used to turn-on Cortana hands-free. By calling out "Hey Cortana", the digital assistant will get activated, similar to voice-based Google Now. Moreover, Hey Cortana feature uses the SensorCore technology. Also it is worth noting that, Cortana can be accessed by many other countries other than the U.S. In addition, it includes enhanced natural language and car kit integration with the help of Bluetooth, says Nokia.

Lumia Update

When it comes to Lumia-exclusive features, the following enhancements related to camera are onboard:

Lumia Camera:  Microsoft has replaced the Nokia camera with Lumia camera. This camera comes with improved speed and guarantees quality images/videos. Apparently, the speed improvements are phenomenal that jumping from one shot to the other should not take more than milliseconds.

Upon pressing the camera button for longer time period, 4K video recording will start at 24 FPS. Users can now save individual photos at high definition quality with the help of capturing every frame at 8.3 MP. Meaning, users can capture a video clip and select any frame to convert it into a photo with superior quality.

This update will bring in Auto HDR and Dynamic Flash to the camera set. Meaning, users can capture images and then alter the camera settings at a later time to improve the image. Furthermore, improved image processing algorithms are added to provide crystal clear image even when the lighting is sub-par.

Also, the introduction of Glance Screen will show Bing Weather/Health and Fitness data along with notifications and time/date info on compatible Lumia devices.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

The general Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 features include:

- Live folders: To keep games and apps organised in a folder structure.

- Apps Corner: Users can tailor-make their start-screen with the help of this feature.

- Improved SMS merge and forwarding feature.

- Snooze Times: Users are now allowed to alter the snooze time on their Alarm.

- Other enhancements include Consumer VPN for privacy/security, Mobile Web Site improvements in IE that comes with bettered download speed and a US-only Store Live Tile feature.

What feature are you looking forward to from the Lumia Denim update? Feel free to leave a comment.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he speaks at the company's "build" conference in San Francisco in this file photo taken April 2, 2014. Microsoft Corp's new Chief Executive Satya Nadella likes to boast that Bing is growing and powers 30 percent of the Internet search market, making it a worthy competitor to Google Inc.
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