Lumia 1020 Black

If you’re like us, you’re pretty excited about getting a new OS and firmware update this afternoon from Nokia on your AT&T Lumia 1020. While we’ve known that Lumia Black (new Nokia firmware) and Update 3 (new version of Windows Phone 8) were on the horizon, no one saw them being released this early. But you may be asking yourself, what’s new?

Luckily for you, we have all the details. You don’t have an AT&T Lumia 1020? Don’t fret. Your update will be coming too, but for now, you can crib off of this list to get an idea of what’s coming.

Lumia Black firmware changes

  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE support
  • Glance Screen: new colors (Green + Blue); Notifications
  • New camera algorithms for JPG processing, white balance, noise reduction
  • RAW camera support (DNG)

While Bluetooth 4.0 LE doesn’t have any immediate uses due to the lack of a proper API stack, it should improve performance with some devices and ensure that the Lumia 1020 can connect up with the latest gadgets. Nokia is currently working on the Bluetooth 4.0 LE API kit for developers, and we expect some tasty “official” apps for your favorite connected technologies in early 2014. Stay tuned.

With RAW (DNG) support, you can now head into your camera settings and optionally choose to take photos in JPG (5 MP) and DNG 38MP (4:3) or 34MP (16:9). With that new feature, you can then connect the Lumia 1020 up to your PC and pull off the DNG files to edit them in your favorite photo-suite. The RAW/DNG format gives the user the ability to manipulate the camera data before JPEG processing and is an advanced option for ‘pros’.

Probably one of the best new features is the ability to use your PIN on your lockscreen and still shoot with the Nokia Camera app. Previously, if you had Nokia Pro Cam (now Nokia Camera) as the default camera app, you would have to type in your PIN to take a picture. Now, you can bypass the PIN and go right to the camera app. No worries though as you will still need to enter in a PIN to see your photos or access the OS. Watch the video demo above to see it in action!

The last big change is with Glance (found under Settings). With the Amber update, you could have the clock always on in a low-power mode when the display was off. Now, with Lumia Black, you can also show notifications (email, text, missed calls, etc). In addition, besides the default Red color, you now have Blue or Green to choose from while in Night Mode.

Note: currently, Nokia Beamer and Nokia StoryTeller are not working with the Lumia 1020, though we suppose app updates will be forthcoming to unlock those for the Lumia 1020 with the Lumia Black firmware.

Windows Phone 8 Update 3 (build 10517)

Update 3 is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows Phone 8 and is the last update before next spring’s Windows Phone 8.1 update (also coming to current Lumias).

You can see our earlier video tour here or watch the video above. It’s a mishmash of minor updates and fixes, including allowing new hardware like 1080P displays and the Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 found in the Lumia 1520. But besides those additions, there are few notable new features to make your Windows Phone even better:

  • Better Storage (device memory) management
  • Driving Mode – Found under Settings, you can automatically disable incoming phone calls and/or text messages when paired to your car’s Bluetooth
  • Orientation lock – Found under Settings, you can now lock the screen orientation in portrait or landscape
  • Wi-Fi – Were you to hard reset your phone, when the OS is setting up for the first time you can connect directly up to Wi-Fi. Previously, you could only connect after the setup, delaying the downloading of contacts or apps
  • Ringtones - you can now choose custom notifications for SMS (messaging) and email
  • Close out apps – When holding the back key and jumping into the multitask window, you will find an ‘X’ to close out apps that you don’t want running (there are also app icons now and names)

In addition to all of those, there are under the hood fixes and improvements for performance and battery life, breathing new life into the Lumia 1020. For instance, developers can now add their own custom app notifications, which phones with Update 3 can take advantage of.

Do you notice anything else? How do you feel about the update? Let us know in comments or head into our Lumia 1020 forums for more in-depth discussion!